vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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The Crucible Case

Heartwood Supervisor Joe Brito called me with some information about the pending legal action between Stafford County and The Crucible. As you probably know, The Crucible is an anti-terrorist training facility in Brito’s district.

The Crucible owns 198 agriculturally zoned acres and wants to build a new facility there. The county says such a facility would require industrial property. The Crucible believes they have a vested right to build the facility. The case has moved up the court ladder and is now awaiting a decision by the Virginia Supreme Court.

According to Brito, county attorney Sharon Pandak will file her response by Monday, and a trial could begin as early as April 13. When the case was accepted by the state Supreme Court, lawyers on both sides figured the trial date would fall sometime in June or July.

Also according to Brito, amicus briefs have been filed on both sides: The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Homebuilders Association on behalf of The Crucible; Local Government Attorneys of Virginia on behalf of the county.

The case could set a statewide precedent regarding vested property rights and what constitutes a “significant governmental act.” I’ll let you know what happens.

My last article on the subject is here.

Wikipedia on Amicus curiae