Posted by: Patricia Salkin | May 28, 2021

VA Supreme Court Agrees Historic Preservation Foundation Lacked Standing to Challenge Approval of Renovation of an Historic Property

The circuit court did not err in determining that a foundation established to advocate for the preservation of a locality’s historic buildings, districts, and neighborhoods lacked standing to pursue the claims asserted in this case – an appeal to the circuit court from approval by a City Council authorizing renovation of an historic property. Provisions of the local zoning ordinance addressing appeals to the circuit court provide that appeal from a decision of the City Council may be pursued only by an “aggrieved” petitioner and use of that term incorporated its well-established meaning. In the present case, the foundation’s petition did not meet the requirements of the two-part test articulated in governing case law: the allegations failed to establish that the foundation suffered any particularized harm that differed from that suffered by the public in general. The foundation’s interest in the preservation of historic buildings does not give it standing to challenge the City Council’s decision in this case, and the circuit court did not err when it determined that this foundation lacked standing to pursue the claims asserted in this case. Accordingly, the judgment of the circuit court is affirmed.

Historic Alexandria Foundation v. City of Alexandria, 2021 WL 2149459 (VA 5/27/2021).


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