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Judge Allows AG to Intervene in Land Dispute

Blair Pointe is adjacent to the Blair Farms neighborhood in Morehead City. Photo: Mark Hibbs

BEAUFORT – A judge has allowed the state attorney general to intervene in a case in which a Morehead City property owner seeks to remove deed restrictions put in place when the land was set aside for conservation.

Judge William W. Bland, who presided Monday over Carteret County Superior Court, granted Attorney General Josh Stein’s motion to intervene on behalf of the defendants in the case filed by Beverly Pham of Morehead City against Blair Pointe LLC, the now-dissolved development company that donated the undeveloped Morehead City parcel, Coastal Hunting Land Group Inc., the nonprofit group that received the 12.6-acre donation, and Carteret County.

Bland ruled that the attorney general had grounds to intervene because of the state’s “substantial interest in the outcome” of the decision on Pham’s request to extinguish conservation restrictions on the property.

Officers with the development company received tax credits for the donation in 2003, but the principal with the nonprofit that received the land died without having received tax-exempt status for the property. The county foreclosed for non-payment of taxes in 2016 and Pham’s husband purchased the property in an upset bid 10 days after Morehead City had placed the high bid. The city had planed to create a park with water access at the site on Calico Bay.

Pham contends that the foreclosure and auction effectively extinguished any restrictions on the property, which her husband purchased for $44,742. The parcel had been for sale since March 2017 with an asking price of $575,000.

The judge gave the attorney general 10 days to file its response to Pham’s complaint.

About the Author

Mark Hibbs

Mark Hibbs is editor of Coastal Review Online. A native of coastal North Carolina, Mark joined Coastal Review Online in 2015, after more than 20 years with the Carteret County News-Times, where he served as a staff writer and photographer, business editor and assistant to the editor. Mark has won numerous awards for his reporting, including numerous N.C. Press Association awards, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association's Friend of the Coast Media Award and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2009 Small Business Journalist of the Year Award for the Southeast Region. Mark is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.