La­farge case still in dis­cov­ery phase

The Covington News - - Local News - By Rachel Oswald

More than a year af­ter La­farge Ag­gre­gates filed a law­suit against the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers over its de­ci­sion to deny the com­pany’s pe­ti­tion to build an as­phalt plant near Ox­ford, lit­tle progress in the case has been made.

“We’re just in pro­ce­dural skir­mishes,” said at­tor­ney Wayne Phears who rep­re­sents the Paris-based build­ing ma­te­ri­als com­pany. “ We’ve barely even started.”

In its suit, La­farge is seek­ing a writ of man­damus to force the BOC to grant La­farge’s orig­i­nal pe­ti­tion for a con­di­tional use per­mit to build a sec­ond as­phalt plant on 15 acres of land in Dis­trict 4.

Phears said the case still re­mains in the pe­riod of dis­cov­ery — when both sides can seek in­for­ma­tion from the other side to bol­ster their own case. While the BOC has filed a mo­tion for sum- mary judg­ment with the New­ton County Su­pe­rior Court, which if granted would mean that a judge would rule on the case, not a jury, Phears said he didn’t ex­pect any ac­tion on the case to be taken any time soon.

A hear­ing date on the county’s mo­tion for sum­mary judg­ment has not yet been set Phears said.

The La­farge pe­ti­tion faced a good deal of op­po­si­tion by res­i­dents of Ox­ford and Dis­trict 4 when it came be­fore the BOC last Jan­uary.

In vot­ing to deny the build­ing of the as­phalt plant, the BOC sited land use in­com­pat­i­bil­ity with nearby private res­i­dences, traf­fic con­cerns and a neg­a­tive im­pact to the en­vi­ron­ment.

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