Oakboro, Red Cross involved in lawsuits with development group

Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Two lawsuits regarding development properties in the Oakboro and Red Cross areas involve one local land development group

Burleson Development Group, LLC, owned by former Stanly County Board of Commissioners Chairman Joseph Burleson, has sued the town of Red Cross, along with Davis Enterprises. The suit was filed May 22 of this year and the parties settled the suit June 24, with Red Cross ordered to pay $3,100.95 in attorney’s fees. (Editor’s Note: The previous paragraph was edited to include the date of the suit’s filing and the resolution).

Davis Enterprises owns a 20-acre tract of land, according to the suit, while Burleson Development has a 36-acre tract of land, both in Red Cross.

The suit alleges the Red Cross Town Council did not meet the minimum time for published notice of a public hearing for the March 13 meeting in which the council increased minimum lot sizes to 100,000 square feet.

It also alleges Council violated North Carolina General Statute 160D-605 by not approving a statement which states the text amendment “was consistent or inconsistent with an adopted comprehensive or land-use plan.”

The suit further states minutes from the meeting do not indicate whether the council acted on a recommendation from its planning board.

Burleson’s suit also alleges the town’s two-year development moratorium, passed April 10 of this year, “deprives plaintiffs of the beneficial use of their land for at least two years.” It also alleges proper published notice did not go out for the moratorium for not less than days before the hearing.

The lawsuit refers to N.C.G.S 160D-170(a) which states “local governments may adopt temporary moratoria on any development approval required by law, except for the purpose of developing and adopting new or amended plans or development regulations governing residential uses.”

The suit states the two-year duration is “unreasonable” and, along with the text amendment, was void ab initio, which means void from the beginning. The plaintiffs also want the text amendment and moratorium declared “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable,” and are seeking relief from attorneys’ fees and costs.

Burleson’s company has also been sued by the town of Oakboro regarding equipment costs.

The lawsuit in which Burleson Development is a defendant refers to an agreement between Oakboro and the company regarding the Forrest Creek Subdivision.

In that agreement, Burleson was to pay $16,679.90 for two sewer grinder pumps, which due to a price increase on purchase actually cost $16,895.

The other term of the agreement, according to the suit, said Burleson Development was to deliver a portable generator to the town. When the company could not find a generator to purchase, Burleson agreed to reimburse the town for it.

Oakboro purchased a generator from Generator Services, Inc., for $70,181.44 plus $3,557.90 to have it installed. The town, according to the suit, has sent letters to Burleson Development and spoken with Burleson regarding reimbursement.

The suit states the town is looking for a declaratory judgment against the defendants, including damages.

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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