Mountainside suit against Frisco thrown out
Summit Daily News
A lawsuit filed against the Town of Frisco by Mountainside Condominium’s homeowners association was dismissed Wednesday. The dismissal followed a council decision somewhat addressing Mountainside concerns by placing trail and landscaping conditions on the Peak One Neighborhood plan.
The suit was filed in July by the association and some individual owners following the denial of an appeal to Frisco Council by Mountainside Condominium owners who disputed town-approved changes to the Peak One Neighborhood’s phase two plans. It alleged the developer’s plan violated goals outlined in Frisco’s master plan for the neighborhood, completed in November of 2008 after three public meetings.
“We’re pleased we can put this behind us and focus on creating the vision the community has for the Peak One Neighborhood,” town manager Michael Penny said.
The dismissal comes after a Tuesday night town council decision to include trail connection conditions in the approved plan. The design plans were discussed by developer David O’Neil at the June 14 council meeting at which condo owners rallied for appeal. O’Neil wrote council members Tuesday, saying it was his understanding the conditions were approved but weren’t reflected in the record. He asked that planned trail and landscaping adjustments – including two “aesthetic” bridges over drainage ditches, landscape buffering, and a graveled pathway – be added as conditions of council’s approval of the amendment.
The dismissal was hinted at in Frisco’s Tuesday night council meeting when town attorney Thad Renaud told council he had recently heard from the plaintiff’s attorney, who mentioned a dismissal was possible if council made the conditions official.
The case was dismissed with prejudice, and each party has to pay its own costs and attorneys fees.
Penny is currently unsure of the suit’s cost to Frisco, but doesn’t expect it to be substantial. The town had to hire a municipal judge, and is responsible for attorney’s hours. Staff time was also spent on the matter.
The amendment to the original plan, which was approved by the commission in early May, eliminated the north-south portion of the East Meridian Alley after issues about fire access and safety arose earlier this year. The developers, Ten Mile Partners, created an east-west alley configuration, added another alley – Recen Alley – and redrew the lots to accommodate the change. A duplex was removed and replaced with two single homes, keeping the same housing density of seven units.
Mountainside appealed to council on June 14 to overturn the May decision, stating concerns about accessibility to and paving of the alleys; maintaining trail connectivity to the bike path and national forest trailhead; and headlights from the alleys spilling into their condos. Owners also expressed concern about the alignments and closeness of the new Peak One homes to their own.
In the updated plan, the only formal path was one just north of the wetlands, running east to west. East Meridian and Recen Alleys would also be accessible to residents from Mountainside, but were planned to be owned by Peak One.
The appeal was denied, with two new conditions in place: Meridian and Recen Alleys become public to allow for trail access, and screening be added at the end of Recen Alley to block any headlights.
The plaintiffs contended the changes to the neighborhood’s phase two plans violated several guiding principals of the Peak One master plan, including: sensitivity to existing trails was not maintained; planned housing was too dense near existing neighborhoods; and plans would block views for adjacent neighborhoods, among other issues.
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