By Kevin Reagan for Casa Grande Dispatch
A second civil lawsuit has been filed against the City of Maricopa for approving the construction of a racetrack.
The complaint was filed by Bonita Burks last week in Pinal County Superior Court, a couple of weeks after a separate lawsuit was filed by a committee named Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers. (AZBEX, June 30)
Both lawsuits take issue with APEX Motor Club, a proposed 280-acre complex for automobile enthusiasts that would include a racetrack and car garages. The Maricopa City Council approved a permit for the project in April.
The Burks suit accuses Private Motorsports Group, developers of APEX, of trying to “bypass and subvert” the necessary process for obtaining a permit under the city’s new zoning code.
Michael Riikola, one of Burks’ attorneys, said his client’s argument is just asking for the city to apply its own zoning code accurately and fairly.
When the city was incorporated, it adopted a zoning code that closely matched Pinal County’s zoning rules. The city adopted a new zoning code in 2014.
The APEX property is located in an old industrial zoning district that doesn’t exist under the city’s new code, according to the lawsuit. Therefore, the plaintiff argues, developers need to apply for the land to be rezoned as a commercial district, which permits the construction of racetracks.
The lawsuit filed by Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers made a similar argument.
The Burks lawsuit further characterizes the project as “detrimentally” impacting local residents by potentially increasing traffic and noise. Burks is described in court documents as an “aggrieved resident”, who lives close to the APEX site.
Matt Williams, spokesman for Private Motorsports, called the lawsuits against his project “frivolous” and having “little to no merit.”
Read more at Casa Grande Dispatch.
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