Attorney: Remainder of Lawsuit Challenging Boone’s Condemnation for Intake Dismissed

Published Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 3:24 pm

By Jesse Wood

According to Boone attorney Allison Meade, the Cooper family lawsuit with the Town of Boone regarding the town’s condemnation of property for its water intake project along the South Fork of the New River will be dismissed.

Town Manager John Ward forwarded an email received from Meade to Mayor Rennie Brantz and council members yesterday. High Country Press obtained the email from Ward on Thursday.

“I am pleased to inform you that the court has determined to grant the Town’s motion for summary judgment with respect to the Ashe County case brought by the Coopers to challenge the condemnation. This means that what remains of their case will now be dismissed,” Meade wrote.

To which, Town Manager John Ward responded, “Great news! Thanks for all the hard work on this one! I’ll reach out to USDA to provide them with an update.”

In October, attorney Robert Brinson with High Point-firm Roberson Haworth and Reese, PLLC filed a civil action on behalf of the Cooper family – Ronald and Linda Cooper and Deveta Cooper – who had a 1.81-acre parcel condemned by the Town of Boone in September.

The Coopers had previously filed a complaint in court in June seeking a permanent injunction against the proposed condemnation and also demanding a required public hearing for the condemnation of qualifying land under the voluntary farmland preservation program.

The former complaint noted that the Coopers were seeking a judgement that declares prior closed-session meetings and actions to condemn the property violated the state’s open meeting laws; dismisses the condemnation filings of the Cooper property and others on Sept. 16, 2015; lawyer/court fees; and more.

The public hearing was eventually held [before the condemnation] by the Watauga County Agricultural Advisory Board, which recommended that the Town of Boone “reconsider, reevaluate or discontinue the proposed action.”

This recommendation, though, didn’t sway the Town of Boone – as it continues to move forward with the project.

Representatives for the Cooper family couldn’t be reached at press time as to whether or not an appeal is in order.

For previous stories and more background on this matter, click here.  

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