Bedford Circuit Court rules against Liberty University in airport zoning procedural issue

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) — A Bedford County judge ruled against Liberty University on a procedural issue on Wednesday as part of an ongoing fight against Bedford County on a zoning matter.

The university is trying to expand New London Airport and move their flight school there, and they are appealing the Board of Zoning Appeal’s denial.

“Basically, the homeowners don’t want the noise cause they can’t sleep,” said Bill Perrett, who lives near New London Airport. “The kids aren’t going to be able to study at school because they’re not getting enough rest, and essentially our property values are going to go down.”

An attorney for Liberty University says they’ve filed a petition outlining all the ways the university was aggrieved by the Board denying Liberty’s appeal.

He filed a motion to throw out the Board’s response to the petition, saying the response wasn’t specific enough in addressing Liberty’s concerns.

“We don’t know what specific (unintelligible) defenses the county will raise because of its defective answer,” he said in court. “The disclosure of that basic information is the very purpose of a responsive pleading.”

Judge James Updike ruled against Liberty University on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

“As far as Liberty saying, ‘Judge, we don’t know what facts are in dispute. That’s not fair.’ I respectfully disagree with you,” said Updike.

It wasn’t clear to the Board’s attorney what effect there would have been if their response had been thrown out

“Our position was that they’re not required to file anything, and certainly what they filed was sufficient, and the court agreed,” said Andrew McRoberts, the attorney representing the Board.

At a later date, all parties will discuss the merits of the appeal before the judge.

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