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Archived: Private Property Legal Cases

Since its creation in 1977, MSLF has been one of the nation's leading centers fighting to ensure that property owners are accorded all rights guaranteed by the Constitution. MSLF defends property owners who cannot afford to fight back against government lawyers and environmental groups to protect their property rights. MSLF's litigation has helped to ensure the preservation of one of America's most valuable and valued freedoms--the right to own and use property.

Magni Keystone, LLC v. Summit County, Colorado

Legal Question:

Whether a county or municipality may deprive a property owner of all economical use of its property with impunity?

Plaintiffs:

Magni Keystone, LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company; VISIONBank, a North Dakota corporation

Defendants:

Summit County, Colorado; the Board of County Commissioners in the County of Summit; Dan Gibbs, Summit County Commissioner, District 1; Thomas C. Davidson, Summit County Commissioner, District 2; Karn Stiegelmeier, County Commissioner, District 3

Court:

Colorado State District Court for Summit County
Unknown.

Magni Keystone, LLC of Stillwater, Minnesota owns the Brown’s Cabin Property, undeveloped 4.348 acres of land adjacent to East Keystone Road and State Highway 6 at the entrance to the River Run Neighborhood with dramatic views of the Keystone Ski Area in Summit County in a prime residential location adjacent to retail shopping and services. 

Magni’s land is subject to the 1995 Keystone Resort Planned Unit Development (PUD), which is governed and enforced by Summit County as a recorded land use designation that encumbers the land, binding Magni and its successors or assigns.  The PUD as to Magni’s land limits use to “multi-family employee restricted units.  Not to exceed 100 actual employee restricted units.”  The PUD allows for density transfers within its boundaries but the transfers are so costly as to render them uneconomical.  The PUD also limits the pricing for employee restricted units; that is, the units may not be priced higher than 125% of a federally determined affordable rate.

Magni’s land is subject to Summit County’s Land Use and Development Code, which is legally binding and sets county-wide rules on development, modification of zoning designations, and the density credit transfer program.

On February 25, 2014, Magni sued Summit County and its officials for violating its rights—under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and provisions of the Colorado Constitution—to use its property.  Magni alleged in its complaint filed in Colorado State District Court for Summit County that, although its property is in a prime residential location and is adjacent to retail shopping and services, Magni has been barred from developing the property.  Magni seeks declaratory and injunction relief from Summit County’s actions or in the alternative an award of just compensation for the unconstitutional taking of its property.

On March 20, 2014, Summit County filed a motion to dismiss Magni’s federal claims.  On April 10, 2014, Magni filed its response and on April 24, 2014, Summit County filed its reply.  On July 21, 2014, Magni filed its opening brief challenging Summit County’s decision as arbitrary and capricious.  On September 22, 2014, Summit County filed its answer and on October 14, 2014, Magni filed its reply.

No Status Updates
  • Landowner Urges Ruling Over County for Denying Property Rights

    Oct 14, 2014
    A Minnesota company that owns valuable residential property in Keystone, Colorado but is barred from using the land today urged a Colorado state court to rule in its favor over Summit County and its officials for violating its rights—under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and parts of the Colorado Constitution—to use its property.
  • Landowner Sues County for Denying Property Rights

    Feb 25, 2014
    A Minnesota company that owns valuable residential property in Keystone, Colorado but has been barred from using the land today sued Summit County and its officials for violating its rights—under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and provisions of the Colorado Constitution—to use its property.


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