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Exeter HOA Wants Town To Take Over Pond Maintenance

© Leesburg Today - 09/22/2015

The Exeter Homeowners Association wants the Leesburg town government to take over responsibility for a stormwater management pond in its subdivision, but council members aren't convinced they have legal authority to do so.

During Monday night's work council session, representatives of the HOA made their case in the effort to get the town to take the 28-acre pond, dam and storm drainage easement off their hands.

""We believe that the town is entirely responsible for operating and maintaining the stormwater management facilities,"" Bruce Easmunt, counsel for the Exeter HOA, said about the pond, located between Ball's Bluff and Leesburg elementary schools.

Assistant Town Manager Tom Mason said it would cost $935,850 for the pond to come into compliance with state laws, and cost $21,000 per year in maintenance. Town staff members did not recommend the council take responsibility for it.

Easmunt cited two parts of the pond's deed to support his claim, including a condition stating ""all lines, channels, inlets, structures, and appurtenant facilities which are installed in the easements and rights-of-way shall be and remain the property of the town.""

Some council members questioned whether the HOA's claim stands up to legal precedent and raised concerns that other homeowners associations could line up with similar requests.

""I don't think the weight is here on the legal side,"" Councilman Tom Dunn said. ""This comes down to a political decision of helping out some of our residents. If we do, how many more people will come to us asking for help?""

Mason said the Exeter developer built the pond in 1990, and recently the Virginia Department of Conservation has asserted the HOA must complete upgrades that will cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The council will discuss the matter at a future meeting.

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