DAPHNE — The company 68 Ventures filed a federal court lawsuit against the city of Fairhope and the Fairhope Planning Commission for denial of due process, denial of equal protection and …
DAPHNE — The company 68 Ventures filed a federal court lawsuit against the city of Fairhope and the Fairhope Planning Commission for denial of due process, denial of equal protection and misrepresentation, according to a company statement.
The complaint is regarding the denial of applications to construct two multi-occupancy housing complexes, "Skyline Village" and "The Gables," on property owned in Fairhope by companies controlled by 68 Ventures.
The Fairhope Planning Commission voted unanimously on April 4 to deny approval of "Skyline Village," a 114-unit multiple occupancy project, after several residents expressed concerns about issues including drainage and traffic, according to planning commission records.
A statement by 68 Ventures said the company met all of Fairhope's requirements for approval of the complexes, and prior to 68 Ventures' submission of the development plat applications to the Fairhope Planning Commission for approval, the commission represented to 68 Ventures that it met all requirements for approval.
Greg Bordenkircher, a lawyer for 68 Ventures, said the commission's denial violated its administrative duty to fairly evaluate the applications and constitutes arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable action in violation of the due process protections under the U.S. and Alabama constitutions.
"We are just concerned with getting our fair shake," said Bordenkircher. "68 Ventures and our affiliated companies aim to develop our communities in such a way that we are creating opportunities and providing attainable housing options for all who choose to live here. This arbitrary and abusive display of power by the city of Fairhope is unfair to us and our community, and it is unacceptable."
Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan said city officials could not comment on issues under litigation.
Nathan Cox, founder and CEO of 68 Ventures, said he felt the only option for the company was to take the case to court.
"We do not want to pursue legal action, but we believe it has become necessary to protect the rule of law and promote equal protection for ourselves and others. In both instances, we met every single guideline along the way for a by-right development, only to be denied by the planning commission because some individuals had a different personal opinion of what type of development they wanted to see take place," Cox said in a company statement. "We believe in property rights, playing by the rules and that everyone is entitled to their opinion. We just aren't going to stand for opinions trumping legal precedent."