Lake Holiday News has been on top of this story.
Vogel chose to interfere in an active court case. Her interference was prompted by the request of 1 side, not all sides, and was accompanied by strong and repeated requests by plaintiffs that she abandon her ill-advised plan. Those facts don’t square at all with her own statement that she is not trying to “mess up” the plaintiffs’ position in an active case. That is exactly what her legislation is all about: messing up 1 side for the benefit of the other, which just happens to be that of a big developer. - Lake Holiday NewsI do everyone a disservice to try to get into the nasty details myself considering the excellent coverage and level of detail available on Lake Holiday News, so I encourage people to go read the full story there.
That being said, it is undeniably inappropriate for a state Senator to involve herself in an active lawsuit by pushing legislation specifically aimed to change the outcome of that lawsuit. It goes beyond an appearance of corruption to de facto corruption itself when you consider the personal relationships that lead to the legislation. (See, I told you to go read the original post!)
We in Loudoun would do well to pay attention to both the lawsuit and the legislation. The bill in question appears to shift strength from individual property owners to HOAs, and especially HOAs that are still under the control of the original developer by introducing technical changes to how HOAs charters can be challenged as developments are built out in "phases." Considering the collapse of the housing bubble, most developments in Loudoun will have unfinished "phases" for years, and it seems that this legislation ensure that unfinished phases will give the developer explicit and exclusive judicial remedies against legal action on the part of homeowners going foward.
Considering past developer/owner conflicts in Lansdowne, this bill ensures that the only property rights that matter are large property owners' rights. If you do not own an entire develpoment, but instead only own - say - a house in an "unfinished" development, then your voice should be muted and your rights to redress in our Courts should be reduced.
It can only be hoped that the voters remember this action on behalf of a special interest when Sen. Vogel is up for re-election.