Status of CFSD Lawsuit

The La Paloma Property Owners Association (“LPPOA”) is charged with

maintaining the safe use of the Common Areas. Primarily, this involves the use of

the road system throughout La Paloma. Although the Catalina Foothills Unified

School District (“CFSD”) initially offered $52,000 to access Campo Abierto while

being exempt from contribution of future fees, and the Judgment was, ultimately,

$346,416, the amount of just compensation is not the more important issue.

LPPOA's ability to compel a safer design for an intersection was lost. CFSD

acquired the south portion of Campo Abierto (north of Sunrise Drive) in fee, which

obviates LPPOA's ability to require design concessions. LPPOA's suggestions such

as right-out-only to avoid northern or incoming traffic from cutting across the

existing traffic lane were rejected by CFSD.

Thus, the case proceeded to trial on the issue of just compensation with the

Judgment entered in 2014. The appeal was taken contending CFSD does not have

the right to condemn the street as that right is limited to the state, city, and county

governments. Notwithstanding, the Court of Appeals felt that this portion of

Campo Abierto could be viewed as CFSD's “buildings and grounds,” thus the

condemnation acquisition was proper. There are a number of other issues,

including the fact that the State of Arizona owns Block 22, the one-acre commercial

parcel adjacent to Campo Abierto and CFSD cannot proceed with condemnation

against State Trust Lands. Thus, there were issues unresolved by the Court of

Appeals that also needed to be addressed.

The Court of Appeals has recently been requested to reconsider its decision, but it

would be highly unlikely they will do so. Nevertheless, they have been requested to

do so and after the Court of Appeals enters its final decision, which should be soon

forthcoming, a Petition for Review will be filed with the Arizona Supreme Court.

This is, after all, an issue of state-wide concern which should be addressed by our

highest court. Certainly, everyone should recall the degree of controversy raised on

a national level when the City of New London, Connecticut, sought to acquire

property for a questionable objective which, although allowed by the Court, never

came to fruition even though the homeowners were displaced. It is the opinion of

LPPOA that the power of eminent domain is similarly in question here.