Town, developer settle their lawsuits in Avon
AVON, Colorado – After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the town of Avon and the developers of the Traer Creek project have agreed to settle a pair of lawsuits just weeks before a monthlong trial was set to begin.
The Avon Town Council on Tuesday voted 5-2 – with council members Buzz Reynolds and Kristi Ferraro voting no – to sign a settlement “term sheet” with the Traer Creek Metropolitan District.
Signing the agreement means the town and Traer Creek have asked District Judge Robert Moorhead to vacate the planned trial dates, set from Oct. 31 to Nov. 25. Since the litigation began, the town and Traer Creek have filed thousands of pages of documents to support their respective cases.
The town sued the district to recover about $3 million in payments for municipal services provided to the district, as well as sales taxes intended to make up for the loss of revenue from the town’s old Walmart store.
Traer Creek then sued the town, alleging, among other things, that the town had refused to let the developers sell units at the Traer Creek Plaza building. The town had refused that request due to matters including parking and the original lawsuit.
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A statement from the town Tuesday said that the town and Traer Creek still had several issues to work out before the settlement could be finalized, including restructuring the metro district’s bonds, financing a water storage tank and numerous revisions to the Village at Avon annexation and development agreement and approval of amendments to the Village at Avon development plan. Many of the land-use-related matters must go through the town’s public process. The proposed amendments require public hearings before both the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission and the Avon Town Council.
After the vote to approve the agreement, Reynolds said he voted “no” because he didn’t agree with the terms of the deal.
“I thought they got too much,” Reynolds said.
Ferraro said she believes the settlement is “more risky and potentially costly than further litigation would be.”
Council member Amy Phillips, who voted in favor of the deal, said the settlement gives town residents a chance to see and debate the terms.
“I think we can come to a resolution that works for all the parties,” Phillips said. “I hope we can get ‘er done.”