Town loses round over deannexation |

Town loses round over deannexation

Crystal River Marketplace developers scored a court victory Monday in their desire to disconnect from Carbondale.

But Carbondale town attorney Bob Emerson said despite the decision, the town will take the case to trial.

Ninth District Judge James B. Boyd denied Carbondale’s court action that could have kept the developers’ land in the town limits.

The ruling came as part of the case Crystal River Development brought against the town. The development company wants to disconnect its four parcels of land from the town of Carbondale.

If the bid is successful, 24 acres of land would be detached from Carbondale and placed back into unincorporated Garfield County. The move would cut Carbondale out of sales tax revenues from the parcel if it is commercially developed.

Boyd’s seven-page ruling issued on Monday ended by stating that Carbondale’s “motion for summary judgment is denied.”

A summary judgment is a court decision that’s made without a trial when the facts are not disputed.

“When, as a matter of law and based on admitted facts, the opposing party cannot prevail, the (one who made the motion) is entitled to summary judgment,” Boyd wrote. “However, summary judgment is a drastic remedy and is not a substitute for disputed facts.”

Emerson said Boyd’s denial means that there will be a trial.

“If we had won, it would have meant the judge had ruled in our favor,” Emerson said. “That would have ended the case because he would have determined that the property wasn’t eligible for disconnection.

“We thought that the property should not be disconnected under the statute or we wouldn’t have made the arguments we made,” he said. “I’d hoped the judge would rule in our favor.”

Emerson said he’s not sure on the timeline of the trial.

Crystal River Development’s proposal to build a 250,000-square-foot shopping center was shot down by Carbondale voters on July 15, 2003.

According to the original petition to disconnect, Crystal River Development manager Brian Huster aimed “to disconnect farmland from the town of Carbondale.”

Huster, who manages the company from his office in Del Mar, Calif., could not be reached for comment Monday.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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