A local development company has filed a lawsuit against the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, challenging a ruling on a recent rezoning application.
GFC Properties, the plaintiff in the case, filed the suit in the Loudoun County Circuit Court on July 14 after the board denied the company’s housing application to develop 50 single family attached units, including seven affordable dwelling units, near the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail in Sterling.
The Washington Business Journal was first to report the lawsuit, which alleges that the board’s denial of the rezoning application was “unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious and void ab initio.” The company is seeking a jury trial.
After the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the application, the board on June 15 denied the rezoning application 7-0-1-1 with Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R-Catoctin) absent for the vote. Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) abstained.
The applicant requested to rezone 4.73 acres from the single-family residential zoning district to the townhouse and multifamily residential zoning district in order to construct up to 50 single family attached dwelling units, along with open space and recreational amenities, according to the June 15 staff report.
“I cannot support this application because it does not mitigate the impacts of the proposed additional housing units with the absence of the full capital facilities and Fire and Rescue contributions,” Supervisor Sylvia Glass (D-Broad Run) said last month.
According to the board’s list of findings for denial, the application was denied because it did not mitigate the impacts to capital facilities caused by the proposed development.
Additionally, the board’s findings stated that the application does not fully provide the necessary contributions to mitigate the capital facilities impacts of the proposed development.
At the time of the meeting, the applicant reduced their voluntary proffer commitments from $1.26 million to $499,999, the June 15 staff report states.
The applicant also eliminated its Fire & Rescue contribution of approximately $6,000.
“I’m not excusing anything that happened on the applicant’s side, pulling things out and such, but let’s not act like there wasn’t things that happened on both sides of this application, because there were,” Randall said.
Staff said it’s not common for applicants to reduce their capital facilities and mitigating funds between hearings.
Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) voted in favor of the application in an initial vote in early June, but said voting in favor of the project after the reduction in changes would set a precedent for future applications.
County Attorney Leo Rogers said he would not comment on pending litigation.