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      Lexington land battle may be coming to an end

      LEXINGTON COUNTY (WACH) -- Lexington County land owner James Harman isn't buying a department of transportation plan that would use a portion of his property to solve traffic trouble near highway 378 and Corley Mill Road.

      "It's a bad deal I think it's terrible to take the property away and put something in there, that's not right," said Harman.

      "It's not taking someone's residence, we're not taking some family home place," said County Council Woman Debbie Summers.

      Lexington County Council reached the end of the line in negotiations for the property Tuesday.

      Council voting to condemn all property needed for a right of way and road improvements at what is considered one of the area's busiest intersections.

      "This is all commercial property, all commercial real estate and we're paying them a fair market appraisal that anybody else would get," said County Council Chairman Bill Banning.

      For two years council members and state leaders have tried to buy the land from Harman and his family.

      The new River Bluff High School is set to open in mid August, adding a larger traffic load to already heavily traveled streets, council said they had to take action.

      "It just came to the point where it had to be done, it's just a serious issue out there over thirty thousand cars a day go through that intersection," adds Banning.

      The Harman family has owned the land for more than a century and recently developed it for business.

      James Harman thinks the traffic plan may now drive away business and learned about council's decision after reading it in the newspaper.

      "It's not the way it ought to be. We elect these people to be on the council and now they come in and do things that are not in the right way," adds Harman.

      "We're not elected by the people to make easy decisions, anyone could make the easy decisions, its the tough decisions that takes true leadership," adds Summers.

      With the negotiating over the next stop for the land deal is in a courtroom where a judge will put a price tag on the property.

      The Harman family plans on fighting until the end.

      A D-O-T spokesperson said they'll be starting a project on 378 near Corley Mill Road where they'll widen lanes and modify signals.