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Local developers sue City of Piedmont in Federal court

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

Local developers Cindy Boevers and Reta Strubhar have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District against the City of Piedmont, three councilmen and two planning commissioners. The defendants named in the lawsuit are the City of Piedmont, Piedmont city councilmen Donnie Robinson, Al Gleichmann and Charles Coffman, Piedmont planning commissioners Ron Cardwell and Eric Berger.

In the complaint filed last Friday, Strubhar and Boevers (“Developers”) say they have suffered damages resulting from the Piedmont city council not voting on an agenda item to approve a preliminary plat for “Magnolia Meadows,” a property owned by “Developers.”
“As a further consequence of Defendants’ failure to perform their clear, legal duty to approve Developers’ plats, Developers have and continue to suffer damages for impairment of contracts, unavoidable expenses, delays and other damages which may also be recovered in this action,” the complaint reads.

Also, the Developers’ right to have their plats approved is a “property of interest within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

According to the complaint, the councilmen’s conduct and failure of Piedmont to adequately address such misconduct constitutes a deprivation of Plaintiffs’ property without substantive due process.

The action the lawsuit refers to stems from the three city councilmen abruptly excusing themselves from voting on the Strubhar and Boevers’ plat, therefore a quorum was not maintained and no other business was conducted during the city council meeting. This happened In August and September, at both city council meetings.

The complaint also indicates the two planning commissioners named in this lawsuit actively solicited the other council members to deny the Developers’ application solely because of their association with Boevers Homes and Boevers.

In Count I of the complaint, attorneys for the Developers allege “Defendants have treated Plaintiffs differently from other developers by refusing to approve the Development, despite the recommendation of approval by Piedmont staff.

“As a result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiffs’ property rights under the Constitution of the United States and State of Oklahoma have been injured and the Plaintiffs are entitled to all relief afforded by law.”

In Count II, also titled, “Due Process, Substantive and Procedural, attorneys also allege the Defendants have also arbitrarily, capriciously, wrongfully and irrationally refused to approve Plaintiffs’ application for plat approval despite fully complying with applicable statutes and ordinances.

There are 10 exhibits entered into this case as evidence.

Those exhibits range from the Piedmont city council agendas from August and September, Piedmont city council rules, Charles Coffman’s facebook page, the Phil Boevers’ lawsuit information sheet, the Oklahoma Municipal League’s code of ordinances, a letter from the Developers’ attorney to the city staff, a news article from www.piedmontnewsonline.com with Coffman’s comments below it, the second city council agenda, the transcript from the September city council meeting and a civil cover sheet.

A comment from both sides was unavailable. Please visit www.piedmontnewsonline.com for updates.

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