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February 27, 2013

Developer sues Floyd County plan commission

Property owners claim Lafayette Ridge stifled by lack of extension; suit could be worth millions

NEW ALBANY — A legal complaint that could potentially be worth millions of dollars has been filed by two property owners against the Floyd County Plan Commission. 

The case is over the commission’s 8-1 denial in January of a 12-month extension of the primary plat for Lafayette Ridge subdivision, which was to be located off Scottsville and Fertig Creek roads. 

The primary landowner of the proposed subdivision, Robert Lynn, as well as secondary property owners Kevin and Julianna Stumler, are seeking damages for what their attorney has labeled as “an abuse of discretion” by the plan commission. 

Lafayette Ridge has been an issue for the county for several years. 

In 2006, the plan commission granted approval for the primary plat for the subdivision, but the ruling was challenged by a citizens’ group from Greenville just a few months later. 

Before a court ruling was issued, the commission voted to terminate the primary plat approval in 2007. Lynn filed and received a preliminary injunction to keep the approval, and in 2009 a Floyd Circuit Court ruling affirmed the plan commission’s initial OK of the primary plat. 

The Greenville group took its complaint to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which in October 2009 issued a memorandum again affirming the plan commission’s initial plat approval for the subdivision and dismissing the residents’ petition against the development. 

Citing poor economic conditions, Lynn wasn’t able to launch full construction, and so he requested and received two 12-month primary plat extensions in 2010 and 2011 from the plan commission. 

During that time, Lynn had to convey a portion of the 127-acre property to MainSource Bank in lieu of foreclosure. The bank then conveyed the land to three families, including the Stumlers. The other two families are not yet part of the court case against Floyd County. 

Lynn requested a third primary plat extension in October. The matter was tabled by the plan commission in December, and then voted down in January. 

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