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Court rules against city in asphalt plant dispute

NEW ALBANY — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that the city of New Albany erred when it rezoned land and gave a permit to a company to build an asphalt plant.

The Supreme Court on sided with Circuit Judge Henry Lackey, who blocked construction in 2009. A group of landowners had sued the city, Riverside Traffic Systems Inc. and Lehman-Roberts Co.

Lackey ruled a 1997 zoning change of the property was invalid. The property was originally zoned agricultural, but was later reclassified industrial. Lackey said the legally required procedure for such a change, including public notice, was never followed.

Riverside had contracted to sell 29 acres in New Albany to Memphis-based Lehman-Roberts upon resolution of zoning change.

The city of New Albany issued a building permit to Lehman-Roberts for an asphalt plant on the site.

Justice Mike Randolph, writing for the Supreme Court, said the city’s failure to provide notice violated opponents’ due process rights.

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