Appeal filed in Vincent lawsuit decision

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2011

By NICOLE LOGGINS / Staff Writer

VINCENT-Vincent property owner Anne Gibbons Bates filed an appeal with the Alabama Supreme Court on Dec. 15 asking for the court to reverse the decision made by the Shelby County Circuit Court in her lawsuit against White Rock Quarries, LLC, the town of Vincent and the Vincent Planning Commission. The Shelby County circuit court stated that they found procedural flaws in the zoning code but they were not significant enough to void the rezoning of the property.

Gibbons originally filed the lawsuit on Feb. 26, 2010 after the Vincent Town Council approved White Rock’s request to rezone 886 acres of land.

Gibbons’ attorney, Frank C. Galloway III, said that they respectfully disagree with the assessment and they will ask for a reversal based on what they contend to be well-established case law that any rezoning in the state must be done with strict scrutiny.

Mayor of Vincent, Ray McAllister, stood behind the rezoning process and the decision made by the planning commission.

“We did what we were supposed to and we worked very hard to make sure our decision was correct,” he said.

Galloway said that he and Gibbons are confident that the appellate court will take another look at the case and issue a different opinion.

According to Galloway, Gibbons ultimately hopes the decision would be to not rezone the property at all, but if it is, she wants all procedures to be strictly enforced.

“Everyone involved in the debate over whether quarries should be in Vincent should want the appropriate rules and procedures to be followed,” Galloway said.

When asked about any future adjustments to Vincent rezoning procedures, McAllister said, “If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it.”