By Jesse Wood
Dec. 22, 2014. After seven years and three rounds in Watauga County Superior Court and N.C. Court of Appeals, the N.C. Supreme Court will settle the lawsuit between Templeton Properties and the Town of Boone, according to an order handed down late last week.
The lawsuit stems from when Boone Board of Adjustment (BOA) denied Templeton Properties a special use permit for a 10,010-square-foot medical clinic on State Farm Road in Boone. A month after applying for the special use permit in March 2007, the Boone Town Council modified the Unified Development Ordinance to prohibit new medical facilities in R-1 zoned areas. Shortly thereafter, the BOA voted to deny the permit because it wasn’t in “harmony of the surrounding neighborhood” and was not compatible with the town’s comprehensive plan.
The BOA also denied the special use permit in 2010 and 2012, after the N.C. Court of Appeals remanded the matter back to the local board. A petition by Templeton Properties’ counsel last year stated that errors were made when the BOA concluded that the medical clinic was not in harmony with the surrounding area.
Days after the N.C. Court of Appeals sided with the Town of Boone in June of this year, Templeton Properties sought a discretionary review of this lawsuit from the N.C. Supreme Court. This was granted on Thursday of last week, so each side will submit briefings to be reviewed by the judges of the N.C. Supreme Court. It’s possible that oral arguments will be heard as well. (Justices Robert Hunter Jr. and Barbara Jackson have recused themselves from the case, according to the court order, which didn’t denote a reason as to way.)
While not commenting on the merits of the case, Anthony Fox, an attorney with Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein, which is representing the Town of Boone, said any decision is still several months away. Representatives with di Santi Watson Capua & Wilson of Boone, which is representing Templeton Properties, couldn’t be reached on Monday.