Town answers zoning lawsuit - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Town answers zoning lawsuit

Case lacks evidence, town lawyers say

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Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:00 pm

Lawyers for Oro Valley have issued a response to a lawsuit that alleges town employees denied a plaintiff his due process rights in a building renovation application.

In their response, dated July 23, Oro Valley’s lawyers asked for dismissal of the charges.

The plaintiff, Reflections at the Buttes owner John Fazio, claimed town building safety employees needlessly withheld his application for a certificate of occupancy at the business that serves as a reception hall, church and a home.

Fazio claimed that Oro Valley officials have harbored a grudge against him for an earlier judgment he won against the town.

He also accused one employee of hiding and altering a document that was part of an application for building renovations.

Town Attorney Tobin Rosen denied the allegation.

The town’s lawyers asked that the judge throw out the case on grounds that Fazio waited too long to file a claim against the town.

They claim that Fazio was first denied a certificate of occupancy for Reflections at the Buttes in 2001, but that he didn’t file suit against the town for seven years.

State law says that actions against a public entity or employees should be brought within a year after the alleged injury occurs.

Attorneys also asked that the case be dismissed because Fazio and his lawyers did not provide sufficient facts to prove their claim that the town violated due process.

“Even if the town’s decision was wrong, this does not equate to a federal violation of substantive due process,” town lawyers wrote in their reply to Fazio’s claims.

Fazio’s attorneys requested the judge grant them time to issue a reply to the town’s filing.

Rosen did not want to comment further on the lawsuit except to say that the case has always been about Fazio’s failure to comply with building safety codes, not a vendetta against him.

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