Trial date set for lawsuit against Vincent, White Rock Quarries

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

VINCENT — A Shelby County judge recently dismissed portions of the lawsuit filed by Vincent landowner Anne Bates Gibbons against the town of Vincent, the Vincent Planning Commission and White Rock Quarries, and set an April 23 non-jury trial date to sort out the remaining issues.

The lawsuit, which Gibbons filed on Feb. 26, 2010, alleges town officials disregarded part of the town’s zoning code to rezone the White Rock property.

Circuit Judge Hub Harrington dismissed all of Gibbons’ procedural claims, said attorney Rob Fowler, who represents White Rock. Only substantive claims remain in Gibbons’ lawsuit, such as the effects of the quarry on residents’ health, safety and welfare.

Also, the lawsuit questions if the rezoning of the 866 acres by the Vincent Town Council was in line with the town’s master plan.

“We did a master plan, and it’s always flexible and can be changed,” Vincent Mayor Ray McAllister said. “Any master plan would have to be that way. If not, you shut your municipality to any growth.”

Fowler said he and White Rock hope Gibbons will drop the remaining part of her claim.

“There’s a good chance she’ll dismiss the substantive parts of her claim. She’ll appeal to court of appeals, so that won’t require trial date. If not, then a trial date will be set in the future,” Fowler said.

Gibbons declined comment due to her status as the plaintiff. Messages left with Gibbons’ lawyer, Trip Galloway, were not immediately returned.