The state Supreme Court has set a court date to hear arguments regarding allegations that Carnival Cruise Lines’ operations violate Charleston city ordinances.
The panel has scheduled a 30-minute session for oral arguments in Columbia on Nov. 19, according to the court’s website.
Earlier this year, the state’s high court tossed out several but not all claims in the lawsuit challenging Carnival Cruise Lines’ operations in the city.
The Preservation Society of Charleston, the Coastal Conservation League and neighborhood groups filed the lawsuit two years ago, alleging Carnival’s year-round cruises violate the city’s noise, nuisance and sign ordinances.
The court dismissed allegations that Carnival cruises violate the city’s noise and sign ordinances. But, the five-member panel also requested new written arguments from attorneys about whether the cruises are a public nuisance or violate city zoning rules.
The panel also said in its June order that it agreed with the recommendations that a court-appointed referee made earlier this year, including tossing out allegations of that Carnival was violating sign and noise ordinances as well as a state pollution act.
The referee, Judge Clifton Newman, also said in his report that the plaintiffs should be allowed to argue that the vessels are a public nuisance based on noise and pollution and that they violate city zoning rules. The Supreme Court asked both sides to submit new briefs addressing those allegations.
The case is one of three lawsuits challenging extended cruise operations in Charleston.
Last month, the S.C. State Ports Authority filed notice that the agency was seeking to appeal a federal judge’s recent decision that forces the Army Corps of Engineers to further review the agency’s proposed $35 million cruise terminal in downtown Charleston.
Lawyers for the state’s maritime said they are appealing to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
In September, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel ordered the Army Corps to redo the study that gave a permit for SPA to build the new cruise terminal at Union Pier. Gergel ordered the Army Corps to go back and review the project more thoroughly.
The SPA, which has joined the lawsuit as a defendant, has been seeking to relocate its cruise terminal to the north end of Union Pier from the south end for about three years.
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