Developers sue Glenwood Springs after council denies apartments proposal
Glenwood Meadows group requests application denial be overturned
Glenwood Springs City Council’s denial of a proposed Glenwood Meadows development is the subject of a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Glenwood Meadows LLC and its prospective developer, BLD Group, submitted a complaint against the city and its council, alleging the Nov. 18 tie vote, which resulted in the denial of BLD’s proposed development, was an abuse of discretion and exceeded the council’s jurisdiction, according to court documents.
The complaint alleges Glenwood Springs City Council failed to cite any applicable standards or criteria for denying the proposal and did not provide the plaintiffs, BLD Group and Glenwood Meadows LLC, with the opportunity to respond to reasons dissenting council members gave for voting against the development.
During their regular meeting Nov. 18, City Council reviewed BLD Group’s major site and architectural plan for a proposed development for 14 buildings containing 300 apartments on about 28 acres in a portion of Glenwood Meadows south of Wulfsohn Road.
The proposal received unanimous approval from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission in August. In August and again in November, city staff reported the developer’s application met applicable municipal code standards and criteria, court documents state.
The proposal was killed by a tie vote, with Mayor Jonathan Godes, Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Willman and Council Member Paula Stepp voting against, while council members Tony Hershey, Shelley Kaup and Ingrid Wussow voted in favor.
Council Member Steve Davis was absent from the Nov. 18 meeting.
Court documents state the plaintiffs incurred about $600,000 in expenses related to processing the application.
Alleging the decision was arbitrary, capricious, a denial of due process and fundamental fairness, an abuse of discretion and exceeded the council’s jurisdiction, the plaintiffs made two claims for relief.
The first claim for relief requests the Garfield County District Court acknowledge the council’s decision as an abuse of discretion, the decision was either judicial or quasi-judicial, the council did not follow its own code or applicable standards in making the decision and that the plaintiffs have no other plain, speedy or adequate remedy provided by law; therefore, the plaintiffs are entitled to relief under Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure, court documents state.
A second claim for relief alleges the council exceeded its jurisdiction by making a determination based on criteria other than what is permissible by municipal code and not providing a plain, speedy or adequate remedy.
As a result of the above allegations, the plaintiffs are requesting the court grant them relief by overturning the council’s decision and ordering approval of the major site and architectural plan application or remanding the application for further proceedings before the City Council.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs are requesting the court award them compensation for their attorney fees and costs and grant other such relief as the court deems just and proper, court documents state.
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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