A lawsuit over the denial of the rezoning of a parcel of land in Holly Springs has reached a settlement between the county and a developer who planned to build housing on the land in question.

Nearly 21 acres of county-owned land in Holly Springs, situated in the immediate vicinity of the Cherokee County Aquatic Center, will remain undeveloped now that a lawsuit filed by the development firm Alliance Realty Partners, LLC against Holly Springs has been concluded after a settlement was agreed upon by both the county and Alliance in late June.

The initial agreement regarding the property was formalized in the spring of 2017, with the county agreeing to sell 20.64 acres of land near the aquatic center to Alliance, which Alliance planned to turn into a 320-unit apartment development. However, this was contingent on the city of Holly Springs approving a rezoning of the land from industrial to high density multi-family residential. The city subsequently denied rezoning the property, which led Alliance to file the lawsuit on Sept. 15, 2017. According to legal documents, the county intervened and became a party in the suit in late February.

According to court documents the settlement was reached in part because of the potential of a drawn out court battle.

As part of the settlement, Alliance will provide the county with all of the documentation it produced while in the process of planning for the development. These documents include civil engineering plans, environmental studies, geotechnical surveys and architectural issues, which the county can use however it sees fit, including potentially providing them to other developers interested in obtaining the property for future development. In return, the county will pay Alliance $85,000 for all of the material and return the escrow earnest money the developer paid when the agreement was made.

Although the lawsuit has been dismissed and a settlement reached, the agreement signed by both county officials and Alliance representatives stated that the developer would have a right to bid again on the property for development in the future. It also stated that, should Alliance submit a bid and the county select its bid as the winning submission for the property, Alliance would refund the county the $85,000 paid to it for the documentation the county purchased from it in the settlement.

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