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State’s high court says citizens have standing in Cloudrock appeal

Posted by Moab Premier Properties on April 11, 2010
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The Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a group of neighbors and citizens does have standing to challenge the Grand County Council’s decision to approve an amended plan and development agreement for the Cloudrock subdivision proposed for Johnson’s Up-on-Top mesa.

The court did not rule on the merits of the case, but remanded the case back to 7th District Court in Moab to be decided. In 2008, 7th District Judge Lyle Anderson granted summary judgment in favor of the Cloudrock developers, whose attorneys had argued that the citizens lacked standing to file the appeal. Anderson also ruled that the ordinance in question was a legislative act, not an administrative act, and therefore the county was not required to submit a complete administrative record of the council’s action for review by the court.

Todd Jenson, deputy county attorney for Grand County, said Wednesday morning that “getting a complete record is really just a procedural housekeeping issue” and the case will be decided on the merits.

J. Craig Smith, attorney for the group of citizens, said the state high court’s decision means the litigation must start anew. But Jenson said the state Supreme Court’s decision does not restart the case from the beginning, rather it means the case will be resumed in 7th District Court with the complete record submitted for review.

At this time the citizens group has not determined what its next steps will be, according to Smith.

Leucadia Financial Corporation, parent company of Cloudrock Land Company, issued a statement through its attorney, Michael D. Zimmerman of Snell and Wilmer, LLP. “Leucadia remains committed to the county approved plan,” Zimmerman said, adding that once the county has assembled and filed the full administrative record, Leucadia anticipates going back to court to seek another ruling in the case.

Jenson said the Grand County Attorney’s office will review the high court’s ruling and will issue a statement about the ruling later this week.
-Moab Times Indepentent