Judge denies county’s motion to dismiss civil complaint against Carteret commissioners over May rezoning decision

In a session of civil superior court held Monday at the county courthouse in Beaufort, pictured in this stock photo, Superior Court Judge Kent Harrell denied a motion to dismiss a civil complaint against the Carteret County Board of Commissioners over a rezoning decision in May. (News-Times photo)

BEAUFORT — A civil complaint against the Carteret County Board of Commissioners is still active after a judge denied a motion to dismiss the case and gave the plaintiffs time to amend their filling to include additional defendants.

The motion to dismiss was heard by Superior Court Judge Kent Harrell during Monday’s session of civil superior court held at the county courthouse in Beaufort. According to attorney George Oliver, who is representing the plaintiffs, Judge Harrell informed the parties involved he denied the motion and is giving the plaintiffs 30 days to add The Cullipher Group and Dirt2Dreams LLC as defendants.

As of Wednesday, the judge’s order had not yet been entered on the record, Mr. Oliver noted.  

The complaint, which was initially filed in Carteret County Superior Court June 22, centers on a decision made by commissioners in May to rezone 156 acres of undeveloped land off Highway 58 near Peletier to the recreational camper park (RCP) district for development of a proposed RV park. The project is being carried out by developer/land owner Dirt2Dreams LLC with engineering help from The Cullipher Group. 

The plaintiffs – Barry and Cathey Blackburn, along with Gilbert and Pam Taylor, James and Rebecca Dorris and William and Lou Singleton – live near the rezoned property and claim the change will cause them to “suffer imminent injury through loss of character of the particular neighborhood,” according to the filling.

The plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction essentially overturning the commissioners’ decision.

Carteret County and the board of commissioners were the only two defendants named in the initial filling. In their motion to dismiss, filed Aug. 23 after the courts granted the defendants a month extension to respond, the county said the complaint should be dismissed because it didn’t include the rezoning applicant The Cullipher Group or property owner Dirt2Dreams as defendants.

County attorney Rob Wheatly and Wake Forest-based attorney Sonny Haynes, who is representing the county and board of commissioners in this case, did not respond to the News-Times requests for comment on the matter.

Commissioner Jimmy Farrington is a part-owner of developer Dirt2Dreams. He recused himself from the May vote to approve the rezoning.

 

Note: This article was updated at 11:56 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, to correct a typo.

 

Contact Elise Clouser at elise@thenewstimes.com; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

(3) comments

drewski

"Commissioner Jimmy" likely a typo but certainly sounds overly familiar. Seems all the developments going on around the county have some connection to the Cullipher group?

noitall

Commissioner Jimmy Farrington is a part-owner of developer Dirt2Dreams. He recused himself from the May vote to approve the rezoning. Who are the other owners. Culpeper LLC or just a friend of the court. This smells. WHO IS THE MANAGING PARTNER OF CULPEPPER LLC? WHO ARE THESE GUYS///

David Collins

Culpepper is just a catchy name dreamed up to invoke visions of somewhere away . Same thing shell companies do to disguise the real beneficial owners , just a local version . The LLC limits any liability to the assets of the shell , which are usually little to none . Nickels and dimes , so to speak .

Does not matter who they are unless one wants to shed light on the powers that be but doubt if anyone really cares and certainly will not change anything .

Recused from the vote is just a legal maneuver to give plausible deniability . They do it all the time and usually works unless…… . Quite sure there were conversations leading up to all this and will be more .

The old saying “ don’t have to be a weatherman to see which direction the wind is blowing “ and “ might makes right “ could fall into play here . Quite easily .

Welcome to the discussion.

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