For the entirety of our time here, and for many years before, there has always been a meadow on the back 2 acres of our 6-acre property. A meadow protected by tree-lined streams on two sides, with a country lane in front, and next door to an 18th century farm. The meadow avoids the worst of the winter winds and summer sun. It is home to countless species of native plants and animals, and has not been seriously disturbed for hundreds of years. The meadow is home to protected and endangered species – like the Monarch butterfly.
Monarchs are particularly unique in that, for generations they remember their birth places and continue to return to those same places – despite migratory patterns that take them from Mexico to Canada and back again. The meadow not only hosts Monarchs, but other animals and plants. It is a peaceful home for deer and other forest creatures, set apart from the surrounding development…an integrated eco-system.
Farmington on the Green Homeowner’s Association demanded that the meadow be destroyed and turned into a lawn, despite having no legal basis to make that demand. The meadow pre-exists the neighborhood, and is accepted and strongly encouraged by the local community as a great contribution to the ecosystem.
We fought fiercely to protect our property rights, and the meadow that the HOA inexplicably wants gone. The HOA board freerode on a blanket legal insurance policy, and forced us to either litigate or forfeit our property rights… to the tune of $100,000. The legal answers here have always been clearly in favor of the meadow. The HOA’s blatant abuse of power only served to strengthen our resolve.
After 4/12 years of back and forth, including about 4 years of a lawsuit filed with Loudoun County Court, the HOA withdrew their violation the day before the trial and then claimed that because they withdrew the violation, that they had won and therefore we should pay their legal fees. The judge had none of that and told them they had to agree to not put any further violations against our property under the current covenants. Their insurance company agreed to pay what we asked for in legal fees, but not all of the fees we incurred. They are now trying to change the covenants so they can issue another violation under new ones. Why?
Here are some links that may be of interest:
Washington Post article – this incorrectly claims the judge dismissed the case – he didn’t it was awarded in our favor.
Purcellville Gazette article – ironic because one of the main protagonists on the HOA is a reporter there! Their website has been down for months, but this was the article.
Blue Ridge Leader – they were the first to pick up the story and ran it on their front page. They also came to the trial and we appreciate their support.