Virginia officials rule Trump golf club violated zoning laws

Virginia officials rule Trump golf club violated zoning laws
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The Trump National Golf Club in northern Virginia was slapped Wednesday with zoning violations after Loudoun County officials determined the property improperly removed trees from a designated floodplain.

The county announced that the Trump Organization property could face hundreds of dollars in fines if it does not address local zoning violations that occurred when the owners cut down trees on the site situated near the Potomac River.

County officials determined following a Feb. 28 inspection of the property that the club had cut and removed trees in a 31,000-square-foot plot of land located in a floodplain, and did so without a permit.

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The infractions resulted in three separate violations, Loudoun County officials said, two of which carry a potential fine.

The golf club must cease all developmental activities on the floodplain, retroactively submit its plans for approval and obtain proper zoning permits once local officials conduct an assessment of the land.

The Trump Organization has 30 days to appeal the violations or correct them. After that time, if no appeal is filed, the county will conduct another inspection and impose a total fine of up to $400.

The county said Wednesday it will continue to inspect the property in 10-day increments following the appeal date, and will assess additional $500 fines every 10 days for each infraction that persists.

The Virginia golf club's owner did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did the Trump Organization.

Trump National Golf Club is located in Potomac Falls, Va., and is located along the bank of the Potomac River.

The Washington Post first reported in late February that Steven McKone of the Maryland-based Calleva River School noticed as he kayaked by the property that tree trunks and branches had littered a portion of the waterway.

The trees could lead to dangerous conditions for boaters and could negatively affect wildlife.

Trump purchased the Potomac Falls property in 2009. The sprawling property includes two 18-hole golf courses, a tennis facility and a banquet hall. Trump has visited the property numerous times since taking office.

The Post reported that the Trump Organization previously removed hundreds of trees from the site during renovations in 2010. The effort was intended in part to clean up the riverbank, officials said, but raised concerns among environmental advocates.