Town of Red Cross sued by local contractors regarding lot size amendment, moratorium

Published 9:39 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

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A lawsuit filed at the Stanly County Courthouse alleges improprieties regarding the Red Cross Town Council and its recent decision regarding lot sizes and a housing development moratorium.

Filed Monday by the law office of Scarbrough, Scarbrough and Trilling, LLC, the plaintiffs, Davis Enterprise, LLC and Burleson Development Group, LLC, own land in Red Cross. Davis owns a 20-acre tract of land at the intersection of Ridgecrest and Jacob roads, while Burleson Development owns land on Big Lick Road.

The suit alleges the council did not file a legal notice of a public hearing regarding a text amendment to change the minimum lot size from 40,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet in a timely fashion.

North Carolina General Statute 160D-601 states public notice of a hearing must be made “not less than 10 days before the date scheduled for the hearing.”

According to Stanly News & Press records, the notice for the public hearing of March 13 ran in the March 5 and 7 print editions.

The suit alleges the Town Council violated N.C.G.S. 160D-605 “by failing to approve a statement describing whether its action was consistent or inconsistent with an adopted comprehensive land use plan. There is also no indication in the minutes that the Town was aware of and considered a recommendation from the planning board and any relevant portions of an adopted comprehensive or land use plan.”

Records also show notice for an April 13 public hearing regarding a subdivision moratorium ran in the April 2 and 4 print editions of The Stanly News & Press.

However, at the May 9 meeting of the town council, board members voted to conduct another public hearing on the moratorium at the June meeting.

Regarding the moratorium, the lawsuit claims the reason for it was to “give Town Council time to review the current Land Use Development Plan and to ensure infrastructures is in place.”

The lawsuit further claims the council violated N.C.G.S. 160D-170(a) in looking into a moratorium, saying the statute provides the moratorium’s duration “shall be reasonable in light of the specific conditions.”

Claims for the lawsuit include voiding the text amendment, asking for a finding of it being “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable,” looking for relief for attorney’s fees and costs.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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