The Vienna Town Council has turned down a request for commercial zoning of property behind the Marco Polo Restaurant on Maple Avenue, perhaps opening the way to a lawsuit against the city.
Douglas Sanderson, attorney for Maple Avenue West Associates, owners of the restaurant and the one-acre site, said the property owners are considering appealing Mondays night's council action in court.
The council voted 5 to 2 against the zoning change, which the owners sought in order to use the site for an office building. The council instead rezoned the land from RS-16, which allows two single-family dwellings per acre, to RS-10, permitting 3.7 single-family residences per acre.
Jim Tate, president of the Windover Heights Civic Association, which opposed the commercial zoning request, said the civic group is pleased with the council's decision. He said the owners of homes near the site behind the restaurant, at 245 W. Maple Ave., were worried about commercial encroachment into the neighborhood.
Tate added, however, "I don't think it's a closed issue because Maple Avenue West may take it to court."
The zoning debate began in 1980, when the owners asked for commercial zoning so the restaurant could enlarge its parking lot, a proposal also opposed by residents. The owners later changed their plans and sought to build town house-style offices on the site.
In other business Monday night, the council scheduled for 8 p.m. March 1 a public hearing on a revised proposal to restrict parking of commercial vehicles in residential neighborhoods. The council will seek public opinion on what type of vehicles should be covered by such a parking ordinance.