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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Pennbrooke Fairways residents concerned about traffic from development approved in Leesburg

Leesburg commissioners approved the annexation of 34.7 acres into the city during Monday’s commission meeting.

The new development, the Crossings at 44, will be located on the south side of State Road 44, and west of Whitney Road, on a site within the City of Leesburg in accordance with the zoning application and supplemental information.

The developer, Hesko Holdings LLC, requested a Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning district to allow future construction of a proposed mixed-use development. The commissioners unanimously approved of the zoning change to establish the PUD which will consist of approximately 34.7 acres, containing a maximum of 46,000 square feet of commercial uses, 280 multi-family residential units, plus a 150 room assisted living/memory care facility, and 240 bed physical rehabilitation/recover/skilled nursing center. The commercial structures will be located facing State Road 44 while the medical units will be in the center and the residential apartments will be in the rear of the property. The first phase of the project will be the construction of the 280 multi-family apartments.

Several residents of the Pennbrooke Fairways subdivision, which is located on the north side of State Road 44 directly across from the proposed development, expressed to the commissioners their concerns regarding the impact that the development would have on traffic.

Dennis McQuillan, who lives in Pennebrooke Fairways, raised the issue of a stoplight to control traffic out of his subdivision and the proposed PUD. He estimated that the apartments alone would put out 560 cars onto State Road 44 from the apartments. He noted that the proposal has no right turn lanes for east bound traffic which could cause backups in traffic. He along with several residents raised the safety issue posed by a 55 miles per hour speed limit into a congested area. Mike Tyson said that there are 1200 homes in his subdivision which when combined with the 280 apartments would make a stoplight necessary.

Other residents noted that in order for residents and employees of the medical facilities to go west they would have to drive east and make a U-turn which, given the high speed of some of the traffic, could pose a possible safety issue. The traffic study did not support a traffic light at that location according to the developers’s representative, Ryan Solstice. Solstice indicated that a future traffic study may support a stop light.

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