By RYAN HASLAM
Seven Peaks waited until the last day allowed to file a federal lawsuit against Provo City Council.
Today marks the 30th day after Seven Peaks was denied permission by the Provo City Council to build land and the last day they would be allowed to file suit.
Brent McQuarrie, owner of the Seven Peaks property, was not excited to make the announcement in a press conference this afternoon.
“My partners and I regret to announce that we must take legal action against the city of Provo and two of the Council members. We certainly wish there were other options available to us, but there are none,” McQuarrie said.
McQuarrie went on to explain the nature of the lawsuit. “(City Council’s) decision was unfair and arbitrary,” he said.
Provo City Councilmember Paul Warner said the Council wasn’t surprised by the decision and that Seven Peaks had said they might file suit.
“We knew this was coming,” Warner said. “They’re just trying to make sure they cover all their bases so that if they want to reapply for zoning change, they haven’t missed any of the opportunities to do so.”
The claims in the lawsuit specifically name Dennis Poulsen and Cindy Richards as defendants in the case for allegedly attempting to undermine the Seven Peaks project.
The two Council members could not be reached for comment. However, Seven Peak’s attorney, Charles Abbot, said that was not all that is included in the lawsuit.
“It’s a lawsuit that covers a lot of ground,” Abbot said. “We believe that in the final vote, the decision was made with consideration to public opinion, which is not how it’s supposed to be done, according to Utah law.”
Other charges in the lawsuit involve unfair treatment to Seven Peak’s specific development as compared to other nearby developments.
“We were denied equal protection,” Abbot said. “The Wilderness Association has twice the density, no open space and 298 units. Our development, on the other hand, would’ve had a much more beautiful appearance with 12 acres of open space reserved for a park inside the development. We were going to donate 50 acres to the city for open space as well.”
Seven Peaks feels they were given a false image during the debate over their property.
“I can’t help but feel that what happened brought on the worst in the city. … There was a lot of misrepresentation in this case. It was part of the opposition’s strategy. Unfortunately, it worked,” said Kurt Leffler, consultant for the Seven Peaks Development Corporation.
McQuarrie, in today’s press conference, said that he loves being part of Provo and thinks a lot of its residents agree that his development will be a beautiful addition to the city.