After months of legal wrangling, developer Victor Deverian and the city have agreed to start all over again.
The City Council on Tuesday accepted an out-of-court settlement in which Deverian agreed to withdraw his lawsuit against the city in exchange for having his proposed River Park Estates subdivision reconsidered by the council.Deverian filed that lawsuit in March after the council denied his request for a zoning change that would have allowed him to go forward with plans to build a 200-lot subdivision on 120 acres west of 700 West, between 12000 and 12300 South. The Planning Commission had recommended approval of the zone change.
"Lawsuits are not the best. We're starting over," Deverian said after the council's decision. "We're both just trying to stay positive."
Both the council and Deverian conceded that a second lawsuit is possible if the development is again rejected. But the settlement includes a list of stipulations Deverian has agreed to, and those commitments should make the project more palatable to the council, City Manager David Campbell said.
The agreement limits the total number of lots that can be included in the proposed development to 170 and raises the minimum lot area from one-third of an acre to a half-acre. Deverian also agreed to preserve between 38 1/2 and 43 1/2 acres of the project as permanent open space, grant access to an adjacent property owner, pay for a soil survey and drainage plan and seek approval from the federal government to build in a wetlands area.
- Also Tuesday, the council gave a reprieve to more than a dozen businesses with commercial signs larger than what a proposed revision of the city's sign ordinance would allow. The council put off its decision on the ordinance - and whether to include the provision that would require existing oversize signs to come down by the turn of the century - until its Aug. 29 meeting.
Several council members said they are leaning away from the city staff's recommendation to have the big signs torn down to equalize competition between existing and incoming businesses. But the amortization clause was not the only part of the proposed ordinance council members took issue with. Regulations governing temporary signs and political signs, and a provision that would give planned unit developments more flexibility, drew fire.