The Utah Supreme Court has taken under advisement an appeal by a citizens' group suing the city of Springville for allegedly failing to follow its own laws.
The suit revolves around concerns by Springville Citizens for a Better Community that city officials did not follow the city's own codes, rules, regulations and the state constitution in granting approval to the Stonebury Estates planned unit development.For more than two years Citizens for a Better Community, which includes the Highline Ditch Water Users, have argued the city did not follow its own zoning codes in regard to hillside developments in allowing the 37-lot development on the slopes of Powerhouse Mountain.
The citizens have also taken issue with the environmental impact, ordinances governing planned unit developments, improper grading permits, and the rights of citizens to come before the Board of Adjustments, among other concerns.
The lawsuit was dismissed a year ago by 4th District Judge Anthony W. Schofield, who said many of the plaintiffs' concerns had no merit but scolded the city for not following with exactness the requirements of its own ordinance.
"There are several statutes the city has failed to comply with," attorney Matthew Hilton argued before the state's highest court Tuesday. The city also denied the citizens the right to appeal their concerns to the Board of Adjustments, he added.
It is unclear what would happen if the Supreme Court finds merit in the plaintiffs' arguments because the development in question has already gone forward.
"The land will still be developed but not to the degree that they want," Hilton said. "That would minimize the impact on the neighborhood."
Defense attorney Jody Burnett cited to the high court the lower court's ruling that the city had shown substantial compliance for a development of that nature.
"There is nothing here that ought to implicate constitutional principles," Burnett said. "There is nothing to suggest in the record that the outcome would be different" if the court sided with the plaintiffs.