Brighton Estates Suit Against Wasatch County Likely Heading To Trial
For the second time attorneys representing Brighton Estates and the Wasatch County Council sought summary judgment from the court in their dispute regarding the dissolvement of the Brighton Estates Special Service District by the council in April 2017.
At Tuesday morning’s hearing Fourth District Court Judge Jennifer Brown recognized both parties desire to seek summary judgment but cited that disputes over the terms of a loan precluded her from deciding the case as a matter of law.
“There is disputed evidence and testimony regarding the vote by the property owners which is being basically argued that it may be a contract term of the loan,” Judge Brown said. “Although interpretation of a contract is a legal matter, here the intention of the parties is key.”
Judge Brown stated that there were two equally plausible interpretations of the provision regarding the vote from the Brighton Estate property owners.
“From the county's perspective, the county retained the ability to determine feasibility of the planned services and that the vote of the property owners does not, and could not, override that determination,” Judge Brown continued. “Second is from Brighton's perspective is that the property owner’s association intended for the vote of the owners to be the determining factor as to feasibility. Meaning that regardless of cost, if the property owners were willing to pay, then providing the services was feasible. Here that dispute is highly material because it is key to determining whether the county's decision, that the planned services were not feasible, was controlling such that the loan did not become repayable and the district was properly dissolved.”
Judge Brown said the disputed issue of material fact precludes her of granting summary judgment as she denied both motions.
Brighton Estates Property Owners’ President Mark Fischer said following the judgment that their main concern is safety in Brighton Estates.
“There are no fire hydrants up there and there’s no way to effectively put out a forest fire in the event that that unfortunate event would occur,” Fischer explained. “So, we're simply trying to get in place some long-term life safety things, such as fire hydrants and proper access. We remain determined and we're going to see it through.”
Fischer says that they are hoping for a trial date in the near future.