Leesburg Council Rejects Exeter Dam Settlement Offer

The Town Council has rejected another settlement offer from one of its largest HOAs.

The Exeter Homeowner’s Association filed a lawsuit against the town last year to establish ownership of a stormwater management dam on the HOA’s property. What neither party is disputing is the location of the dam, with both sides affirming it falls on HOA property. However, the residents contend that the deed of easement and the plat recorded by the town and HOA in 1990 put the onus for any repairs or enhancements to the dam on the town’s shoulders.

The HOA represents 829 homes on 215 acres between the Leesburg Bypass and Battlefield Parkway. Efforts to establish ownership of the dam have been ongoing for three years, started by a letter to the HOA from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in August 2014. The letter noted that the Exeter dam had been cited as a high-hazard dam and needed to be brought into compliance with state regulations. An engineer hired by the HOA in early 2015 to determine the price tag for bringing the dam into compliance was just under $1 million. A town staff report presented to the Town Council also noted annual maintenance costs of $21,000, in addition to $60,000 in costs every six years to prepare studies required by the state.

Town Council members met in closed session last week to consider the HOA’s latest settlement offer—its third. The details were not discussed publicly, but this one, too, was swiftly rejected.

According to Town Attorney Barbara Notar, no court dates have yet been scheduled.

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