Lawsuit against Alabaster on hold

The South Grand View Development company sued the city of Alabaster in January. The lawsuit currently is on hold. (Contributed)

The South Grand View Development company sued the city of Alabaster in January. The lawsuit currently is on hold. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A lawsuit brought against the city of Alabaster by a developer claiming the city cost it “millions” during a 2011 rezoning decision is currently on hold while a federal judge decides if she will dismiss the lawsuit.

In an order filed in U.S. District Court in Birmingham on July 22, Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala agreed to grant a stay on the case “until the court issues a revised scheduling order.”

In the lawsuit, South Grande View claimed the Alabaster City Council caused the company “potentially millions of dollars in lost profits” when it adopted a new zoning ordinance during its Dec. 5, 2011 meeting.

According to a complaint filed in court by South Grande View Development, the company “invested millions of dollars developing” property off Butler Road, including the Grande View Estates subdivision.

According to Alabaster City Council minutes, the council voted unanimously during its Dec. 5, 2011, meeting to rezone the undeveloped 130 acres from R-7 town home and R-4 garden home districts to R-2 single-family residential district.

In its complaint, South Grande View Development claimed the R-2 zoning allowed less dense development than the company had planned for on the property, and claimed several undeveloped lots on the property were under contract with a builder when the city voted to rezone the property.

After the rezoning, the company claimed banks holding mortgages on the company’s properties “declared themselves to be insecure and proceeded with foreclosure” on multiple pieces of the company’s properties.

The company claimed it did not learn of the city’s decision to rezone the 130 acres until “after the time for appeal to the Circuit Court for Shelby County had expired.”

In February, the city’s attorney, Richard Whitaker, requested Haikala dismiss the lawsuit, which was later contested by South Grande View’s attorney, Jim Pino. As of July 23, Haikala had not yet made a decision on Alabaster’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.