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Tallman Gulch Metropolitan District v. Natureview Development, LLC

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Fifth Division

May 18, 2017

Tallman Gulch Metropolitan District, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Natureview Development, LLC and Michael Richardson, Defendants-Appellants.

         Douglas County District Court No. 15CV31017 Honorable Paul A. King, Judge.

          Announced May 18, 2017 Kutak Rock LLP, Reid A. Page, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee

          Senter Goldfarb & Rice, LLC, Eric M. Ziporin, Ryan F. McGrath, Denver, Colorado; Sherman Howard LLC, Joseph J. Bronesky, Denver, Colorado, for Defendants-Appellants

          Román and Márquez [*] , JJ., concur

          OPINION

          BOORAS JUDGE.

         ¶ 1 Defendants, Natureview Development, LLC and Michael Richardson, appeal the district court's order holding that the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act did not apply to the claims of plaintiff, Tallman Gulch Metropolitan District, against Richardson. We affirm.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 Richardson, owner of Natureview Development (Natureview), platted and developed Tallman Gulch, a real estate development in Douglas County. In 2006, the Tallman Gulch Metropolitan District (the District) was formed to provide public improvements and services to its residents and taxpayers. Metropolitan districts may impose and collect taxes upon properties within their boundaries to collectively pay for their authorized services. Richardson was the president of the District's Board of Directors (Board).

         ¶ 3 Upon its formation, the District submitted a service plan to Douglas County. The plan included details of the improvements and services the District planned to provide and financial assumptions regarding expected costs and the expected revenues that would fund the costs:

• the District was to provide (1) street and traffic safety improvements; (2) storm sewers; (3) water and sanitation distribution; and (4) landscaping and parks and recreation;
• the total cost of anticipated improvements was approximated at $6, 053, 350;
• the District was authorized to issue up to $6, 000, 000 in bonded indebtedness; and
• the financial plan forecasted sales of eighty-six lots between 2007 and 2013, which would provide revenue with which the District could repay the bonds.

         ¶ 4 Natureview and Richardson borrowed approximately $8, 600, 000 from Community Banks of Colorado (CBC) to build out the public infrastructure in Tallman Gulch. Tallman Gulch, its improvements, and any rents received from Tallman Gulch, served as collateral for the loan.

         ¶5 Sales in Tallman Gulch did not meet the expectations set forth in the service plan; only four out of the anticipated eighty-six lots were sold between 2007 and 2011. In 2009, Natureview completely drew down its construction loan but only constructed one-third of the public infrastructure for the neighborhood. Richardson (as president of the District's Board) sent himself (as manager of Natureview) a letter purporting to accept nearly four million dollars of ...


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