Lawsuit settled out of court; subdivision approved
by Larry S. Chowning
The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to settle a $14 million lawsuit out of court.
Land developer Gene A. Ruark of Deltaville filed the $14 million lawsuit against the county in October 2, 2008. Since 2004, Ruark has attempted to get the county to rezone his land at Big Neck Farm near Hartfield for a 379-unit housing development.
The out-of-court settlement reduced the development by 20 percent, allowing a maximum of 303 housing units on the property. “That is a significant change,” said county attorney Mike Soberick.
The settlement also called for construction of a road to six lots from an earlier approved development, and a “boulevard” style entrance into the new subdivision from Route 33.
Soberick said the settlement was fair and just for Ruark and the county, and he was glad the matter could be settled out of court.
In the settlement, the only cost to the county is its own legal fees.