The Army Corps of Engineers has asked the U.S. District Court to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust is trying to overturn a wetlands permit issued by the Corps for development of a large-scale housing project near historic Oatlands Plantation.
The permit grants road and storm water infrastructure for construction of 277 houses, paved streets and retail stores on meadows and woodland directly overlooking the plantation
In its motion, the Corps denied allegations that it wrongly allowed construction of Courtland Woods next to the protected 1,000-acre Oatlands Historic District and the 700-acre Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve. The Corps asked the court to enter judgment in its favor.
Sam Dibbley, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, said there will be no comment on the lawsuit until the judge makes his decision.
Meanwhile, Courtland Farms Loudoun LLC, the developer of the proposed 200-acre subdivision, has begun grading 39.5 acres and clear cutting trees in one of the six sections of the property. Neelam Henderson, Building and Development project engineer, said the county has approved the construction plans and profile for section two or 11.5 acres. But the grading permit has not been granted yet Fifty-nine detached and 15 attached houses are slated for section one and 25 houses for section two.
Henderson said the county has approved a grading permit for a stockpile to store the soil. The developers are waiting for approval to post a bond for the stockpile. They would pick up 160,000 cubic yards of fill from Sections 1 and 2, and spread it across 22.1 acres of Section 3.