Hearing set for lawsuit filed against Town of Silverthorne
SUMMIT DAILY NEWS
A hearing has been set for the court to consider the Town of Silverthorne’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it in September. The case is regarding the town’s approval procedures for the incoming Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.
The hearing is set for Feb. 23 or 24, but plaintiff attorney Rob Waterman has prior commitments and has suggested alternative dates in the following two weeks. An adjustment hasn’t been made yet.
The town’s motion to dismiss claims the plaintiffs’ complaint has no standing. After reviewing filings and responses, the court has ordered an evidentiary hearing, in which the parties must prove their side – that the plaintiffs do or do not have standing to pursue the suit.
Standing is defined as “whether the petitioner has suffered actual injury from the challenged governmental action and whether the injury is to a legally-protected or cognizable interest,” court documents state.
Plaintiffs in the case are Deborah Fort and Pamela Bent of Silverthorne and Timothy Reidy and Margaret Schweri of Mesa Cortina, an area of unincorporated Summit County located above the Lowe’s site. They claim they’ll be negatively affected by the store’s development.
The original complaint states the town incorrectly categorized the business as a hardware store, under which it’s granted “use-by-right” status and is guaranteed the right to conduct business in Silverthorne. Designations as a “lumberyard” or “building materials” store would put Lowe’s in a “conditional use” category that does not guarantee the right to do business and gives town officials more negotiating power.
Plaintiffs cite Lowe’s investor documents as evidence that the home improvement center is more of a lumberyard or building materials store than a hardware store. In addition, they say the company self-designates as “lumber and other building materials dealers.”
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