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Town’s Excessive Occupancy Enforcement Program Steps Up Outreach Efforts | Families

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Town’s Excessive Occupancy Enforcement Program Steps Up Outreach Efforts
Families, People

From the Town of Leesburg, VA – The Town of Leesburg has begun increased outreach efforts to inform citizens about the Town’s Excessive Occupancy Enforcement Program (EOEP). Excessive occupancy occurs when either too many unrelated people live in a single-family residence or the square footage of a dwelling unit is too small for the number of residents, based upon minimum standards set by the Virginia Property Maintenance Code. 

In recent months, the Town has seen an increase in the number of complaints received regarding possible excessive occupancy violations.  Excessive occupancy in residential dwelling units impacts a variety of health, safety and quality of life issues within neighborhoods, including poor property maintenance and overuse of common areas.  The Town has initiated a public education and awareness campaign to address citizen concerns, in part due to the increasing number of complaints, but also because certain neighborhood situations, such as a lack of parking, can be mistaken for signs of excessive occupancy.

The campaign involves several key strategies.  First, staff has made information about the EOEP available to the public through a variety of communications channels.  The new page on the Town website, www.leesburgva.gov/eoep, provides links to the regulations, a list of frequently asked questions, complaint forms and staff contact information.  A new brochure, “Citizen’s Guide to the Excessive Occupancy Enforcement Program and Residential Ordinances,” has been published and is available at Town facilities and Rust Library.  In addition, information about the enforcement program has been added to bulletin board on the Town’s public access cable television channel (Channel 67 on Comcast and Channel 35 on Verizon).

The second strategy utilizes the Town’s Community Enhancement Team (CET); a cross-departmental staff team that works directly with neighborhoods to address quality of life issues.  CET members will be attending Homeowners Association and other community meetings to distribute information about excessive occupancy issues and the Town’s enforcement program, as well as to answer questions regarding the program.

Finally, Town staff will begin working with area non-profit organizations and social service agencies to develop a network of community partners that can assist the Town in providing information to the public.  Eventually, the EOEP page on the Town’s website will have links to these community partners, in order to encourage outreach through these groups.

“A shortage of parking in a neighborhood or a decline in property maintenance may not be signs of excessive occupancy,” explained Kathleen Leidich, chair of the Community Enhancement Team. “The most likely indication of excessive occupancy is when neighbors see excessive numbers of people coming and going from a residence every day on a consistent basis, not just on the weekends or for short periods of time, but for a sustained period of time.”

If citizens have concerns about possible excessive occupancy violations in their neighborhoods, they can file a confidential complaint with the Town’s Zoning Division.  The complaint form is available on the Town’s website at www.leesburgva.gov/eoep.    Once a complaint is received, a Zoning Inspector will open an investigation.  If the violation is confirmed, it may take several months to resolve. 

To request additional information on the EOEP or to request a CET member to attend a community meeting, please contact the Town at cet-info@leesburgva.gov.

Families, People