Avon, Traer Creek may still go to trial
AVON, Colorado – The town of Avon and the developers of the Traer Creek may still end up in a month-long civil trial this summer.
The town and the developers announced in October of last year they had reached a tentative settlement for three years of legal wrangling that had cost the town at least $1.2 million. But that “term sheet” required a lot of work before a final settlement could be signed. That work has kept the Town Council in hours of closed-to-the-public executive sessions in the months since the agreement was announced.
Attorneys for BNP Paribas, Traer Creek’s lender, and the the Traer Creek Metropolitan District Tuesday took the unusual step of addressing the Avon Town Council to talk about the deal. It was a one-sided conversation, since Avon Mayor Rich Carroll said Town Council members can’t comment on the matter since it’s still in a kind of legal limbo.
Brandee Caswell, an attorney for BNP Paribas, told council members that District Judge Thomas Moorhead had imposed an April 16 deadline on the parties to present a plan they can all agree upon. That plan, Caswell said, will require specifics about revisions to the annexation agreement between the town and Traer Creek, as well as a solid framework for a $10 million water tank project.
Without that plan, Caswell said, “a trial is inevitable,” adding that Moorhead has already scheduled the trial to begin June 23.
Caswell said if the case does go to trial, any result in court would eliminate items tentatively agreed to in the settlement, including the water tank, land dedications to the town, creating new revenue streams for the town, economic growth and jobs. A trial could delay any action at Traer Creek for between three and five years, she said.
Caswell said she and Mary Jo Dougherty, an attorney representing the Traer Creek Metro District, just received a tentative annexation agreement March 22, and worked on it through the weekend.
Dougherty said they hoped to have their version of the agreement to town officials by March 30.
Caswell and Dougherty both said a lot of progress has been made on the settlement in the last month. But, Caswell said, more work remains.
And, Dougherty said, she believes the parties can still come up with a good settlement by Moorhead’s deadline.