Published: Nov 10, 2012 04:35 PM
Modified: Nov 10, 2012 04:35 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos said staff members are gathering records related to the Town Councils Charterwood approval but declined to comment on a recent court filing.
A group of neighbors filed the petition Oct. 23 in Orange County District Court. It asks the court to reverse the Town Councils rezoning and special-use permit for the 9.3-acre development off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The petition, which names developer WCA Partners LLC as a respondent, asks the town to provide all records related to the Sept. 24 decision within 30 days.
The petitioners are also asking that the town pay their attorneys fees, because the town abused its discretion and acted outside the scope of its legal authority in approving the SUP, the petition states.
Attorney Robin Currin said the rezoning and permit should not have been approved for procedural reasons. A civil lawsuit is possible, she said.
At issue is whether the town violated its land-use rules by letting the project move forward less than a year after the rezoning failed. The council voted in January but did not meet the supermajority vote required when neighbors file a valid protest petition. Developer Bill Christian submitted a revised application for the mixed-use project in March after redrawing the property lines. The recombined site thwarted a second protest petition.
The court filing claims the March application was for a new project and should have been delayed. Town staff said the waiting period doesnt apply, because the first rezoning didnt receive enough votes to be either approved or denied, which means the council did not act.
Currin represents five Northwood V residents who live next to the proposed 278,000-square-foot commercial and residential development. The neighbors argue the project would harm the value and use and enjoyment of [their] properties because of increased traffic, noise, light, stormwater runoff and other environmental impacts; more smoke and pollution from the Chapel Hill Fire Departments Training Station; and loss of privacy and aesthetics.