Judge rules that Parkside land cannot be used for private purposes

Judge rules that Parkside land cannot be used for private purposes-attachment0

Earlier today, Judge Marlene Hyatt ruled that a piece of public parkland controversially sold to developer Stewart Coleman must remain in public use, though she did not change the ownership of the parcel.

While Hyatt had ruled in favor of the heirs of philanthropist George Pack on Aug. 28, her written ruling came out today. In it, Hyatt agrees with the Pack family’s assertion in their lawsuit against Coleman’s company, Black Dog Realty, and Buncombe County that Pack’s original donation around the turn of the century constituted a dedication, meaning the land could only be used for certain purposes.

“The defendants are hereby permanently enjoined from allowing the property to be used in any way inconsistent with the dedication,” Hyatt wrote in the ruling.

However, Hyatt did not require the county to buy back the land or rule that it reverted to the Pack heirs, even though it does block Coleman from going forward with the Parkside project, a nine-story condominium building.

“Neither one of them gets back the land, but she specified that it can only be used for what George Pack intended — that, is, public use,” Pack family attorney Joe Ferikes told Xpress. “I don’t know of anything else he [Coleman] can do with it except leave it as it is.”

Such rulings aren’t that uncommon, he added, and represent the requirements placed on conservancies, where land remains in private ownership but can’t be developed.

Black Dog attorney Pat Kelly, has not yet answered requests for comment, or indicated if Black Dog will appeal the ruling.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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28 thoughts on “Judge rules that Parkside land cannot be used for private purposes

  1. tatuaje

    wow…gotta say, didn’t see that comin’….that may be the best outcome possible….Coleman gets stiffed and we keep our park….i swear it’s good to see the little guy (i.e. us) win sometimes….Although Coleman will probably cut down the tree just for spite now…if he hadn’t acted like such a sleaze through this whole thing i would feel sorry for him getting stuck with having to eat what he paid to buy the land…but, imho, he’s getting his just desserts for acting with such disregard for the community….maybe he’ll learn his lesson….work with your community, not against them….you can still make money AND have good karma….

  2. Your .pdf shows up Huge in my browser. If you shrunk it down a bit, it’d be more readable.

    Thanks for putting it up.

    I don’t know what Coleman will do next. Gantt said on WLOS that the County Commission would probably discuss it at the next session, and they may make Coleman an offer for the park land and maybe for the H&H;.

    Coleman’s looking for an angle, I’m sure, but we’ll have to wait and see if he finds it.

  3. bobaloo

    If he hadn’t been treated like such a villain since the beginning, maybe he wouldn’t have acted like such a sleaze. Just sayin’.
    There’s a scant few that come out of this with good karma.

    [this rebuttal in no way advocates or endorses the plans or actions of Stewart Coleman]

  4. travelah

    Coleman doesn’t get stiffed. He has recourse through a title insurance claim. In addition, while the county may not have to buy the property back, they are not immune to any liability associated with his losses due to their negligence.

  5. tatuaje

    He has recourse through a title insurance claim. In addition, while the county may not have to buy the property back, they are not immune to any liability associated with his losses due to their negligence.

    Ok, so…If he can’t use the land as he initially intended, he can file an insurance claim? I wonder who it’s insured through and what the caveats are. I confess to not knowing much about the legalities of land purchase.

    Seems to me that everyone involved had to have known what they were doing. He was buying (and Wanda Greene was selling) park land. I’m curious to see how this plays out….It makes for a better thriller than anything hollywood’s come out with in a while…

    If he hadn’t been treated like such a villain since the beginning, maybe he wouldn’t have acted like such a sleaze.

    That’s the thing bobaloo, as I mentioned above, he was buying park land. This guy does not strike me as a business person who doesn’t, or didn’t, do his research. I think he knew what he was doing. I think he knew he was buying land that shouldn’t have been for sale. I know that’s utter speculation, but, well, I think he did. An honest, admirable person would never have gone through with it. And once they were shown that what they were doing wasn’t kosher, an admirable person would’ve tried to make it right….And that’s what makes him a sleaze.

    Maybe he’s completely innocent and only wanted the best for our community….but that’s hard for me to believe….

  6. Actually, travelah, they sold him the land with a non-warranty deed. They do this as a matter of policy at the County in order to insulate themselves against incidents just like this one. Accepting the terms of the non-warranty deeds means that the County isn’t liable at all.

    And, bob, I think you may have your timeline out of order. The “beginning” happened long before anyone was paying attention at all.

  7. bobaloo

    I know that’s utter speculation, but, well, I think he did.

    You’re correct, it’s utter speculation.
    Thus you affirm what I said.

  8. If I were Coleman (which, thankfully, I am not) and stuck with this tiny piece of land that could only be used as a public park, here’s what I would do.

    Cut down the tree and put up a small monument to George W. Pack.

  9. Gratuitous

    Why not leave the tree, as it already is a monument to many, many things, including George W. Pack?

    Coleman did what many do; he tried to get as much as possible. He had the right (not that that is right). He had the right to do battle, and, fortunately, he had the right to lose.

  10. LOKEL

    So, let’s see…

    Coleman still owns the land, but it has to be for public use… the Judge didn’t say a word about the tree!

    I hope Mr Coleman cuts it down out of spite!

    Timber!

  11. tatuaje

    Cut down the tree and put up a small monument to George W. Pack.

    Why cut down the tree? Why not put a small monument/bench under the tree? Why does everyone but the hippies hate this tree so much? Because some wiccans danced around it? Does that make the tree evil to christians now?

    I know that’s utter speculation, but, well, I think he did.

    Just because it’s speculation, bobaloo, doesn’t mean it’s probably not right on. I just haven’t heard Coleman fess-up to his sleaziness…..most people these days won’t unless you have them on audio and video confessing….even then they’ll try to spin it…..

    Once again, I think he knew what he was doing. I think he knew he was buying land that shouldn’t have been for sale. How could he not?

  12. *lol* Ralph – you goober…

    Actually a heinous action out of spite would be something not completely out of character for Coleman. It’s seems to be all about power and control with that guy.

    Maybe the mystical forces of Asheville will conjure up the spirits of Asheville Past, Present, and Future and some old ghost in chains will convince Stewart that his fate & legacy will be quite gloomy should he continue this path of rage. Heck – he could even take a hint from old George Pack himself as to how to give back to the community that makes you wealthy.

    He has a choice – you always have a choice – and his heart could still grow x3 if he’d open up and listen to some of the whoo’s down in whooville.

    Why not keep one of Asheville’s oldest building preserved (Hayes Hobson – one of the only buildings left in AVL built in the 1800′s) and turn it into the Coleman Center for the Arts or a museum or anything that actually helps the community more than giant ridiculously expensive living quarters.

    He can still come out of this a community hero -
    No one has pegged him as a villain except his own actions & temper.

  13. Why, Ralph? Out of spite?

    Gordon, I was merely speculating what Coleman would do. He might even make a bench for the Wiccans to sit on out of wood from the tree.

    But what Coleman is really going to do — I see from an article just posted on this site — is appeal.

  14. tatuaje

    we haven’t been soaked, yet, Ralph…In fact, as it stands right now, it looks like Coleman actually donated some money to us taxpayers….hahahahaha…..And if he loses the appeal, he probably has to pay for court costs, right? So the only thing we have to lose is that fine ol tree which apparently called your momma a name or something when it was a sapling….Snap out of it Ralph, the good guys are winning this time and it’s not even costing us anything! Can’t you be happy about that? We keep our park, we don’t have to use evil ol eminent domain, AND it’s not costing us a thing….this is better then anyone ever hoped for….come on, Ralph…HIP HIP HOORAH!

  15. DonM

    travelah,
    All County property is sold under a quitclaim deed. It’s their process which anyone who cared to look may see on the BuncCo website.

    Is anyone who buys County property a foolish investor? I don’t know. I just know that that’s the way it’s done.

  16. DonM

    Ralph,
    It is plainly described on BuncCo’s website. All County property is sold under a quitclaim deed after following the process outlined there.

    I do not know of the County’s attorneys’ duties but I don’t think they spend a lot of time selling County property.

    Are ya gonna make me dig out the link for you? I thought you were fairly savvy about these things. ;)

  17. travelah

    DonM, a quitclaim deed is a gamble, especially in a controversial matter. That makes the man a foolish investor for he takes on risk that is avoidable. A wise investor would insulate himself from the risk.

  18. DonM

    travelah,
    Are you saying that no one should buy property from the County? I ask because a quitclaim deed is all that is offered on EVERY property sale by the County.

    Or, are you only referring to this particular sale? Coleman has title insurance and I suspect that anyone else would, too. That’s his insulation.

    Buy County property–you get a quitclaim deed.

  19. Johnny Lemuria

    DonM, based upon its actions of late and the strong whiff on incompetence coming off it, I believe that never doing business with the Buncombe County Commission is a prudent decision.

  20. travelah

    I am saying that nobody should buy county property without contingencies. Title insurance does not necessarily insulate him from losses for he does apparently have title to the property. The problem here is one of good faith on the part of the county since they sold a property for development knowing the covenants in place regarding the property. A quitclaim deed may very well offer the county no protection at all in this matter.

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