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Town, developer continue to seek settlement

by Tom Chillemi

Attorneys for Urbanna and developer Potomac Timber Investments will continue their attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement of a $4 million lawsuit regarding proposed condominiums at Urbanna Yachting Center and the appeal of a marina zoning decision.

Potomac Timber has appealed to the Urbanna Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) a decision by Urbanna’s Town Administrator Lewis Filling on April 14 that stopped Potomac Timber from rebuilding the Urbanna Yachting Center marina. The developer also sued the town council in September 2008 for $4 million after it failed to grant permits to build 14 condominiums on 1.5 acres at the marina.

Since June 2, attorneys for both sides have attempted unsuccessfully to reach a settlement.

John Conrad, an attorney with the Virginia Municipal League, and John Easter, attorney for Potomac Timber, told the BZA at its meeting on Monday, June 29, they agreed to ask the BZA to continue the appeal.

“We are working hard to make all the issues go away,” Easter told the BZA.

Easter also waived any deadline for the BZA to act. The BZA voted to continue its meeting until August 3, when it may consider the marina appeal if a settlement is not reached.

“We are in continuing discussions about settling all the issues involving the town, including the issue that is before you tonight,” said Conrad.

Easter added, “I think both sides are working in good faith. I think we are making some progress, but you never know until you get to the end of the road.”

Conrad met briefly with the BZA in closed session to advise the members on the issues.

In March, Potomac Timber applied for a town zoning permit to remove and replace docks, fuel tanks and replace 263 linear feet of bulkhead and demolish the southern boathouse, which is closest to the bridge, at the marina. The permit, however, has not been granted.

Easter said the marina has a state permit to expand from 88 to 104 slips, and appealed to the BZA the town’s decision not to grant the permit.

posted 07.02.2009

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