Lafarge case still in discovery phase
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.