July 12, 2016

Developer of Littleton Mixed-Use Project Threatens to Sue City for $30 Million

Developer of Littleton Mixed-Use Project Threatens to Sue City for $30 Million

The Grove senior-living, mixed-use development project in downtown Littleton got pretty heated at a recent City Council meeting, and which council members considered putting an immediate halt to it.

This city also faces a potential $30 million lawsuit from the project developer, Denver-based Zocalo Community Development, if the council decides to vote to withdraw the project development plan and the building permits.

Why Is City Council Considering Shutting Down the Project?

The following details of the Grove development project were provided by local news reports and court documents:

  • The property in question a 160-unit complex located at the southwest corner of West Littleton Boulevard and South Bemis Street.
  • The City of Littleton approved the Grove development plans in 2015.
  • The attorney for Zocalo warned the City Council that “a direct Council vote or order by the Council to any other party to rescind, revoke, or otherwise impair the full force and effect of the building permit in any way is blatantly … devoid of any legal authority, and will be viewed as a willful and wanton act against my client.”
  • Several Littleton residents also got up in front of the Council and alleged various violations of the Grove development, such as zoning violations.
  • A smaller contingent was on hand to support the Grove development project, urging Council members to not shut down the development.
  • Councilman Doug Clark brought a motion before the Council after hearing from several concerned residents that the project doesn’t comply with zoning for several reasons.
  • Alleged violations include the residential component being on a 4.3-acres site that supposedly exceeds city code, a parcel identified at the site is being improperly proposed for for emergency access, and the Grove isn’t providing sufficient open space that is suppose to be provided at the site.
  • Another neighbor referred to the project as a “behemoth” and totally out of character for the area.

What Will Happen Next?

It’s highly unlikely that the Grove mixed-use development project will be shuttered. Mostly due to the fact that the city would be facing an impending lawsuit if they did.

Not only would the city be libel to pay for damages, but the move to pull permits could expose “council members individually and personally to financial liability,” according to the Grove’s attorney.

Littleton’s City Manager Michael Penny said he reviewed the project and concluded that the project in its entirety and found that “…it met the applicable land use and zone codes.”

Penny added that “there’s no provision for the Council to get involved, and no language in the code for the Council or staff to send the matter to the Board of adjustment, which hears appeals.

Contact a Denver Real Estate Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

For experienced, effective representation in a real estate or zoning dispute, contact Denver Real Estate Attorney Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their real estate litigation, property tax and real estate legal issues.

Call (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page to schedule an initial consult with Denver Attorney Thomas Downey and find out more about how he can serve you.

From offices in Centennial, Thomas Downey serves clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

Categories: Contract Disputes, Development Plans and Building Permits, Zoning Violations