Property owners asked to waive some rights

Posted on February 16, 2007 | Type: In the News
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The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is encouraging its members to adopt waivers in which the person seeking a rezoning or conditional use permit agrees not to seek claims for the specific action requested.

Pima County and Marana have used similar language in rezonings approved this year, Sahuarita is working on a waiver and Tucson plans to make the waivers standard.

But some cities are using broader waivers.

Strobeck said he suspects some of the waivers will end up in court.

One city that has drawn attention is Apache Junction east of Phoenix. Its waiver includes language that indemnifies the city, effectively barring lawsuits.

Apache Junction City Attorney Joel Stern said he was trying to protect the city from claims about the specific action being sought, not from all claims.

But one applicant who wanted to change some of the conditions on a permit objected to the waiver, saying it was depriving him of his rights under Proposition 207.

Stern said he is working with the applicant on language he would find acceptable.

We dont want to be the first test case, Stern said.

Some property-rights advocates say the waivers could allow governments to cross the line.

It appears to be an attempt to repeal Proposition 207, said Clint Bolick, a senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank. Its unfortunate that governments are looking for ways not to comply but to evade it. Its that kind of arrogance that led voters to endorse Proposition 207.

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