Cook Bros. Construction LLC filed a complaint against Loudon County Commission following a denial to rezone about 78 acres in the Glendale community for a Planned Unit Development.
Commission voted last month against the rezoning 5-5, but not before an initial 6-4 vote that left some commissioners confused about what they were voting on.
Had the measure passed, Cook Bros. would have taken ownership of the property from Jim and Tammy Russell. The property was slated for a subdivision of about 197 homes on U.S. Highway 321 near the intersection of Unitia Road.
Loudon County Regional Planning Commission unanimously voted in July in favor of the development.
Knoxville attorney Ellis “Sandy” Sharp, representing Cook Bros. Construction owner John Cook, filed the complaint for a declaratory judgment Oct. 1 in Loudon County Chancery Court.
According to the complaint, denying the rezone constituted “invalid, arbitrary and capricious legislative actions.”
The complaint also alleges a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
“On information and belief, two or more members of the Loudon County Commission met or communicated privately to deliberate toward a decision on plaintiffs’ rezoning request in circumvention of the spirit of the Tennessee Open Meetings Act ...,” according to the complaint. “As a result, the Loudon County Commission’s decision regarding plaintiffs’ rezoning request was not open to the public at all times, and their vote on plaintiffs’ rezoning request is null and void.”
Cook declined comment regarding the court action. Sharp did not return request for comment by News-Herald presstime.
County attorney Bob Bowman declined comment other than to say the county had 30 days to respond.