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Supreme Court of South Carolina
March 4, 2009, Heard; May 18, 2009, Re-Filed
Opinion No. 26625
[*538] [**575] JUSTICE BEATTY: In this declaratory judgment action, South Carolina Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund (Insurer) appeals the circuit court's order finding the Insurer had a continuing duty to defend the City of Hartsville (City) and ordering it to pay the City the costs it incurred from having to defend against a suit brought by a Hartsville landowner. Pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR, this Court certified this appeal from the Court of Appeals. We affirm the decision of the circuit court.
[**576] FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
In 1991, Phelix Byrd (Byrd) purchased a 46.358 acre tract of land that lay partly in the City (the City tract) and partly in [*539] Darlington County (the County tract). The property was part of what used to be Coker Farms, a National Historic Landmark (NHL) as designated in 1964 by the National Park Service, a division of the United States [***2] Department of the Interior. This NHL designation, however, was never filed in the public records of Darlington County nor was any mention of the designation placed on deeds conveying portions of the Coker Farms properties to subsequent purchasers.
Byrd purchased a portion of the Coker Farms property in order to subdivide it and sell parcels to developers for commercial purposes. In 1998, Byrd approached the City about developing a carwash on a .86 acre parcel of the property located in the City. Because the City tract was zoned for agricultural use, Byrd petitioned the City to rezone it as commercial. Fearing that commercial development of any part of the Coker Farms would lead to the revocation of the NHL designation for all of Coker Farms, the City delayed acting on Byrd's petition.
After being assured that rezoning Byrd's property would not affect the NHL designation, the City rezoned the .86 acre parcel from agricultural to commercial pursuant to a City ordinance in February of 1999. By this time, however, Byrd's potential purchaser had lost the financing necessary to develop the property and, as a result, the sale never closed.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
382 S.C. 535 *; 677 S.E.2d 574 **; 2009 S.C. LEXIS 142 ***
City of Hartsville, Respondent, v. South Carolina Municipal Insurance & Risk Financing Fund, Appellant.
Prior History: [***1] Appeal From Darlington County. J. Michael Baxley, Circuit Court Judge.
City of Hartsville v. S.C. Mun. Ins. & Risk Fin. Fund, 382 S.C. 168, 675 S.E.2d 723, 2009 S.C. LEXIS 86 (S.C., 2009)
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