Meadows lawsuit settled |

Meadows lawsuit settled

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Hardware merchants settled a lawsuit filed against the city government that could have delayed construction of stores at Glenwood Meadows.

City officials agreed to fund a $10,000 economic summit, $50,000 a year to the Downtown Development Authority and installation of signs at the two ends of Devereux Road as part of the lawsuit settlement.

The lawsuit, filed Sept. 23, 2003, by a group called Glenwood Springs Citizens for Democracy, challenged the establishment of three metropolitan tax districts at Glenwood Meadows. It was settled Nov. 26.

Glenwood Springs Citizens for Democracy, formed specifically to challenge the metro districts, was comprised of Big John’s Building and Home president John Lindsey, Big John’s controller Daniel C. Like and Glenwood Springs True Value store manager Tom Maher.

“I view it as a really positive thing,” Glenwood Springs city attorney Karl Hanlon said of the settlement. “I think it was going to be a long and arduous battle.”

The suit had the potential to delay construction of Glenwood Meadows, as well as Meadows-related road construction.

Hanlon said the summit, tentatively planned for this spring, will give local businesses a chance to learn how to be competitive with large corporate retailers.

The $50,000-a-year funding for the DDA will go toward small projects in the district, Hanlon said. The money will come out of sales tax revenues generated at the Glenwood Meadows shopping center, the agreement said.

Hanlon said it’s unclear how much the Devereux Road signs will cost.

“Basically, Big John’s wanted signs at the end of the road pointing to their store,” Hanlon said.

Big John’s president John Lindsey could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The settlement agreement also states that the city will consider a sales tax rebate system to give businesses an incentive to improve sales.

“The better you do, the more you get back,” Hanlon said.

Now that the lawsuit is settled, Hanlon said there are no legal roadblocks keeping Meadows developers from borrowing up to $24 million to install the infrastructure for the project. The districts allow developers to borrow money that will be paid back through sales and property taxes by Glenwood Meadows shoppers and property owners.

Citizens for Democracy attorney Lee Leavenworth said a separate agreement was reached between the group and Meadows developers, but the terms of that deal are confidential.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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