Avon, Traer Creek lawsuits unsettled | VailDaily.com

Avon, Traer Creek lawsuits unsettled

Lauren Glendenning
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado ” The town of Avon, Colorado’s legal fees for two lawsuits with the Traer Creek Metropolitan District have cost more than $70,000, and the litigation isn’t over yet.

The town of Avon and the Traer Creek Metropolitan District sued one another last year and have yet to settle either case. The suit against the town is over the town’s changed laws over vested rights ” the town recently passed a law eliminating the five-year maximum on vested rights created after June 1, 2006.

The town thinks the law change should resolve the District’s lawsuit, said Town Manager Larry Brooks, which argued that the five-year maximum shouldn’t apply to the District.

Traer Creek’s 35-year vested rights term began in 1998 and the town wants to make sure it continues to get paid what it’s due for the next 25 years, Brooks said, which leads to the town’s suit against the District over payments the town believes it is owed.

There is one final $200,000 payment for capital improvement projects on the east side of Avon ” the District paid nine out of 10 of these payments, but missed the final payment due last September.

The rest of the lawsuit claims the District owes the town about $450,000 in lost sales tax ” revenues the town claims it lost when Wal-Mart moved to its new location and was replaced with Sports Authority, Office Depot and Pier 1 Imports, stores that generate much less sales tax.

The cost of not suing would be a much bigger blow to the town, Brooks said.

“Whatever it’s costing us is nothing compared to what it costs us if we don’t force the (Traer Creek Metropolitan District) to pay,” Brooks said.

The Traer Creek Metropolitan District said in a statement Thursday that it had agreed to put litigation on hold so the town could acknowledge Traer Creek’s rights by including language in the new law, which the town did not do, according to the statement.

The town filed its expert witness disclosure, basically an assertion of its claims against the District, on May 1. The District has 30 days to file a response back.

As for the lawsuit against the town, the town filed a motion on May 1 to dismiss the case because of the new vested rights laws. A judge will decide whether the suit can continue, thus costing the town even more in legal fees.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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