Suit: Pitkin County erred by rejecting home construction
December 9, 2014
A lawsuit alleges that the construction of an Old Snowmass home was thwarted because of miscues by the Pitkin County Community Development Department.
Westland Financial II LLC filed suit Nov. 28 in Pitkin County District Court. The suit contends that the LLC, the owner of a lot on Starlit Lane, had planned to build a 5,186-square-foot, single-family home, but the county abused its authority by not allowing the construction to proceed.
The complaint, filed by Aspen attorney Peter Thomas, contends a series of county errors — its failure to provide the necessary paperwork to the applicant in a timely manner and poor communication with the applicant — led to the rejection.
The suit also alleges that one of the county's main reasons for denying the application was that the applicant picked up the building permit two hours late Sept. 30.
Westland Financial tried to appeal the county's decision, but the county wouldn't entertain it, the suit alleges.
The suit asks the court to conduct a judicial review of the county's rejection.
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"The decision was legally erroneous, unauthorized and unreasonable," alleges the suit, which also named county chief building official Brian Pawl as a defendant.
On Friday, Pitkin County planner Lance Clark said there isn't much to say about the suit.
"Building permits expire if they're not picked up within one year, and this building permit was not picked up within one year," he said. "They're alleging we erred, and that's about all there is to it."