The attorney for the Salvation Army says that the plat for a proposed 400 acre subdivision adjacent to the Clarke County High School has been publicly available for seven years and any suggestion otherwise is a falsehood.
Leesburg attorney John Farrell made the statement during a Sunday morning phone interview in response to an electronic mail message sent by Clarke County School Board member Robina Bouffault (White Post) to the Clarke County Planning Commission earlier in the week.
Bouffault’s email, which Farrell said he has not received, questions the Salvation Army’s request for a consumer disclosure statement waiver and asks why the subdivision plat for the property wasn’t made available to Planning Commission members.
“On page 1 of the Army’s ‘under protest’ consumer disclosure statement, for point 6-A-1, they indicated that the plat (presumably concerning the subdivision) is located at 305 Harrison Street, Leesburg, VA 20175. This location is a large office building, with a number of offices, which include the law offices of H. Robert Showers, where I presume the plat must be located, as they have been, at least in the past, the Army’s attorneys.
Why wasn’t this plat provided to the Commissioners for their review? Is it available to the public for review? It should be.”
However, attorney Farrell says that Bouffault was already aware that the plat document is on file with Clarke County Zoning Administrator Jesse Russell and therefore available to the Planning Commissioners.
“The plat has been publicly available for seven years and Ms. Bouffault knows that” said Farrell.
“I was in a meeting with Ms. Bouffault, Supervisor Dunning, two engineers from PHRA and others in 2007 when they saw the plats” Farrell said. “The plats have been there ever since.”
Farrell also dismissed rumors about undisclosed interest in the property as false saying that the only party with any interest in the property is the Salvation Army – a fact that he says was publicly disclosed many years ago and has not changed.
“The identification of the owner of this subdivision has been known since the subdivision plat was filed” Farrell said. “The ownership has never changed. The statute requires that disclosure of ownership be stated on the plat and the Salvation Army has done that consistently throughout the entire application process.”
“Any suggestion to the contrary is a falsehood” Farrell added.
“The Salvation Army doesn’t build houses” Farrell said. “The Salvation Army intends to sell the lots to homebuilders or to individual lot purchasers who will build their own homes. However, no individuals or homebuilder companies have approached the Salvation Army at this time and a deal to sell the property or otherwise convey a beneficial interest has never even been suggested.”