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  • Writer's pictureNC Leaks

TOC's BOA Fails to Issue Order from Denied Appeal by Merritt Gravel Pit; 10/15/20 No Resolution YET

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

*Update* TOC BOA issued the order; however, Merritt Gravel Pit has thus far failed to repair the damage caused by its stream destruction. On May 22, 2020, Town of Carrboro filed an Injunction in NC Superior Court against Merritt Gravel Pit and its owners. The Court granted TOC's temporary restraining order. 10 days later, the Court granted TOC's Preliminary Injunction. Several weeks later, the Clerk of Court Entered a Default Judgment against Merritt Gravel Pit for failure to answer the law suit. Several more weeks later, the gravel pit's new attorney requested that the court set aside the entry of default, which was granted. Now, October 15, 2020, more than a year after TOC issued its first notice of violation to Merritt Gravel Pit, no action whatsoever on the ground has been taken to repair the destruction created by Tony Merritt and Merritt Gravel Pit.

*Update* 18 minutes after I emailed this blog post to members of the Carrboro Board of Adjustment, member Michael Crowell responded. He complained about NC Leaks making his work email public, but did not answer the question about the order (nor did he provide an alternative email except that we could contact the town attorney, who was copied on the same email send to Crowell. Are folks hiding something here?!

From Michael Crowell, responding to the blog post below:

"I do not know where you obtained nor why you chose to send your email to my work email address, nor why you decided to publicize that address on your website. I am simply a citizen member of the Board of Adjustment and use only my personal email address for those purposes. Any communication concerning the board's activity or other town business should go through town officials or the town attorney, not directly to me. Please refrain from any further use of this email address. Thank you for your cooperation."

Michael Crowell

Well, Michael, we obtained your contact info from our deep throat, highly secretive source, NC State Bar. We found you here listed as John Michael Crowell. We have requested that Town of Carrboro provide us with contact information for the Board of Adjustment members, but thus far they have refused.

On February 19, 2020, Merritt Gravel Pit engineer Pat Shillington, in a rambling and confusing presentation (even once referencing Richard Nixon?!), unsuccessfully attempted to defend the Gravel Pit's stream buffer disturbance (disturbance is a HUGE understatement - the pit caused nearly an acre of flooding on adjacent property and killed 100s of trees and vegetation). Despite his lengthy presentation, the board denied the gravel pit's appeal. This denial means that the Town of Carrboro's August 2019 Notice of Violation to the Merritt Gravel Pit must be enforced by the Carrboro Planning Department and Town Council.

However, there is one glitch (of course). The Board of Adjustment has failed to write and enter the order. Nearly two months have passed, and no order has issued. Therefore, the Gravel Pit has not complied with the NOV requirements. NC Leaks requested the order. We have emailed members of the Board of Adjustment. No one has provided any document, and no Board member has responded.

Members of the Carrboro Board of Adjustment:

Crowell, Michael angry that NC Leaks posted his email online Baker, James Baker, John could not locate email address Hageman, Brian could not locate email address Ellington, Richard could not locate email address Navaratnam, Sriv could not locate email address Bowerman, Linda could not locate email address

In fact, despite the January 15, 2020 Board meeting minutes being drafted on February 20, 2020 at 9:47am by Dorian McLean, no minutes from the February 19, 2020 meeting have been posted on the Carrboro website. Today is April 10.

Where is the order?

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