A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge yesterday dismissed a property owner's lawsuit against the county government's development plan for Centreville, ruling that it would be premature to decide the merits of the case.
Judge F. Bruce Bach said he could not rule until the Olin Corp. exhausts its administrative appeals to the county, a decision that would send the property owner before the county Board of Zoning Appeals and the Board of Supervisors before further court action is allowed.
The Olin Corp., which owns a 112-acre site near I-66 and Rtes. 29 and 28 in Centreville, filed suit in March challenging the board's decision to accept a controversial development plan that calls for predominantly residential construction in that area.
The corporation, which maintains that a massive office park accompanied by commercial development is the best use for the site, contested in the lawsuit the county's position that only a regional shopping center can be built on the property. County officials say that restriction was dictated by a deed of covenant entered into by the county government and the Olin Corp. in 1975.
William T. Freyvogel, an attorney for the Olin Corp., said his company hopes to complete the appeal process with the county within 60 to 90 days. He said the company had filed suit to have the courts "lay the foundation for us to file the proper administrative appeals," a process that he said the county had thwarted until the lawsuit was filed.
Fairfax Board Chairman John F. Herrity called yesterday's court decision "a significant victory" in the county's attempt to restrain high-density growth in Centreville, one of the few remaining largely undeveloped areas in Fairfax.