Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Baker v. Carlson

Supreme Court of Utah

November 28, 2018

Paul Baker and Stephen D. Stuart, Petitioners/Appellees and Cross-Appellants,
v.
Stephanie Carlson, Holladay City Recorder, and Holladay City, Respondents/Appellants and Cross-Appellees, and Ivory Development, LLC, Intervening-Respondent/Appellant and Cross-Appellee.

          On Direct Appeal Third District, Salt Lake The Honorable Richard D. McKelvie Case No. 180905777

          J. Craig Smith, Kathryn J. Steffey, Clayton H. Preece, Salt Lake City, for petitioners/appellees and cross-appellants

          Troy L. Booher, Beth E. Kennedy, Salt Lake City, Todd J. Godfrey, Jayme L. Blakesley, Holladay, for respondents/appellants and cross-appellees

          Alan L. Sullivan, Wade R. Budge, Salt Lake City, for intervening-respondent/appellant and cross-appellee

          Justice Himonas authored the opinion of the Court in which Chief Justice Durrant, Associate Chief Justice Lee, Justice Pearce, and Justice Petersen joined.

          OPINION [1]

          HIMONAS JUSTICE

         INTRODUCTION

         ¶1 Since the old Cottonwood Mall closed its doors more than ten years ago, the City of Holladay has been looking for a way to redevelop the land on which the mall once stood. In May 2018, the City approved two resolutions, Resolution 2018-16 and Resolution 2018-17, that would enable Ivory Development, LLC to develop that land. In response, a group of citizens from Holladay petitioned to subject the Resolutions to a public vote by referendum. The district court held that Resolution 2018-16 was approved pursuant to the City's legislative power and is therefore referable. The district court also held that Resolution 2018-17 was approved pursuant to the City's administrative power and is therefore not referable. We affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 In the mid-2000s, and after more than 40 years in business, the Cottonwood Mall shuttered its doors. Soon thereafter, the City began searching for a way to redevelop the land on which the Cottonwood Mall stood (the Site). In 2007, Cottonwood Mall, LLC, the owner of the Site, engaged the City in redevelopment talks and asked the City to rezone the Site to permit mixed uses. In response, the City approved the creation of a new zoning district, the Regional/Mixed-Use (R/M-U) zone, and rezoned the Site as R/M-U.

         ¶3 In creating the R/M-U zone, the City also created the means by which development of an R/M-U zone is controlled. Specifically, any person wishing to build in an R/M-U zone must submit a site development master plan (SDMP) to the City for approval. The SDMP controls the development of all property within an R/M-U zone and is meant to serve as a guide for the overall development and design of the entire site-much in the same way the City's general plan functions in the context of the larger community. See Holladay, Utah, Code §§ 13.65.030, .060. Once an SDMP has been approved, the City and the developer must enter into an Agreement for the Development of Land (ADL), which grants specific rights pursuant to the SDMP and addresses additional development-related issues. See id. § 13.65.070.

         ¶4 Pursuant to this framework, Cottonwood Mall, LLC submitted, and the City approved, an SDMP (the 2007 SDMP) and an ADL (the 2008 ADL) that contemplated redevelopment of the Site. Ultimately, Cottonwood Mall, LLC abandoned the project and nothing relevant to this case happened for nearly a decade.

         ¶5 In 2016, Cottonwood Mall, LLC and Ivory began negotiating the terms of a possible purchase of the Site and Cottonwood Mall, LLC's rights in the redevelopment project. In November 2017, Ivory submitted a proposal to the City to amend the 2007 SDMP. Two months later, after holding two public hearings and four work meetings to discuss the proposal, the City's Planning Commission voted 5-1 against recommending approval of the proposal to the City Council. As a result, Ivory revised its proposal and submitted a second proposal to amend the 2007 SDMP. The second proposal was considered by the City Council after a final public hearing and debate in May 2018. At the same time, the City also considered Ivory's proposal to amend the 2008 ADL. On May 17, 2018, the City Council passed Resolutions 2018-16 and 2018-17. Resolution 2018-16 approved Ivory's second proposal to amend the 2007 SDMP, as reflected in the 2018 SDMP. Resolution 2018-17 approved Ivory's proposal to amend the 2008 ADL, as reflected in the Amended ADL.

         ¶6 On May 22, 2018, Petitioners and several other sponsors (collectively, the Sponsors) filed an application with the City Recorder seeking to put the Resolutions to a public vote. The City provided the Sponsors with signature sheets as required by statute, but cautioned that providing the Sponsors with the signature sheets should not be interpreted to mean that the City considered the Resolutions to be referable. Nonetheless, the City scheduled a special election for November 6, 2018, in the event that the Resolutions were referable. Eventually, the Sponsors gathered and submitted enough signatures to have the referenda placed on the ballot. Upon receiving the signed petitions, the City determined that the Resolutions were administrative in nature-and therefore not referable-and declined to place the referenda on the ballot.

         ¶7 In response, Petitioners initiated this action on August 13, 2018, by filing a petition for extraordinary writ in the district court seeking: (1) an order declaring the Resolutions to be legislative in nature and therefore referable, and (2) an extraordinary writ ordering the City to place the referenda regarding the Resolutions on the ballot. Soon after Petitioners filed suit, Ivory filed an unopposed motion to intervene, which the district court granted. Both Ivory and the City filed motions to dismiss Petitioners' claims.

         ¶8 At the request of the parties, and given the urgency of the matter, the district court agreed to hear the case on an accelerated schedule. The district court converted the motions to dismiss to motions for summary judgment[2] and, only ten days after Ivory and the City filed their motions to dismiss, the district court heard oral argument on the motions and issued its decision. In a thorough and thoughtful opinion, the district court held that Petitioners were entitled to summary judgment as to the claims related to Resolution 2018-16 (approval of the 2018 SDMP), while Ivory and the City were entitled to summary judgment as to the claims related to Resolution 2018-17 (approval of the Amended ADL). Accordingly, the district court ordered that the City place the referendum petition on Resolution 2018-16 on the ballot, putting the City's approval of the 2018 SDMP to a public vote. All parties appealed.

         ¶9 We have jurisdiction under Utah Code section 78A-3-102(3)(j).

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶10 "We review a district court's grant of summary judgment for correctness, giving no deference to its conclusions of law." Flowell Elec. Ass'n, Inc. v. Rhodes Pump, LLC, 2015 UT 87, ¶ 8, 361 P.3d 91.

          ANALYSIS

         ¶11 Ivory and the City contend that the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Petitioners with respect to Resolution 2018-16. Conversely, Petitioners contend that the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Ivory and the City with respect to Resolution 2018-17. Because we agree with the district court that Resolution 2018-16 is legislative in nature and Resolution 2018-17 is administrative in nature, we affirm.

         I. RESOLUTION 2018-16 IS LEGISLATIVE IN NATURE AND THEREFORE REFERABLE

         ¶12 Ivory and the City advance a number of arguments as to why they believe the district court erred in holding that Resolution 2018-16 adopting the 2018 SDMP is legislative in nature. The common theme of these arguments, however, is that the district court incorrectly applied our precedent in Carter v. Lehi ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.