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Middlesex County lawsuit hearing postponed

A Middlesex Circuit Court hearing on a $14 million lawsuit against Middlesex County scheduled for April 9 was postponed. The hearing has not been rescheduled.

Developer Gene A. Ruark of Deltaville sued the Middlesex Board of Supervisors on October 2, 2008, claiming that the board’s failure to rezone his 630 acres from Low Density Rural to Residential amounts to “a taking of the Property.”

Ruark’s lawsuit states he has been attempting without success to get the Hartfield property rezoned since 2004 for a proposed 379-house development.

A circuit court judge had been scheduled to hear arguments on April 14 on the county’s defense “demurrer” filed in October, 2008.

In the demurrer, an attorney for Middlesex County, argues that the county is not the proper defendant; the lawsuit fails to allege that the county intentionally discriminated against Ruark because of his membership in a protected class; and the complaint fails to state that Ruark had vested rights and that the county’s actions deprived Ruark of all economically viable use of the property.

posted 04.22.2009

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