Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 26, 2013
Overlake lawsuit history

The saga between Overlake’s developer and Tooele City began in 1995 when Drew Hall, managing partner of Tooele Associates, approached Tooele City officials with an idea for a walkable, mixed-use, master planned community to the northwest of the city.

Tooele City negotiated a development agreement that was signed in 1997, and the city annexed roughly 2,000 acres of property owned by Tooele Associates and combined it with another parcel nearing 1,000 acres that was already in the city limits. This became the subdivision known as Overlake.

The lawsuit dates back to 2002 when Tooele Associates filed several lawsuits in 3rd District Court against Tooele City claiming the city had violated the development agreement.

Hall alleged that Tooele City misapplied public improvement ordinances; required public improvements in Overlake to meet standards not required of other developers; created an arbitrary punch list of items that needed to be fixed for public improvements to be considered complete; slowed down or refused to make final inspections; and refused to recognize prior admissions that some public improvements were complete.

In 2004, Tooele City filed a countersuit against Tooele Associates for violations of the Overlake development agreement.

The case went to jury trial in 3rd District Court in June 2009.

The jury found Tooele City guilty of breaching agreements with Tooele Associates and awarded the developer $22.5 million in damages. That amount was reduced to $20.7 million because the jury also ordered Tooele Associates to pay the city $1.8 million for its own failure to honor agreements.

In 2010, 3rd District Court Judge Randall Skanchy, who presided over the jury trial, declared a mistrial, citing irreconcilable conflicts in the jury’s verdict.

Hall appealed the mistrial ruling. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed the mistrial ruling in Aug. 2012 and sent the case back to Skanchy for final judgment.

Tooele City asked the state Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals decision to overturn the mistrial ruling in Sept. 2012. In Nov. 2012, the state Supreme Court announced it would not review the Court of Appeals’ decision.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to review the decision of the Court of Appeals left the lawsuit in the hands of Judge Skanchy for final judgment.

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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