New Ruling a Comprehensive Defeat
In an apparently devastating loss, today the Arizona Court of Appeals accepted jurisdiction and denied relief to the BHOA in a Special Action regarding the eminent domain case between the Town and the BHOA. This appears to put a practical end to the Board’s attempt to stop the taking of our common land and the construction of a water reservoir for the benefit of Carefree residents to our west.
The Board had taken the position that the condemnation of BHOA common property by the Town of Carefree was unconstitutional because the condemnation had been made by the Town for the benefit of the Water Company and its parent the UCFD, who were not entitled to immediate possession.
On the contrary, found the appellate court. No relief was granted “because under A.R.S. § 48-708(B) and Article 13, Section 7, of the Arizona Constitution, the district (that is, the UCFD) had an independent right to immediate possession under § 12-1116(H) and Article 2, Section 17.”
It would appear futile to take this argument to a higher court. A reversal on the substance of the appellate ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court seems unlikely and would only restore the previous situation, under which the Town was already entitled to construct a water reservoir.
On a related topic, this ruling appears to render pointless the initiative effort that would ask Carefree voters to prohibit the Town from condemnation without first obtaining a citizen vote, as the appellate court has ruled the UCFD could condemn with identical effect.
Finally, many residents have read the Board’s recent Statement regarding the lawsuit. The arguments made are now revealed to have been irrelevant to the actions they were taking. In addition, we believe those arguments contained unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and outright misrepresentations that impugned the character of Boulders residents, Town officials, and members of the public. Expect further reporting on that topic.