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Woodland Hills calls in bonds

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WOODLAND HILLS — The City Council called in the development bonds on two large subdivisions, including property sold to an Elk Ridge developer.

That means the city can take the bonds, pledged as security and totaling about $169,000, and use the cash to complete the projects, Mayor Nile Jensen said.

The council may also take other legal action against developers Darrell and Dan Bushnell.

The council ruled at its meeting last week that the developers were in default of signed annexation and development agreements, including timely completion of roads within the Woodland Meadows and Oak Ridge subdivisions. Much of the land hasn't yet been platted but still falls under the pacts, Jensen said.

Among the complaints was the Bushnells' failure get written permission from the city before selling most of the land to developer Don Mecham as required by the agreements, Jensen said. Mecham is an Elk Ridge city councilman. Dan Bushnell disputed whether the sale violated the agreements.

"We have the right to assign the property," he said.

Mecham said he bought all but 18 building lots in the 550-acre site.

The council will consult with its attorney concerning possible legal action. Meanwhile, the council said the city will not process any additional land-use applications from the Bushnells or Mecham until the issues are resolved.

Mecham, told the Deseret News he wants to cooperate with the city in helping it install a new booster pump and water tank to resolve the rural town's water woes.

The Bushnells recently filed a notice of a $2.3 million claim against the city, an action required before a lawsuit can be file against the city. They claim the city violated the development agreements by trying to enforce ordinance changes put in place after the signings. They believe the original ordinances should apply. They claim the city is guilty of inverse condemnation by failing to allow them the opportunity to develop their property.

Jensen said the city has the right to amend its ordinances and exercise its police power.

E-MAIL: rodger@desnews.com