Wednesday, September 26, 2012
A lawsuit filed against the City of Georgetown and some local officials by Steve and Jean Rothrock could be settled as soon as today because of a decision made Thursday night.
At its monthly meeting last night, Georgetown City Council — by a vote of 5-0 — gave the Rothrocks permission to place HardiePlank on three sides of their house at 116 Cannon Street, something that has been denied for years by the city’s Architectural Review Board.
The Rothrocks originally wanted the HardiePlank on all four sides of the house but the front, according to the council decision, will be wood.
Along with the HardiePlank approval, the Rothrocks will also receive $250,000 in the settlement, according to a source close to the case. Mayor Jack Scoville would neither confirm nor deny that figure.
“Hallelujah,” is the only thing Rothrock had to say as he left the meeting.
Scoville did say any settlement from lawsuits is paid by the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund, not from the city’s general fund.
Scoville said the court ordered the two sides to enter into mediation, which is when the settlement agreement was reached.
“The Rothrocks agreed to go to three sides (with HardiePlank),” Scoville said.
When asked if the settlement is a victory for the Rothrocks, Scoville said “this is not a case of win or lose, it’s the settlement of a dispute.”
The Rothrocks, who have owned businesses and property in the city, filed the lawsuit in Federal Court in Charleston last November.
Named as defendants, along with the city, were City Councilman Paige Sawyer, former Architectural Review Board (ARB) member Debbie Thomas, former ARB Chairman Joseph Cave, former ARB member Brian Clark, and former ARB member Jan Lane.
Scoville and Sawyer recused themselves when the vote was taken at the City Council meeting.
By Scott Harper