Resident sues Snowmass over Base Village vesting
November 17, 2014
Snowmass Village resident Richard Goodwin has filed a lawsuit against the town and Town Council, asking a judge to cancel the council's decision to extend Base Village vesting and declare the vesting forfeited.
The Snowmass Village Town Council voted Oct. 6 to extend the developer's vesting on the project in spite of allegations that some council members had inappropriate outside talks about the application, and since then, Goodwin has been threatening legal action. Goodwin's suit was filed Tuesday under Colorado Rule of Civil Procedures 106(a)(4), which allows residents to appeal a decision made by a governmental body.
The suit alleges that the ex parte communications corrupted any vote the council took on the application; however, it also alleges that the town inappropriately granted the four years of vesting because the Related Cos. subsidiary now in control of the development didn't have the right to it in the first place.
According to the 2004 agreements, the continuation of vesting on the project was contingent on the developer meeting certain obligations, the suit says. Many of those commitments, including construction on phase 2B and some public improvements, have not been completed, according to the complaint.
In addition, it says that the town did not provide written consent for the original holders of the vested rights to transfer them to the subsequent owner of the project as required by the development agreement.
"Accordingly, the purported assignment of the vested property rights … was not and is not legally operative or effective," the suit says.
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Because the original transfer was not properly completed, the complaint continues that the assignment of the vested rights to the holder and finally to Snowmass Acquisition Co. were also ineffective.
An owner of a unit in Base Village, Goodwin claims such adverse effects as "lacking promised infrastructure and other amenities that were to benefit his residential property, living amidst a development project that has been idle and incomplete for years, and having his property values affected by the lack of promised infrastructure and other amenities."
Related is not a defendant in the suit at this time, and Goodwin said Tuesday he hopes to keep it that way.
"The council acted improperly to the disadvantage of the citizens," he said. "I'm not opposed to the completion of Base Village, but they didn't put in the proper safeguards."
Town Manager Clint Kinney said Tuesday that he hadn't seen the lawsuit but that the town would review it and would be "responding accordingly."
At this point, he wasn't aware of a reason that the town would halt the review process of Related's newest application, which proposes changes to the approved plans for the overall development.
Steve Alldredge, spokesman for Related Colorado, declined to comment, as did Snowmass Village Mayor Bill Boineau.