Representative Matters

Successfully defended a town ordinance for a municipal client in an administrative appeal to Virginia Circuit Court.
March 14, 2009

The Virginia Circuit Court held that (1) the Town of Vienna (the “Town”)’s Motion to Quash the Subpoenas issued for members of the Vienna Town Council and the Windover Heights Historic District’s Board of Review was granted based upon the Town’s invocation of legislative privilege granted by the United States Constitution Article I, Section 6, and the Virginia Constitution; (2) that any challenge to the enactment of an ordinance establishing a historic district could not be reviewed by the court because Virginia’s historic district enabling statute limited such judicial review to whether the decision was “arbitrary and constitutes an abuse of discretion” or is “contrary to law.”; (3) that the Town demonstrated both a legal and factual basis to conclude the historic district was properly created pursuant to authority delegated to the Town by the Virginia General Assembly; (4) that a local ordinance could not override the dictates of a state statute, and therefore Virginia code precluded an attack upon the validity of the historic district ordinance based upon alleged non-compliance with Town Code; (5) that the historic district ordinance was not unconstitutionally vague as applied, nor unconstitutionally vague on its face; (6) that denial of certain applications for certificates of appropriateness was not arbitrary or capricious.