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Templeton Properties, Town of Boone Back in Watauga Superior Court For Denial of State Farm Medical Clinic

By Jesse Wood

June 27, 2013. Monday marked another day in court for Templeton Properties as it fights another denial of the proposed medical clinic in Boone by the Boone Board of Adjustment (BOA).

This is the third time Templeton Properties’ case against the Town of Boone has been heard in Watauga County Superior Court, which stems from the latest BOA denial of a Special Use Permit needed for the clinic that occurred last October.  

Immediately following the BOA ruling last fall and referring to the nearly seven-year struggle to build a medical clinic on State Farm Road in Boone, Mark Templeton said, “We’re back at square one.”

The Boone Board of Adjustment initially denied the Special Use Permit in 2007. In two separate previous rulings, the Watauga County Superior Court has ruled both in favor of the Town of Boone and in favor of Templeton Properties, and both parties successfully appealed to the N.C. Court of Appeals, sending Templeton Properties back before the BOA in 2010 and 2012.

Following orders from the N.C. Court of Appeals, the BOA – at last fall’s proceedings – based its findings of fact solely upon testimony and evidence from the original April and May 2007 hearings.

In 2010, the N.C. Court of Appeals cited that Templeton’s counsel didn’t receive a “fair trial” because residents – including Mayor Loretta Clawson who has a house nearby the location of the proposed medical clinic – opposing the clinic received a “second chance” to speak and present evidence while Templeton’s counsel didn’t.

Templeton Properties applied for the Special Use Permit in March 2007, and a month later, the Boone Town Council adjusted 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.

In a recent filing of a petition for writ of certiorari, Templeton’s counsel, which is di Santi Watson Capau &Wilson, stated that “two errors “were made when the BOA concluded that the medical clinic was not in harmony with the surrounding area.

The document stated that ruling is in conflict with the town’s Unified Development Ordinance because “medical clinics are in harmony with other uses in R-1 districts.” The second “error” states that the ruling was limiting in considering the harmony with the single-family residences behind the property on VFW Drive for the proposed medical clinic. Those “residences don’t front State Farm Road,” the Petition for Writ of Certiorari states, as the medical clinic would if approved and finally constructed. .

Speaking this Thursday, Mark Templeton said he expected a ruling to occur next week or possibly in two weeks.

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