Dear Briar Chapel Residents,
Thank you for all the participation and response over the last two weeks. The decision by the NC Utilities Commission to postpone the evidentiary hearing for 150 days works in our favor. This will give the HOA Board and Briar Chapel residents more time to get representation, organize and prepare for the hearing to be rescheduled in late June. The BCCA HOA Board has announced that they have hired the Brough Law Firm with Nick Herman serving as lead attorney. The HOA board has indicated that Mr. Herman will have jurisdiction over BCCA owned property. We have met with the Board and it is our understanding that Mr. Herman will not be representing Briar Chapel homeowners.
Therefore, we have taken steps to identify an attorney to represent Briar Chapel residents and homeowners. The law firm that we recommend to represent STOPCHATHAMNORTH is Allen Law Office, PLLC, in Raleigh, NC. The NC Utilities Commission’s staff attorney provided us with several recommendations for legal counsel and Mr. Allen was one of these recommendations. (see more information below on Mr. Allen and his law firm). Our focus is on preparing for the NC Utilities Commission Evidentiary Hearing through to final decision. Our goals are to obtain a Commission Order to:
· deny the application for the Fearrington merger and expansion to other communities and commercial development
· restrict the use of the Briar Chapel Waste Water plant to Briar Chapel residents only
· require ONSWC to fully meet compliance standards established in their permits addressing and resolving current nuisance issues (odor, sewage spills, excessive watering)
While these are our goals, we can make no promises regarding the final outcome. We are not responsible for the decisions made by governing officials. With the combination of the Brough Law Firm’s expertise in Land Use and the Allen Law Office’s expertise in Utilities, we believe these attorneys can work together to ensure Briar Chapel’s BCCA and homeowner’s interests are well represented. It is possible that we will also need to obtain assistance from an engineering firm.
However, our hope is that engineering support will be provided by the Public Staff of the Commission, the group that represents the interest of the using and consuming public in matters before the Commission. That decision will have to be made as the proceeding progresses.
Legal representation will cost money, the initial retainer is $5,000. A cost estimate can be provided when Allen Law Office completes its review of our case. We are asking our residents for a donation to pay for the cost of the attorney. Please only donate what you can afford. Funds can be donated via the link below using Paypal (which accepts all major credit cards) or by check (written to STOPCHATHAMNORTH and mailed to STOPCHATHAMNORTH, 78 Middleton Place, Chapel Hill, NC 27516). We have set up a civic organization with its own tax id and bank acct. We will maintain a full accounting of these funds and will return any unused funds to all homeowners who contribute on a prorated basis.
To access the Motion to Delay Evidentiary Hearing filed by the Public Staff:
About the Allen Law Firm and Mr. Allen
Mr. Dwight Allen has more than 40 years of experience in the practice of law. He serves as Executive Vice President of the NC Telephone Cooperative Coalition, Inc. He began his practice in the general practice of law and has practiced law in government, private practice and in-house corporate practice. He previously served as Secretary, Vice-President, General Counsel and President of a large telecom company. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Norman A. Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University where he taught Regulatory Law & Policy. Mr. Allen is a Bachelor of Arts graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and he received his Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC. He is a member of the NC State Bar, the NC Bar Association and the American Bar Association. You can read more about Mr. Allen’s firm at: http://theallenlawoffices.com.