About 16 owners of the Prospect community in Mt. Crested Butte are suing the Prospect Development Co. and Triple Peaks, the group that operates Crested Butte Mountain Resort, arguing that the developer has saddled the community with a debt it promised to pay when it sold the lots.
The homeowner revolt against the developer has simmered for several years, with property owners, the developer and the Town of Mt. Crested Butte filing lawsuits and counterclaims in Gunnison District Court, culminating in the latest lawsuit filed last spring by owners accusing the developer of fraud, breach of contract and misrepresentation.
Most of the wrangling addresses the cost of roads and water and sewer lines, which property owners claim they have shouldered through escalating property taxes despite developer promises to pay for infrastructure.
"Prospect Development Company promised to provide roads, water and other essential infrastructure to the lots in this subdivision at its own expense," said David Leinsdorf, attorney for two of the lot-owner plaintiffs in a statement distributed by a public-relations firm Friday. "The owners of these lots made substantial financial investments based on those promises. Had the lot owners known that this onerous and expensive tax burden would be placed on them by the developer, many of them would not have bought this property. These property tax increases have been a hardship on these owners and may even cause some of them to lose their property."
This week, Gunnison District Judge Steven Patrick denied the Prospect Development Co.'s motion to dismiss. A trial date has not been set.