Real estate company accuses Farmington of blocking its development plans

Published July 15, 2013 3:48 pm

Courts • Lawsuit claims city's actions are designed to help competing Station Park owner.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Davis County company is claiming Farmington city officials are blocking its efforts to build a commercial and residential development as a way to give CenterCal Properties LLC, owner of adjacent Station Park shopping center, "a monopoly position."

In a lawsuit filed in 2nd District Court, The Haws Companies (THC) alleges that Farmington — at the direction of Mayor Scott Harbertson and City Manager Dave Millheim — has refused to accept its project master plan application and placed unreasonable restrictions on the 72-acre development.

"City officials have openly said they are trying to benefit and protect CenterCal from competition from other property owners in the area," the company says in the suit, which was filed Friday.

Farmington officials could not be reached Monday for an initial response.

The suit, which claims breach of contract and violations of constitutional rights, says THC has "suffered enormous damages." It seeks an unspecified monetary award and an order that the city accept and fairly process its applications.

According to the suit, starting in 1996, investors represented by THC assembled 136 acres for mixed-use commercial and residential development. The property is next to the Farmington FrontRunner station and separated from a neighborhood of single-family homes by the I-15 and Legacy Highway corridors.

THC, which spent 17 years planning and marketing the site, sold the 64 acres where Station Park now sits to CenterCal in 2007, the suit says. The company kept the remaining 72 acres.

"It was the conscious decision of THC to sell a portion of the property to a development company that had deeper resources and could execute a higher profile development that would benefit the surrounding stakeholders," the suit says.

However, the suit alleges, although Farmington has received millions of dollars in additional taxes from the project, it now is disregarding the overall property plan that THC negotiated with the city.

THC also alleges the city:

• Refused to accept applications unless the developer first deeded some property rights to Farmington

• Relocated a proposed intersection to directly benefit CenterCal

• Installed water lines on THC land without permission

• Arbitrarily refused to approve sign heights and numbers that were permitted for CenterCal under the same zoning standards

• Stopped returning phone calls


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC



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