Loudoun to hold hearing on policy for displays at county courthouse

By Caitlin Gibson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scores of Loudoun County residents are scheduled to speak Tuesday night against a county board commission's recommendation that would disallow religious holiday displays on the grounds of the county courthouse, according to the Leesburg Town Council.

The dispute began in November, when a resident-led commission decided that the county should ban unattended displays at the courthouse after the county received increased requests to use the public space. When the commission denied a rotary group's application to place a Christmas tree on court grounds, the new policy drew residents' attention and ire.

The board then established a policy allowing as many as 10 groups to install displays on the courthouse grounds at a time, on a first-come, first-served basis. But the resident-led commission has continued to express concern that the new policy has created a cluttered and unmanageable situation. In July, the commission asked the board to consider reinstating the ban on unattended religious displays prior to the upcoming holiday season. The board is expected to make a decision at its business meeting on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

The county hearing seeking public comment on the matter is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street SE in Leesburg.

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