Bd. of Sup’rs of Fairfax Cty. v. Cohn (P)

Code § 15.2-2307(D)’s references to “building” and “structure” concern the edifices themselves, not their uses, and only protects the building or structure itself from removal. The circuit court erred in holding that § 15.2-2307(D) creates a vested right to an originally illegal use of a building or structure, after the owner has paid taxes to the locality for that building or structure for 15 years or more.

The Board of Zoning Appeals didn’t try to have the owners’ garage or garden House removed or declared illegal. The purported violation concerned only the use of those structures as dwellings. Code § 15.2-2307(D)(ii) doesn’t protect that use for the properties in question and, therefore, doesn’t prevent the county from requiring the owners to cease their illegal use of the structures as dwelling units and to remove the kitchens and other accoutrements that support that illegal use.

Reversed and final judgment.

Bd. of Sup’rs of Fairfax Cty. v. Cohn (P), No. 171483, Dec. 13, 2018. SCV (Goodwyn) from Fairfax (Mann).

Categories: Opinions, Published, Supreme Court of Virginia

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