Basalt sues Wells Fargo Bank over alleged zoning breaches |

Basalt sues Wells Fargo Bank over alleged zoning breaches

The town of Basalt is suing a bank on allegations that a home it repossessed is in violation of building and zoning codes.

The suit was filed Wednesday against Wells Fargo Bank, which is alleged to have two dwelling units in the home. The home is zoned for one dwelling unit, the suit says.

The South Side neighborhood, near Basalt High School, was annexed into the town in 1996. The property in question is located at 371 South Side Drive.

“By maintaining and using two dwelling units on the property, Wells Fargo is in violation of the zoning restrictions applicable to the property,” the suit says.

Town Manager Michael Scanlon said Thursday that the town had to litigate because it hasn’t been able to find anyone from Wells Fargo to respond to its concerns.

Property records show that Wells Fargo bought the property in April 1999. Scanlon said it was acquired through foreclosure.

“We finally got to the point where we couldn’t find anybody, so we figured if we sued them, we’ll find them,” he said.

About a month or two ago, the town sent a municipal court summons to the Wells Fargo offices in Denver and its registered agent. But there was no response to the summons, which said the bank was in violation of town code, Scanlon said.

“We were hoping somebody would show up (to court), but no one did,” he said.

Scanlon said the non-compliant residential unit is being occupied by a renter.

“We just need to boot the renter,” he said, noting the tenant is living in commercial space.

The suit is asking the court to issue an injunction “requiring Wells Fargo to comply with the Zoning Ordinance, the Annexation Agreement and the Building Code by the elimination of one of the two dwelling units located on the property.”

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