Rezoning Lawsuits Threatened, Not Yet Filed

Rezoning Lawsuits Threatened, Not Yet Filed

Legal action against county's amended ordinance faces Feb. 5 deadline.

To date, Loudoun County does not have any lawsuits filed against the county's amended zoning ordinance, which are due by Feb. 5.

"The county is prepared to defend the decisions we have made in respect with the zoning ordinance," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At large). "I believe we will come out on top."

The Board of Supervisors adopted the amended zoning ordinance and zoning map earlier this month to give the force of law to the Revised Comprehensive Plan, which the board adopted in July 2001. The Comprehensive Plan, a revision of the 1993 plan, aims to slow the county's rate of growth while outlining the county's development for the next 20 years.

A group represented by law firm Campbell Miller and Zimmerman in Leesburg is filing for an extension, York said. County attorney John Roberts did not return phone calls by deadline to confirm.

Arcola resident Jack Shockey said his lawyer, Hunton & Williams in McLean, plans to file a suit on his behalf but does not know what day the lawsuit will be filed. Shockey, president of the Citizens for Property Rights (CPR), owns an 800-acre farm in Arcola with his mother and two sisters. Through the adopted zoning ordinance, the zoning of his farm changes from A-3 (agriculture) and CR-1 (countryside residential) to general industrial, while the properties to the east and west of the farm remain residential, he said.

"I think it's spot zoning. I think it's discriminatory zoning, and I think it's arbitrary and capricious, and I don't think there's been any change in circumstances," Shockey said.

Shockey plans to base his lawsuit on claims that the board did not identify a change in circumstance that since 1993 would require the rezoning, he said.

The courts allow for appeals to be made within 30 days of the ordinance's Jan. 6 adoption date.