Developer mulls truck stop at Quinn’s Junction |

Developer mulls truck stop at Quinn’s Junction

A lawsuit filed by a Quinn’s Junction landowner against Summit County this month is a last-ditch effort after he lost an arbitration fight, government officials claim.

Plaintiff Ralph Merrill of the Quinn’s Junction Partnership first filed his "takings" claim in 1995. He claims the Summit County Commission found he had a "vested right" to build a two-acre truck service center on roughly 30 acres he owns on the Park City outskirts near the intersection of U.S. 40 and State Road 248.

"Since February 1993 through (the) present, [Quinn’s Junction Partnership] has followed all of the procedures necessary to develop its property as a commercial use … as directed by employees and elected officials of [Summit County]," an amended 36-page complaint filed Sept. 4 states.

Lawyers for Merrill claim he did not lose an arbitration battle with Summit County in August. The arbitrator determined the partnership "had certain vested rights to a commercial use of its property," the lawsuit states.

"The arbitrator concluded [the Quinn’s Junction Partnership] purchased the property upon the language and comments of county records and officials, which assured [the property] would have a ‘regional commercial’ designation," the new lawsuit states.

But county officials rezoned the land more than three years ago which allowed only one development unit on the property.

The amended complaint seeks damages and wants a 3rd District Court judge to order that Merrill’s rights were violated by the county "intentionally, recklessly and maliciously" maintaining "unlawful, arbitrary and capricious land use, development, management, and zoning ordinances designed to prevent any and all uses of [the] property other than as open space."

That’s ridiculous, chief deputy Summit County attorney David Thomas replied.

"[Merrill] lost the arbitration," Thomas claimed in a telephone interview Tuesday. "The arbitrator ruled in the county’s favor so he had 30 days to appeal."

Claims in the 1995 lawsuit were "adjusted" in the new complaint, Thomas said.

"He’s appealing the decision of the arbitrator who found that there was no taking of property," Thomas said. "We’ve already won on a majority of these claims that are now fashioned in this amended complaint and our perspective is we’ll win again."

According to Summit County Attorney David Brickey, "It is more of the same allegations as before."

"They are slightly modified to take into account, for example, that they are not happy with the arbitrator’s decision which was very favorable to the county," Brickey said.

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