A Manassas builder pleaded guilty this week to violating the Virginia building code when the company erected a house quite different from the one specified in a site plan approved by Prince William County, according to assistant commonwealth's attorney Rick Conway.
Battlefield Builders Inc. failed to follow its site plan for the Riverview Estates development home purchased by Carol and Jay Hook, Conway said. In addition, the builder did not properly grade and repair the driveway, he said.
The builders have been given until Dec. 5 to comply with the code by filing a new site plan and completing the driveway work, according to Conway. The case will be dropped if Battlefield complies, but the court will impose a sentence if the builder does not meet the conditions, he said.
Because of the terrain and the way the house is built, the driveway cannot be graded to the 15 percent slope required by the building code, said Mark Crossland, an attorney representing the Hooks. Consequently, the builder is to pave the driveway to provide traction for automobiles during winter months.
A Battlefield spokeswoman said "the county can't find their site plan" for the Hooks' house, but "we have a building permit for it. I'm sure we'll do what the county asks us to do whether we feel they are right or wrong," added Mary Ann Ghadban, Battlefield's vice president for sales and marketing. She said the company plans to pave the driveway.
Charges were dismissed in another case involving Battlefield when the builder graded and repaired the front yard of another Riverview Estates home as required by the building code, Conway said. Ghadban said she had no comment.
In another case, a county suit against Battlefield advanced this week when state and county authorities approved the builder's plan for cleaning up an illegal trash dump in Riverview, said assistant county attorney Stephen A. MacIsaac. The attorney said he is drafting a consent order based on the plan, which Battlefield must agree to sign, and which homeowners living near the dump will be given a chance to review and comment on. Then, if the county board of supervisors approves the plan, it will be issued by a judge as a court order, probably sometime in December, MacIsaac said.
The draft consent order calls for Battlefield to clear surface debris from the dump, excavate to the level of a three-foot cap of earth it put there in the past, add clean fill, then compact, grade and seed it, MacIsaac said.
"We are just waiting on the county to approve our closure plan, and when we get the formal approval, we'll go ahead and start work, weather permitting," Ghadban said.