Release from High Country W.A.T.C.H.
The all-volunteer members of High Country W.A.T.C.H. are pleased to learn that Randall and Carolyn Henion have decided to appeal a Superior Court order that, if left unchallenged, would allow Tennessee-based Maymead Materials, Inc. to construct and operate an asphalt plant on the 421 Scenic Byway outside Boone using a HILU permit that was revoked by Watauga County in 2015.
HC Watch believes that the Superior Court’s ruling contains fundamental legal errors and that the Henions have solid legal grounds to appeal this ruling to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. This ruling goes against a century of common law vested rights jurisprudence in North Carolina by granting common law vested rights to two corporate entities that were neither the holder of the HILU permit issued by the County nor the owners of the land covered by the permit. NO North Carolina case has ever found common law vested rights for a party that was not either the permittee and/or the landowner – until the Superior Court’s Order upholding the Board of Adjustment’s (BOA’s) flawed ruling that JW Hampton Company and Maymead have common law vested right in a Watauga County HILU permit issued to another individual for a project on land he owned.
Additionally, the Superior Court Order fails to utilize the correct standard of review, finds facts not found by the BOA, and draws inferences from the evidence that the BOA did not rely on in its decision. In a proceeding of this nature, the Superior Court sits in an appellate capacity, not as the trier of fact, and as such, the Superior Court may not make additional factual findings not found by the BOA nor draw inferences from the evidence that the BOA did not rely on. Numerous cases have been overturned on appeal in North Carolina appellate courts for this exact reason.
Members of High Country WATCH have been watching this case closely since 2015, when Watauga County revoked Johnny Hampton’s 2011 HILU permit for, amongst other reasons, lack of progress. Local citizens who want to help can contribute to the legal fund set up for this case: https://www.gofundme.com/stopdeepgapasphalt.
About High Country WATCH:
High Country WATCH (Wataugans Against Toxins Close to Home) was formed by a group of concerned Watauga County residents who are actively advocating for responsible economic development in Watauga County. High Country WATCH, a non-partisan, non-profit chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), is composed entirely of volunteers. You can find out more about High Country WATCH at its website: www.highcountrywatch.com. Follow High Country WATCH on Facebook and on Twitter: @H_C_WATCH.