McLean American Legion Post worries county might shut them down

Members of a Northern Virginia military veterans club are worried that their post could be shut down after noise complaints.

The American Legion Post 270 in McLean has been around since 1949, but in recent years, neighbors complain that on some nights, the parties are too loud and last too long - and now the county's board of zoning is getting involved.

The American Legion Post in McLean has been a place for veterans to gather an fundraise since 1949.

"One of our members is a former secretary of defense, one of our members was commanding general of the NATO forces in Afghanistan for four years," said American Legion Post 270 Commander Bob Molepske.

Molepske says the place can be rented by his members to host events.

"We had two family related events where a member had a wedding reception. A member and his guests, his family guest - that's not a commercial or private party. We had another wedding celebration and got a notice of violation from the county," Molepske said.

Molepske says complaints started a couple of years ago.

Some neighbors tell FOX 5 that they can hear music and other loud noise well after midnight.

The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals has now found the post to be in violation.

They sent FOX 5 a statement regarding the situation:

If they apply for a special permit, the legion can legally continue to host these private for-profit events. County inspectors have repeatedly found the Legion to be hosting these events that don't involve any of their members.

The veterans dispute the board's claim.

"Our contention is no. it may or may not be a private party but it is a use of our club for the purpose for what it's intended. For members and their guests only," Molepske said.

The veterans worry that, without the revenue, they could be forced to shut the facility down.

"Without the events we would probably have to close down in five years and we would not be able to send boys to Boys State, or support the Rotary Club - we would have to cut down to a bare minimum," he said. "It's something you cannot…you cannot put a price tag on when you sit down and you know you're talking to somebody who's had the same experience."

A meeting to address the situation is slated for Feb. 27.

Both sides say they plan to be there.