New suit filed against Stonefield developer

The Shops at Stonefield, the largest development in Albemarle County's history. Photo: Jack Looney The Shops at Stonefield, the largest development in Albemarle County’s history. Photo: Jack Looney

Only days after The Shops at Stonefield developer and Charlottesville City Council came to an agreement that ended a long legal dispute over stormwater management, a new lawsuit has been filed in the Albemarle County Circuit Court that may halt construction of the shopping center’s second phase.

According to a press release from Monday, March 25, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Central Virginia, Inc. and a subsidiary of Great Eastern Management Company, which owns Seminole Square Shopping Center, are suing Stonefield developer Edens as well as Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. The plaintiffs claim that their properties, located within city limits across the street from Stonefield, will be “unlawfully inundated by millions of gallons of stormwater.”

At more than 1 million square feet of restaurants, shops, residential space, and a movie theater, The Shops at Stonefield is the largest development in Albemarle County history. The city issued a citation last June after Edens placed a 72″ pipe underneath U.S. 29 as part of its stormwater management plan. Great Eastern Management argued that the pipe would unfairly dump water on its property and cause flooding.

As part of the recently announced settlement of that argument, Edens posted a $150,000 bond to cover the next five years’ worth of potential stormwater damage. But according to the press release, the plaintiffs claim that the stormwater will “flood and damage Sequel and Pepsi’s private property at 50 times the frequency of current conditions.” It also says that the development plan fails to meet state requirements of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program, the Charlottesville City Code, the Albemarle County Code, and other Virginia law. Both the county and city are named in the suit, the press release says, because they both misapplied stormwater regulations to the project.

The two complainants seek a permanent injunction barring Edens from allowing water to pass onto their property.