Updated: Legal battle over Leland Creek Underpass continues as town’s temporary restraining order is lifted
Sept. 1 hearing cancelled after entities collectively file stipulation to vacate
A temporary restraining order filed against Cornerstone Winter Park Holdings, LLC, West Mountain Metropolitan District and Clark Lipscomb was lifted yesterday, allowing construction crews to use the King’s Crossing Road for the construction of the Leland Creek Underpass.
A follow-up hearing, scheduled for Sept. 1, was canceled after the town of Winter Park and the entities responsible for the underpass collectively filed a stipulation to vacate the hearing.
In the stipulation, the town withdrew its motion for a preliminary injunction and dismissed the restraining order.
The town and cornerstone agreed to mediation prior to the Sept. 1 hearing, a process Lipscomb called fruitless.
Lipscomb said Aug. 31 that both the town of Winter Park and Cornerstone drafted settlement proposals and were able to work out enough issues to vacate the hearing.
The town of Winter Park originally filed a motion Aug. 17 for a temporary restraining order against Cornerstone Winter Park Holdings, LLC, West Mountain Metropolitan District and Clark Lipscomb, the entities responsible for the Leland Creek Underpass, which is located between the towns Winter Park and Fraser near Kings Crossing. The motion was granted Aug. 21, barring Cornerstone from accessing Kings Crossing Road.
District Judge James Garrecht approved the restraining order, saying that the defendants’ actions had caused stress, congestion, scuffing of the town’s streets and unsafe and disorderly conduct on King’s Crossing Road.
“It was just a ridiculous and utter waste of time with big cost implications,” said Lipscomb, president of Cornerstone Holdings. “They’re going to continue to seek to get out of their contract that was reaffirmed in 2013. It’s the same song and dance all over again.”
The town of Winter Park has not yet responded to several requests from Sky-Hi News for comment on the issue.
The new underpass is being constructed about 200 yards away from the current rail crossing on Kings Cross Road, not far off Highway 40 behind Winter Park Pub.
Cornerstone and its associates have been using the road to bring supplies and construction vehicles to the site.
The latest round of legal battles come less than two weeks after the town of Winter Park filed a verified complaint for declaration and injunctive relief against the same entities. That proposed injunction is still in play.
The town is now required to file an amended complaint no later than Sept. 7, modifying claims that had already been resolved by the parties. Cornerstone must file a response to the amended complaint by Sept. 21.
Cornerstone and Winter Park also agreed to amendments to the 2004 Haul Road Agreement, which allows Cornerstone access to Kings Crossing Road for construction purposes through Haul Road.
The amendment will terminate the Haul Road Agreement at the end of 2018 and set limits on construction traffic on Kings Crossing Road, in addition to allowing for the temporary closure of Kings Crossing Road for no longer than 72 hours, Sept. 6 through Sept. 9, as required by Union Pacific Railroad.
Cornerstone will also provide a letter of credit in the amount of $25,000 to be used for any damage to Kings Crossing Road or any other damage connected to Cornerstone’s construction, per stipulations of the agreement.
“I think they filed the [temporary restraining order] to hold us up and try and get leverage to get out of their contract obligations,” said Lipscomb. “We’re not letting them out of their contractual obligations. Let the citizens of Winter Park determine if they want their town board to uphold their agreements that they’ve made or not.”
This story has been updated to reflect that the restraining order did not directly prohibit construction of the new underpass, but simply barred construction vehicles from accessing the Kings Crossing Road.
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