Friday, May 27, 2022

Suit claims Leland restricted property rights in proposed West Gate development

Developers aimed to build 101 single family lots on approximately 43 acres east of Leland's West Gate Nature Park, but the town's Technical Review Committee allegedly would not move forward unless owners gave up property for a public multi-use path.

Owners of WG TRACT 5 and 6, located east of the West Gate Nature Park, are suing Leland for allegedly restricting their property rights by requiring property be set aside for public use. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Town of Leland)
Owners of WG TRACT 5 and 6, located east of the West Gate Nature Park, are suing Leland for allegedly restricting their property rights by requiring property be set aside for public use. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Town of Leland)

LELAND — Property owners of approximately 43 acres of undeveloped land east of the West Gate Nature Park are suing the town for allegedly interfering with their property rights.

In November 2018, property owners of limited liability companies WG TRACT 5 and WG TRACT 6 submitted plans to Leland’s Technical Review Committee. The following spring, they filed suit.

Leland filed its response to the suit on June 17. The town’s spokesperson said the town’s position is stated within this filing. The filing claims the town fairly and appropriately exercised its police power in its actions. In the legal response, Leland also claims the property owner’s claims are not ripe for review.

According to the suit, filed on April 11, the town informed the property owners that it would not grant approval of the subdivision unless plans showed property to be set aside for its planned West Gate Drive Extension project. Leland does not keep its Technical Review Committee documents online and it does not appear the project made it past the committee.

Plans included 101 single-family lots to be subdivided within the two multi-family tracts into a subdivision to be called Taravale. Both LLCs are registered under Nathan Sanders, according to the North Carolina Secretary of State.

Owners of the property allege Leland interfered with their property rights by requiring land be set aside to accommodate a multi-use trail, as outlined in the 2014 West Gate Nature Park Master Plan. The town also cited the 2013 Collector Street Plan to require that property be set aside and dedicated for a future public purpose, the suit alleges, in order to control and minimize the town’s acquisition costs. According to the suit, the town has made no effort, nor does it have the funds set aside, to properly acquire property within the tracts for this purpose.

Owners assert they are owed at least $25,000, alleging the town’s requirement to set aside property for future public use decreased the fair market value of the property.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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