Loudoun County government has issued a Notice of Violation of the county’s zoning ordinance to the Trump National Golf Course at Lowes Island in Sterling, after a forested area along the Potomac River was clear-cut without a permit.
According to the county, on Feb. 28, county officials inspected the golf course property and found about 31,000 square feet—just under three-quarters of an acre—had been altered, its trees cut down inside a floodplain without first getting county permits, violating three county zoning ordinances.
The county has also given the course directions of what it must do to correct the situation. In the case of Trump National Golf Course, that includes stopping all development activities until they have gone through all necessary applications and won the appropriate approvals; obtain and comply with a floodplain alteration application; and obtain and comply with a zoning permit.
The property owner has the option to appeal the county’s Notice of Violation to the Board of Zoning Appeals within 30 days, during which time any enforcement actions are put on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.
If the corrective actions are not taken, the county says it will fine the owners $200. After that, county officials will inspect the property every ten days, adding another $500 each time its inspectors find it is still in violation.
Altering land in a floodplain can impact properties nearby or downstream. In the case of Trump National Golf Course, the trees cut from the property were reportedly dumped in the Potomac River.
The golf course is spared stricter regulation because a previous Board of Supervisors chose not to implement the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act locally, after a previous incident in 2010 in which hundreds of trees were removed from the golf course property.