Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Landowner wins ruling to stall utility’s effort to take land

RUTHERFORDTON A judge dismissed – for now – a condemnation proceeding to run a power line through a Rutherford County wilderness area.

The ruling on Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Hugh Lewis means Rutherford Electric Membership Corp. will have to refile petitions to condemn a 100-foot corridor through the Box Creek Wilderness and a second tract to its north.

Box Creek owner Tim Sweeney, a Cary video game developer, has fought the condemnation. The case was set for trial this week.

Lewis, instead, approved Sweeney’s motion to dismiss because Box Creek lies in two counties. Rutherford County’s court clerk had no authority to assign a panel to assess the fair market value of the corridor in both counties, the judge ruled.

Lewis refused a motion by Rutherford Electric’s attorneys to proceed with the trial and deal with the land’s value later. The trial would focus on whether the cooperative acted arbitrarily and capriciously in condemning the land.

Tuesday’s ruling means Rutherford likely will have to start “at the beginning,” in Lewis’ words, and refile new condemnation proceedings against Sweeney in Rutherford and McDowell counties.

For his part, Sweeney said Tuesday he’s willing to “do what it takes to exhaust all legal remedies” to protect his land. The wilderness harbors some of North Carolina’s rarest plant communities.

Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com