Mount Pleasant Town Council reviewed a presentation and consideration of a mediation proposal related to the Earl’s Court case during Executive Session at their Aug. 13 meeting.
Earlier this year the developer, Vince Graham, claimed the town was unlawfully denying vested rights for the property planned on Hibben Street.
Before entering executive session, councilmember G.M. Whitley explained she was uncomfortable with how the issue was noted on the council agenda. She asked why the agenda item was listed as a number instead of the case name to clearly identify it.
The discussion between the town and a local developer reached a settlement after a legal briefing behind closed doors.
When council resumed the regular meeting session, Mayor Pro Tem Gary Santos made a motion to approve the settlement proposal which included a reduction of one room, which resulted in a total of 24 rooms and a revised parking plan that removed all on-street parking and off-street parking, including Patjens Lane and the Cassina parking lot and the redesign of the building to accommodate the new parking plan.
“This redesign, once approved by staff and a committee of DRB (Design Review Board), will be subject to final review by council,” Santos explained.
Councilmember Bob Brimmer made a second for the motion.
During the discussion, councilmember Joe Bustos said they’d included all the things being removed from the property, but did not include the new residence being added. He suggested the motion also include the one residence being added in the settlement. Santos then amended his motion for approval of the settlement proposal to include the new residence. Brimmer amended his second.
Council passed the mediation settlement. Councilmembers Whitley and Bustos voted against the settlement. Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie recused himself from the council’s discussion and vote on the settlement due to the legal complexity.
“As I was named personally by the developer and as of this moment have not received word that the claims against me will be dropped, I am unable to comment on this case,” Haynie told the Moultrie News.
Vince Graham had his attorney, Ross Appel respond on his behalf of the legal matter.
“The settlement reflects a reasonable compromise that will end the time consuming and expensive litigation, and enable us to forego parking on Patjens Court and leasing parking spaces on Cassina’s parking lot,” Appel shared.
Jimmy Bagwell, chairman of Save Shem Creek Corp. said he could not comment on the settlement due to the ongoing litigation.
A representative from the Cassina Group stated, “The Cassina Group is not aware of the details of a settlement between the developer of the Earl’s Court Inn and the Town of Mount Pleasant. The Cassina Group is not a party to this particular case, so I am not able to offer insight.”