MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Wake County Judge sided with the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday in a controversial case filed by activists involving a planned rock quarry
near Umstead State Park.
Superior Court Judge A. Graham Shirley said in a press release he found that "as a matter of law, RDUAA has the statutory authority independent of the Cities of Raleigh and Durham and the Counties of Wake and Durham to enter into the Lease, and therefore, summary judgment in favor of Defendants is proper."
The judge also found:"The original RDU Charter gave the RDUAA board complete authority over the airport. Nothing in the amendments that followed reflects an intent by the legislature to diminish that authority. Plaintiffs' argument runs contrary to a reasonable reading of the legislation and ignores the General Assembly's broad authority to the RDUAA board.""As a matter of law, RDUAA has the statutory authority independent of the Cities of Raleigh and Durham and the Counties of Wake and Durham to enter into the Lease, and therefore, summary judgment in favor of Defendants is proper.""Furthermore, the Court concludes that the Lease is not inconsistent with any grant or agreement under which the airport is held. The phrase 'grant or agreement' must refer to the grants and agreements by which RDUAA operates an airport under the guidance and regulation, and with financial contributions of the Department of Transportation/FAA under the Federal Airport Act. The FAA has approved the industrial/quarry use designation of the Property and maintains that its approval is not necessary for RDUAA to lease the Property.""Because no federal funds were used to acquire the Property and because the Lease is not subject to the FAA approval, the Lease does not violate any federal laws."
The judge dismissed the case with prejudice, which prevents the claims from being filed in the future but does not prevent an appeal. Back in March, the RDU Airport authority approved a 25-year lease to expand the rock quarry on the Odd Fellows Road property.