From Virginia Bridges
A judge this afternoon denied a request to prohibit Durham County from taking action on a pending controversial subdivision until a related lawsuit is resolved.
Superior Court Judge G. Wayne Abernathy cited the state constitution that separates legislative, executive and judicial powers and a belief that county action would not impair the case for the neighbors who filed the lawsuit.
Dhamian Blue argued that if the county approved a pending request to provide wastewater services to 751 South and Southern Durham Development paid $2 million in required capital recovery charges, it would allow the developer to argue that they have a vested right to move forward with the development because they have invested a significant amount in the project. Blue asked the judge to prevent the county from entering into any agreement with developers until the resolution of the case, which is set to go to trial on Nov. 28.
Bryan Wardell, who was represented the county, argued that the state constitution separates legislative and judicial powers, and the judge lacks authority to prevent elected officials from making policy decisions.
Southern Durham is essentially asking whether the development can hook up to the county’s wastewater services, he said. “This is a political issue,” Wardell argued. “This court does not have the jurisdiction or the authority to even entertain this motion.”
Last month, the City Council decided to take no action on Southern Durham Development’s request for connection to the city’s water and sewer systems, with or without annexation into the city until a pending lawsuit was resolved.
The lawsuit, which is set for trial Nov. 28, contends that the neighbors’ protest petition against the site’s re-zoning was improperly ruled invalid
Earlier this month, landscape architect Dan Jewell requested on behalf of Southern Durham Development for the county to set aside wastewater treatment capacity at its plant on N.C. 55 in southern Durham County.
Commissioners are expected to discuss and possibly vote on the request tonight.