Buckhorn Ranch subdivision litigants nearing settlement

Threat of building permit stay lifted
It looks like the Stallion Park affordable housing units, which exceeded the height limit covenants in the Buckhorn Ranch subdivision, won’t have to be taken down.

At the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Monday, December 4, county attorney David Baumgarten reported that litigants Michael Weiner and the derivative plaintiff, the Buckhorn Ranch Homeowners Association, had reached settlement with subdivision developer Richard Landy.
“I think it is accurate to say that the parties have reached… a preliminary agreement,” said Baumgarten.
Buckhorn Ranch lot owner Weiner had sued Landy, Feder and their respective businesses for building the Stallion Park affordable housing units higher than the allowable height specified in the subdivision’s covenants.
“Weiner was right to keep pushing it,” said Buckhorn Ranch Homeowner Association president Grant Bremer after the meeting.
Besides the settlement agreement, Bremer said, the lawsuit had other positive effects.
“It really strengthened our homeowner association,” he said.
Prior to the settlement, the county commissioners had threatened to stay all building permits for the development’s unsold lots. But Baumgarten told the commissioners that he felt the stay was no longer necessary based on Landy’s willingness to settle the outstanding suit.
While Baumgarten said all agreements were not in their final form, he said he was confident that a final deal would be reached, and therefore the county could lift the threat of the permit stay.
Commission chairman Hap Channell wondered if the settlement agreement addressed outstanding infrastructure issues. The subdivision has been fraught with a number of infrastructure problems including water pipes that were inadequately covered, which made them prone to freezing and substandard road surfaces.
Stallion Park is the affordable housing component of the development, while most of the infrastructure problems are related to the free-market Buckhorn Ranch element of the development.
Baumgarten said the engineer overseeing the infrastructure improvements, Jerry Burgess, declared that most of the infrastructure problems were well on their way to being resolved and the Stallion Park height issue could be regarded as separate from the rest of the problems with the development.
Commissioner Jim Starr acknowledged the opposing parties for their efforts to settle the lawsuit.
“Thank you for your diligence in working toward settling this,” he said.
The details of the settlement have not been released, but Bremer said a press conference detailing the settlement agreement would be forthcoming.

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