A_Walker_Drive_04.JPG

A lawsuit against the Warrenton Town Council, East Side Investment Group LLC, Springfield Real Properties LLC, Remland LLC and the Walker Drive Investment Group LLC will be heard by the Virginia Supreme Court.

The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge from a group of Warrenton residents opposed to a proposed mixed-use development on Walker Drive. The group is challenging the legitimacy of the property’s rezoning. 

The litigation stopped construction before it could begin. 

Their plaintiff’s attorney, Bradley Pollack, of Woodstock, Va., seeks to reverse a Feb. 5 decision by Fauquier County Circuit Court Jeffrey W. Parker in favor of the defendants -- Warrenton Town Council, East Side Investment Group LLC, Springfield Real Properties LLC, Remland LLC and the Walker Drive Investment Group LLC. 

Pollack listed six assignments of error in asking the higher court to take the case. The state supreme court found reason to take the case based on three of them: 

  • That the circuit court erred in allowing town council to accept proffered conditions that modified or reduced requirements of the zoning district and that it read a general definition in the state code to control the specific requirements for conditional rezoning in violation of settled rules of statutory interpretation, 

  • That it erred in sustaining demurrers – objections  to an amended complaint involving waivers and modifications. Those waivers and modifications were never presented to the planning commission, which town code says can only be accepted by town council upon recommendation by the planning commission, the plaintiffs argue. 

  • That it erred in ruling the homeowners hadn’t demonstrated a direct impact from approval of a master plan that didn’t show an industrial planned unit development as an integrated, cohesive entity. The plaintiffs argue they weren’t required to demonstrate such an impact. 

The plaintiffs originally filed suit in Fauquier County Circuit Court after town council in July 2017 approved a rezoning for 116 apartments and condominiums, shops, restaurants and other commercial tenants. The development also could include a movie theater or bowling alley on a 31-acre tract bordered by East Lee Street, Walker Drive, Academy Drive and U.S. 15/29. Traffic, noise and bright lights from the development were concerns of the residents. 

Pollack, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said he has 40 days to file an opening brief then the other side has time to respond and he could then file a brief in reply.  

The court will then set a date to hear arguments from the attorneys. 

Pollack said he’s been licensed to practice law in Virginia since 1985 and has argued just one other case in front of the state supreme court. 

“It was nice to win it. It was a pretty obscure case only a handful of attorneys care about,” Pollack said. 

Reach James Ivancic at jivancic@fauquier.com 

(5) comments

Concerned citizen

This is great to hear! Maybe the Supreme Court should start looking into all the corruption in the Town Council and staff. The Planning Commission voted this down 6-1 for many reasons, only to have the Council approve it 6-1 without addressing any of the Commission's or public's concerns. Anyone who thinks this Council cares about any of their constituents when developer money is flowing needs to wake up.

Ms. Schaeffer caused many problems as the zoning director, so the Council then made her the Town Manager. Haha! I watched the Council meeting last Tuesday and a gentleman slammed her and the Town Attorney for approving a request, then suddenly change to disapproval as he went to start. It looked like the Council could care less. Guess he didn't fill her pocketbook up enough. This Town is headed downhill under our current leadership. So sad...

Oh, and they can build a bowling alley and/or movie theater on Walker Drive under the current zoning, without adding a lot of apartments and more stores. These developers played the Town like a pack of fools.

ILiveinThisTown2

I also watched....and that gentleman was previously a town building inspector--who pointed out that he had repeatedly reported there are 37 buildings in the Town that do not have Occupancy Permits because of safety violations. He stated that if these buildings burn, the insurance companies will NOT pay out on them. He said the Town Attorney refuses to do anything about it--and the Town Manager bulldozes any plan she wants through--without due process. It was shocking to watch!! And what was worse....his comments were totally ignored when he was done!! What is going on with this Town Council? It is very concerning when the citizens don't care what is going on...and the Town Council doesn't get that the Town Manager is calling ALL the shots!!! We better wake up!!!

Concerned citizen

You are so correct. If citizens don't start waking up, who knows what will become of this Town. Even Remington has no problem with enforcing their codes! I overheard a guy talking in a pub that the Town Manager and Town Attorney make verbal agreements over the phone that bypass Town ordinances, and then become the new "law". If so, why do we even have elected officials?



And for some reason these local news outlets have no interest in looking into the growing mess. Wonder why not????

Concerned citizen

You are correct, citizens need to start waking up to what is happening, before this Town allows a fire or other preventable hazard from causing a disaster. Even the Remington Council doesn't have any problem taking care of their Town!

I recently overheard a guy in a pub talking about Town employees and Attorney making a verbal agreement over the phone that bypasses Town ordinances. What do we even have elected officials for? So sad...

ILiveinThisTown2

[thumbup][thumbup]

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.