Town of Leesburg

The following was among actions taken at the Jan. 22 meeting of the Leesburg Town Council. For more information call 777-2420.

HILLCREST HOUSE -- The council held a public hearing on a proposal to turn historic Hillcrest house, which sits on 2.3 acres in the Historic District, into a five-bedroom bed and breakfast inn with meeting facilities.

Thomas Jewell, the present owner of the turn-of-the-century house, had requested permission to have the property rezoned and for a special exception to zoning regulations, both required before the conversion can proceed..

Five people, who said they feared "creeping commercialism" and increased traffic, spoke out against the plan. Three people argued in favor of the proposal, saying the inn would fill a need in Leesburg by providing meeting facilities for local buisnesses.

Although Jewell has promised to restrict development on the property to the inn, the Leesburg Planning Commission recommended at a Dec. 6 meeting that the proposal be denied, arguing that rezoning the property would allow future owners to build town houses on the two acres of land around the house, threatening its historic integrity.

The council voted to refer the matter for further consideration to the town Planning and Zoning Committee, which will consider the plan Feb. 19. The proposal will then come before the council once again, and a decision will be made.