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Mon March 11, 2013
North Carolina State Supreme Court will Rule in Winston Northern Beltway Dispute
The state supreme court is getting involved in Winston-Salem's beltway dispute. Justices on the North Carolina Supreme Court says they will decide whether or not a lawsuit filed by several property owners can be classified as a class action suit.
Paula and Ken Smith live on Brookmont Dr. near Glenn High School in Kernersville. Paula says since the early 2000's, they've been unsuccessful in selling their home. The Smiths are among several hundred property owners suing the state to speed up when it buys their home. According to Smith, homeowners, land owners and business owners are being equally harmed. She believes being recognized as part of a class action suit will bring long needed relief. “We've been put in limbo. Landowners can't develop their land, the others who own businesses can't sell their business or grow their business beyond the parameters of what they currently have and homeowners, we're sitting here with a home we can't sell to anyone but the DOT (Department of Transportation) and we can't add on to our home, "explains Smith. She admits the North Carolina’s Department of Transportation budget may not allow it to buy out everyone affected by this proposed beltway. But Smith says it is not reasonable for the state to take away owners’ control of their property for decades while it decides when to begin a project.
In 2011, Forsyth County Superior Court turned down the landowners’ effort to have their lawsuit declared a class action suit. Later, the state Court of Appeals said because the individual properties are different from each other, a class action suit was not the best way to hear the claims. The state’s high court has not given a date of when justices will hear this case.