Five months after the Vienna Town Council rejected a controversial rezoning bid, the owner of the Marco Polo Restaurant is suing the town to reverse the decision.
Restaurant owner Alfredo Pestana, a partner in Maple Avenue West Associates, has filed suit in Fairfax Circuit Court asking $300,000 in damages. He alleges that his "civil rights" were violated when the council refused to allow him to rezone less than an acre of land from residential to commercial zoning for offices.
In the suit, Pestana claims the Windover Heights Historic District has "no historical significance" and was created by the council in 1979 as a "subterfuge to prevent the rezoning of the subject property and others." The council debated the rezoning for nearly two years, before rejecting Pestana's bid in January.
"The town has 21 days to reply; we'll have to wait until then to see what our response will be," said Marie Kisner, town public information director for Vienna. "Nobody will have any comment now."
In other action at last week's meeting, the council passed a resolution congratulating Robert Pearson Jr. for his May 15 rescue of his neighbor from her burning house. Elaine Wigington, of 505 Orchard St. NW, had collapsed on her bedroom floor after being overcome by smoke. Pearson broke a bedroom window and pulled her to safety. She recovered, but damage to her home is estimated at $90,000.