A Win for Under-Served Communities Harmed by Local Zoning Decisions

Friday, February 10th, 2023

The Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled that Hanover County residents can sue over the Wegman’s Distribution Center slated to open near their property.

A Hanover Coumty Circuit Court judge threw the case out earlier, sayng the residents didn’t have legal standing to sue the Hanover Board of Supervisors for their approval of rezoning and special use permits for the project.

VPLC submitted an amicus brief on behalf of itself and four environmental organizations supporting the appeal filed by neighboring residents.

“The Court recognized that Virginians who live in communities directly impacted by decisions of local zoning authorities will not lose their day in court to challenge zoning decisions that result in ‘particularized harms’ such as increased traffic, noise, flooding, and light pollution, said Steven Fischbach, Director of Litigation for VPLC.”

Fischbach says the decision is particularly important for low-income communities that often disproportionately suffer these kinds of ‘particularized harms’ due to zoning approvals of projects that are incompatible with residential areas.

Read the Supreme Court of Virginia court ruling here: SCOVA opinion Morgan v Hanover Bd of Supervisors

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