By Kevin Reagan for Maricopa Monitor
The developers of a private motor park in Maricopa and the city won back-to-back victories in court last week.
The Arizona Supreme Court denied a request to review a petition filed by plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Private Motorsports Group and the City of Maricopa.
A political action committee, known as Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers, appealed to the Supreme Court after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the developers and the city.
After reviewing the plaintiffs’ petition, the Supreme Court decided not to review the matter. A written opinion from the appellate court will be released later.
The lawsuit involves a permit the Maricopa City Council granted PMG in April to build a 280-acre facility, known as APEX. A petition signed by hundreds of residents was submitted to the city, asking that the permit be made into a ballot initiative.
After the city refused to forward the petition to the Pinal County Recorder’s Office, the plaintiffs asked the courts to intervene.
Pinal County Judge Robert Carter Olson sided with the citizens committee, ruling the city made a “legislative” action in issuing a permit, which should be subject to a referendum.
But an appellate court reversed the Superior Court’s decision.
The decision came the same day Judge Olson decided a Maricopa woman had no standing to challenge the city’s issuance of a permit to PMG. Bonita Burks filed a separate lawsuit, arguing the construction of APEX would cause injury due to her home’s proximity to the building site.
After hearing oral arguments on Monday, Olson ruled Burks presented no evidence suggesting she would suffer an injury more substantial than the rest of the community.
After the appellate court ruled in favor of PMG, the developers released a statement suggesting the whole lawsuit was backed by another motorsports project: Attesa, which is planned just south of Casa Grande.
Lawyers representing PMG went further with this theory, claiming Burks was a “paid plaintiff” because of her limited liability company, Sign Petitions Here, which was reportedly used to circulate the petitions asking for the referendum.
Burks’ attorneys have disputed these accusations and plaintiffs’ attorney Timothy La Sota said these remarks are “uncalled for.” Williams declined to comment on the suggestion Attesa was involved in the lawsuits.
Read more at Maricopa Monitor.
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