The six citizens who sued the Town Council of Warrenton for rezoning a quiet 31-acre industrial park along Walker Drive to a high impact mixed use development are appealing their case to the Virginia Supreme Court. Their suit, initiated in August 2017, alleged 16 counts embodied in several complaints that were subject to three hearings. One of the first Virginia land use cases in years where citizens were awarded standing, it ended abruptly when retiring Fauquier County Circuit Court Judge Jeffre Parker dismissed all counts.
The plaintiffs, who access their homes from Walker Drive, complained that they would be directly harmed by a substantial increase in traffic and the installation of a major entrance to the new development placed across from the only entrance to their residential street. They also complained of numerous procedural errors in the rezoning, over which they alleged the town had no discretion.
William T. Semple, one of the original litigants, later denied standing, has been closely monitoring the case.
“Naturally, the plaintiffs are extremely disappointed with Judge Parker’s ruling. Their complaints were based on traffic models developed by the applicants and accepted by the town, upon which the court granted standing. The plaintiffs discovered a second, applicant-funded, traffic report projecting far worse impacts than the original traffic model, but the court would have none of it. Semple added, “Whether the Supreme Court will even consider the case remains to be seen.”