Asheville city attorney asks for more time to decide on clear-cutting lawsuit

In a letter to an attorney representing Scenic NC in their lawsuit against the state for new rules allowing more clear-cutting around billboards, City Attorney Bob Oast says he’s concerned about the rules, but asks for more time to decide if the city should join the case.

“Our local economy depends heavily on travel and tourism, and on preserving and protecting the natural beauty of our region,” Oast writes. “Among the issues raised in the lawsuit, one matter of concern to us was that [the state Department of Transportation] held only one public hearing on the interim rules, and no hearings in the western part of the State.”

Oast adds the more hearings should be held, and in more parts of the state, but despite the city’s concerns, staff “have had little opportunity to review the legal and factual issues involved.” Oast asks the plaintiff’s attorney to try to delay further proceedings until after March 27, when Council meets again and may decide on a final course of action.

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