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City responds to mall lawsuit

(Jul 14, 2010)

Westminster officials are continuing to move ahead to redevelop the Westminster Mall site despite a recent lawsuit filed by mall ownership.

On July 8 the city received notice of a complaint filed in Jefferson County District Court by the Westminster Mall Company and related parties challenging the city’s urban renewal efforts at the mall property.

As required by Colorado’s Urban Renewal Law, a study of the property in 2009 determined the property was blighted. Following a public hearing Westminster City Council made a finding of blight at the mall site as required by law and adopted an urban renewal plan to address the conditions.

The Westminster Economic Development Authority is currently pursuing its legally adopted urban renewal plan to facilitate redevelopment at the site.
 
“The City of Westminster and WEDA have properly followed, and will continue to follow, the procedures specified in Colorado law for planning and accomplishing this urban renewal project,” said Brent McFall, Westminster city manager. “Based on what has been presented in the complaint that we have received, we see no merit to the Mall Company’s allegations and are confident that we will prevail once the matter is adjudicated in a court of law.

“We intend to continue to work toward achieving an urban renewal project that is consistent with our vision for a vibrant, urban center at the site currently occupied by a blighted retail center,” he said.

Statement from Brent McFall, Westminster city manager:

"Today the City of Westminster and its urban renewal authority, the Westminster Economic Development Authority, received notice of a complaint filed by the Westminster Mall Company and related parties challenging in Jefferson County District Court the city’s and WEDA’s urban renewal efforts at the mall property.

"As required by Colorado’s Urban Renewal Law, a study of the property in 2009 determined the property was blighted. Following a public hearing Westminster City Council made a finding of blight at the mall site as required by law and adopted an urban renewal plan to address the conditions. The mall ownership did not present any objections to these actions at that time. The Westminster Economic Development Authority is currently pursuing its legally adopted urban renewal plan to facilitate redevelopment at the site.

"The City of Westminster and WEDA have properly followed, and will continue to follow, the procedures specified in Colorado law for planning and accomplishing this urban renewal project. Based on what has been presented in the complaint that we have received, we see no merit to the Mall Company’s allegations and are confident that we will prevail once the matter is adjudicated in a court of law.

"While it is unfortunate that the Westminster Mall Company and the other related parties have chosen to file these claims, the City of Westminster and WEDA are confident that we have properly followed the law. We intend to continue to work toward achieving an urban renewal project that is consistent with our vision for a vibrant, urban center at the site currently occupied by a blighted retail center."

Background on the urban renewal area

On April 13, 2009, Westminster City Council in accordance with state law created an urban renewal area for the mall property and adopted a plan to address the blighted conditions on the property.

The action was taken following a formal public hearing. No one spoke in support of or opposition to the decision.

The adopted plan includes the findings of a detailed blight study as required by state law. It also outlines the reasons for the blight determination and includes the steps the city will take to achieve the plan objectives.

Read the complete plan and blight study.





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