Top 10: Updated amendment puts to rest city, school district dispute
Editor's note: This story is part of a series looking back at some of the biggest stories of 2018. Find the rest of the series here: Top Ten 2018.
One of the most long-standing issues within the City of Farmington reached a conclusion this year. A legal dispute between the city and School District 192 began in September 2005.
The issue resided with the land that Farmington High School was built on and the encircling farmland. The school district filed complaints against the city after City Council voted against making zoning changes and amendments to the city's comprehensive plan.
At the time, the plan stated no new development should take place on land where Farmington High School stands today. The future housing development was planned to take place from 2015 to 2020.
The litigation was ultimately resolved during a mediation process where Justice James Gilbert served as the mediator. Gilbert reported this legal case was the most complex in any court or any jurisdiction in his history of his practicing law for 34 years.
Common ground broke out of the mediation process when the city and school district settled the legal dispute in May 2007. The settlement initiated an amendment to the plan that allowed the high school to be built on the western side of Flagstaff Avenue on 110 acres.
The agreement stated the school district was responsible for costs on streets west of Flagstaff Avenue to the Lakeville and Farmington border. The city would collect assessments as authorized for connections to Flagstaff Avenue, future 208th Street, water main and sanitary sewer improvements in the benefit area.
However, new housing has cropped up near and around Farmington High School and this is what prompted a closer look at the agreement.
An amendment to the agreed upon 2007 settlement was reviewed by City Council in early October this year.
The proposed amendment states the school district's work related to the settlement agreement is complete.
"The city will take on responsibility for building and funding the 208th Street extension when it is prompted by development along 208th Street," Farmington City Administrator David McKnight said.
The city of Farmington will collect fees over time from properties in the benefit area to be invested in the current and future utility infrastructure system.
"The city has the ability to pass on portions for the future street construction costs to the landowner or developer the school district does not," McKnight said.
The amendment was approved by City Council during its Oct. 15 meeting as well as the District 192 School Board meeting on Oct. 22.