In March 2019, the Umstead Coalition and Triangle Off Road Cyclists (TORC), among others, filed a lawsuit challenging the Airport Authority’s land lease with Wake Stone. The Authority responded with a counterclaim against TORC related to illegal trespassing by bikers on airport property and the resulting damage to the Neuse River buffers. In November, a judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, finding that the Authority can enter into the mineral lease agreement and ruling against every argument made by the plaintiffs.
TORC and the other plaintiffs appealed the ruling, but the Authority’s trespass counterclaim could delay the appeal from moving forward. In order to resolve the appeal as quickly as possible, the Authority is dismissing its trespass counterclaim but reserves the right to refile it. Under existing law, the Authority can pursue a claim against TORC and any other organization or individual that trespasses on or encourages trespassing on airport property. The Authority is confident that the appeal will be resolved in its favor.