Land sales challenge basis for vested rights, some argue

When the 3,500-acre Legasus development won exemptions from Jackson County’s development regulations two years ago, it raised the hackles of residents in the Tuckasegee community who claimed the hard-fought growth protections they ardently supported had failed when needed the most.

Now the disgruntled residents have raised the rallying cry again, this time contending that the mega development should be stripped of its vested rights after selling off portions of the land, whether through foreclosure or a voluntary move to raise cash and pay off debt.

“There are so many questions that have come up recently with foreclosures and land sales that totally change the dynamics of what the county granted Legasus vested rights for,” said Thomas Crowe, a member of the United Neighbors of Tuckaseigee.

Vested rights are an exemption intended to protect developers caught mid-stream by new ordinances. When Jackson’s new ordinances came along two years ago, Legasus argued they’d already spent a great deal designing a master plan and marketing the development to prospective buyers and should be allowed to proceed. Jackson County ultimately awarded vested rights to every developer that applied for them.

The Legasus development once called for 1,800 lots on 3,500 acres between Tuckasegee and Glenville spanning five separate tracts. With lot sales falling short of expectations, the company has had to sell off portions — including part of the proposed golf course. It is unclear whether new property owners will join forces with Legasus to carry out the existing development plan or will do their own thing.

“The question arises exactly what kind of rights do the new owners have? Can they come in under the auspices of the vested rights granted to Legasus initially?” Crowe asked. “We want to be on the front end of this new situation.”

A community forum on the issue of vested rights will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, and will aim to answer these questions. Attorney DJ Gerken with the Southern Environmental Law Center will give a presentation and lead the discussion. The forum has been organized by the Western North Carolina Alliance and the United Neighbors of Tuckasegee.

“Those of us in the community as well as the county political leaders need to come up to speed on the whole issue of vested rights because of all the high-end developments here in Jackson County and in particular the Legasus development,” Crowe said.

Tuckasegee quarry permit denied

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer

Tuckasegee community members are at ease now that the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources denied a quarry permit to Carolina Boulder and Stone.

Decision expected soon on quarry permit

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer

Tuckasegee community members will learn next week if a rock quarry gets state approval to be placed in their neighborhood.

Swain leaders tout river access, horse ring upgrades

Not that many years ago, anglers and boaters wanting to gain access to the Tuckasegee River in Swain County essentially had to bushwhack their way to the water.

River group considers car removal from Tuck

A fledgling effort now under way could lead to the cleanup of junked cars lining the banks of the Tuckasegee River.

Quarry opponents urge state to deny permit

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

About 200 concerned citizens packed into a Jackson County courtroom to show their opposition to a proposed rock quarry to be located in the Tuckasegee community.

State mining specialists from the N.C. Department of Natural Resources heard from 25 speakers at the hearing, each one detailing their reasons for wanting the state to deny the rock quarry its application for an operating permit.

Quarry opponents speak out at public hearing

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

 

About two hundred concerned citizens packed into a Jackson County courtroom Tuesday night to show their opposition to a proposed rock quarry to be located in the Tuckasegee community.

Quarry opponents get county support

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

The grassroots group United Neighbors of Tuckasegee celebrated another victory in the battle to keep a rock quarry from locating in its community when county commissioners passed a resolution Thursday night (Aug. 17) imploring state officials not to issue a permit to quarry operators.

New neighbors: Change is moving into Jackson County’s Tuckasegee community

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

About half way between Sylva and Cashiers on N.C. 107, between Jackson County’s Caney Fork and Glenville communities, is the small but busy Tuckasegee.

Community appeals to Jackson commissioners

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Members of a grassroots citizens group rallying against a proposal to build a rock quarry in the Tuckasegee community of Jackson County will appear before county commissioners Thursday, Aug. 17, to plead their case further.

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