Attorneys for the Sterling Ranch development filed a motion for reconsideration of a district court decision that sent the developer back to the drawing board.
In a motion filed Sept. 12 in Douglas County District Court, the motion asked District Court Judge Paul King to have a second look at his Aug. 22 order in favor of the Chatfield Community Association that reversed the Douglas County Board of County Commissioner’s approval of the Sterling Ranch planned development and water appeal.
With their approval, commissioners granted Sterling Ranch permission to rezone 3,400 acres in a development planned for up to 12,000 homes.
In tandem with the rezone, commissioners approved a water appeal that granted Harold Smethills, Sterling Ranch managing director, to prove an adequate water supply for the development at each plat filing, or phase, of construction.
King’s ruling came about a year after commissioners approved the Sterling Ranch application. King applied a state law that says “the Board has no authority to approve the application without the Applicant demonstrating the adequacy of the water supply.”
Attorney David Foster, on behalf of Sterling Ranch, hopes King will reconsider his decision.
His argument is two-fold: that the rezone is not for new construction, it is for use; and that the state only requires a water analysis at one point during the development process.
“The approval is zoned for up to 12,000 homes, but we won’t know what will actually be built until we begin subdividing the property,” Foster said. “Our second argument is that the water analysis should come at the point of construction. Why would you do a water adequacy determination at a point prior to knowing exactly what you’re going to build?”
Foster filed the motion as an intervenor in the case, not as a defendant, because the case was filed by the Chatfield Community Association against the board of county commissioners. The board has passed a motion to file an appeal to King’s order, but cannot file a notice of intent to appeal before Oct. 10, according to Lance Ingalls, Douglas County attorney.
Jim Kreutz, the attorney for the Chatfield Community Association who successfully argued the original case in King’s courtroom, was “not surprised” Sterling Ranch filed a motion for reconsideration, he said.
“They just kind of regurgitated what they had said previously,” Kreutz said. “They want the judge to take a second look and say … ‘I was wrong.’ I don’t think he’s going to do that.”