TCC asks Tryon for rezoning to end lawsuit

Published 6:03 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

Tryon Country Club is requesting that Tryon undo an earlier rezoning of some country club property in an attempt to end a long-standing lawsuit.

The Tryon Board of Planning and Zoning will meet tomorrow at 4 p.m. to consider the request, which asks that about 130 acres be changed back from residential to P-1 open space zoning.

The town rezoned the property a few years ago to conditional use R-4 to allow the country club to sell some of the property for development. DewSouth was interested a few years ago in purchasing more than 50 acres for a subdivision and townhouses.

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Nearby property owners immediately sued the town and country club over the rezoning and the lawsuit is still ongoing. Tryon decided recently that it would no longer spend money fighting the lawsuit. At one time the lawsuit had cost the town about $75,000.

Tryon Country Club President Geoff Tennant says the country club is asking the planning and zoning board tomorrow to rezone all the property&bsp; to P-1 open space. A previous request was made to rezone all except five acres to allow that five-acre parcel to be developed, but Tennant says based on advice from an attorney, the only way to ensure the lawsuit ends is to rezone all of the property back to its original state.

This lawsuit needs to end, Tennant said. The only way it is going to end with certainty is if it goes back to the original (zoning).

Tennant also says the country club is trying to eliminate the negative atmosphere the lawsuit has caused in the area, with the town, country club and nearby residents spending money on lawyers.

The lawsuit was mainly based on procedural issues related to how the town rezoned the property for residential use. Originally, the lawsuit was decided in the towns favor, but that decision was appealed to the N.C. Court of Appeals, which overturned the local courts decision and sent it back to be reheard.

Another session was scheduled for next month, but Tennant says once the rezoning is approved, letters can be sent notifying the court of the decision and there will be no need for anyone to appear in July.

The country club announced a few years ago that its long-term financial future was in jeopardy if property was not sold for additional income. Country club officials have not said what its plans are for obtaining additional income in the future.