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Alpine Village Co. v. City of McCall

Supreme Court of Idaho

June 14, 2013

ALPINE VILLAGE COMPANY, an Idaho corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CITY OF MCCALL, a municipal corporation, Defendant-Respondent.

2013 Opinion No. 69

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Valley County. Hon. Michael R. McLaughlin, District Judge.

District court grant of summary judgment, affirmed.

Millemann & Pittenger, McCall, for appellant. Steven J. Millemann argued.

Givens Pursley, LLP, Boise, for respondents. Christopher H. Meyer argued.

BURDICK, Chief Justice

Appellant Alpine Village Company (Alpine) appeals from the Valley County district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Respondent City of McCall. Alpine brought a claim against McCall alleging the city's enforcement of Ordinance 819, an ordinance found to be unconstitutional in a separate proceeding, effectuated an unlawful taking of Alpine's property in violation of the United States Constitution and a taking or inverse condemnation in violation of the Idaho Constitution.

The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and the district court granted McCall's motion and denied Alpine's motion on all claims. In its decision, the district court found that Alpine's state law claims are barred due to a failure to timely comply with the notice requirements of the Idaho Tort Claims Act (ITCA), and the federal claims are either not ripe or time-barred by I.C. § 5-219(4). We affirm the district court.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On February 23, 2006, McCall passed Ordinance 819, which required developers of residential subdivisions to include a certain number of affordable community housing units in its development plans. Ordinance 819 was codified as McCall City Code § 9.7.10. The ordinance allowed an applicant subject to the ordinance to comply in any one or combination of four ways: (1) to build community housing units on the site of the development; (2) to build or provide the community housing units off-site; (3) to provide land for the construction of community housing units; and (4) to pay an "in lieu fee."

On June 20, 2006, Alpine filed an application with the Planning and Zoning Commission to develop the Alpine Village, a mixed use residential and commercial property. Alpine initially proposed to convert sixteen mobile home spots on another property and build another six onsite units to satisfy Ordinance 819. The Planning and Zoning Commission preliminarily approved Alpine's application on October 3, 2006, with the condition that Alpine revise its community housing plan. Alpine's March 12, 2007 revised plan called for the purchase of a seventeen unit apartment complex called the Timbers. This plan was approved on March 22, 2007, and Alpine closed on the Timbers on April 16, 2007. Alpine and McCall entered into a Development Agreement for the Alpine Village on December 13, 2007.[1]

While Alpine was developing its plans, a third party, Mountain Center Board of Realtors, had filed a complaint against McCall, Case No. 2006-490-C ("MCBR litigation"), to declare Ordinance 819 as facially unconstitutional. On February 19, 2007, the Valley County district court ruled that Ordinance 819 was an unconstitutional tax. On April 24, 2008, McCall passed Ordinance 856, which repealed Ordinance 819 and the similar Ordinance 820. Subsequently, McCall and Alpine entered into the First Amendment to the Development Agreement on July 24, 2008. The amendment lifted the restrictions imposed by Ordinance 819 as applied to Alpine Village. On August 8, 2008, the First Amendment to the Alpine Village Development Agreement was recorded.

On November 15, 2010, Alpine sent a written demand letter to McCall seeking payment of damages incurred in purchasing the Timbers. McCall did not respond to the letter. Alpine filed a Verified Complaint against McCall in state district court on December 10, 2010. An amended complaint was filed on May 23, 2011, and a second amended complaint was filed on September 19, 2011. The second amended complaint contained three causes of action. The first alleged McCall's application of Ordinance 819 to Alpine was an unlawful taking under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The second alleged that the same action was an unlawful taking in violation of Article I, Section 14 of the Idaho Constitution. The third alleged that the same action was an unlawful taking under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution as applied to state action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

After the complaint was filed in state district court, McCall removed the case to federal court. Subsequently, Alpine filed a Motion to Remand to State Court that was granted by the federal district court on the grounds that the federal claims were not yet ripe.

On September 19, 2011, McCall filed a motion for summary judgment contending that: (1) Alpine's inverse condemnation claim was barred by I.C. §§ 50-219, 6-906, and 6-908 because Alpine did not timely file a notice of claim with McCall; (2) Alpine's inverse condemnation claim is barred by the four-year statute of limitation; (3) Alpine's decision to purchase the Timbers was voluntary; (4) Alpine's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim is barred by a two-year statute of limitations; (5) Alpine's claims are barred by the Release in the Development Agreement; and (6) Alpine's claims are barred by laches.

Alpine filed a cross-motion for summary judgment contending that: (1) McCall's imposition of Ordinance 819 on Alpine constituted a taking or inverse condemnation under Article I, Section 14 of the Idaho Constitution and that if relief is denied on the state claim then a taking occurred under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution; (2) Alpine's inverse condemnation claim was timely under the four-year statute of limitations; (3) Alpine's inverse condemnation claim was not barred by Idaho Code § 50-219; (4) Alpine's federal claims were timely under the applicable statute of limitations; and (5) McCall's remaining arguments concerning release, voluntary purchase, and laches are without merit.

After hearing argument on the motions the district court issued its Memorandum Decision on Plaintiff's and Defendant's Cross Motions for Summary Judgment on December 16, 2011. In its decision, the district court granted McCall's motion for summary judgment and denied Alpine's motion on all claims for relief. On the state inverse condemnation claim, the district court found that Alpine failed to timely comply with the notice requirements of I.C. §§ 50-219, 6-906, and 6-908. On the federal claims, the district court found Alpine's first claim to be unripe and the third claim to be untimely filed and barred by I.C. § 5-219(4). Alpine timely filed a notice of appeal to this Court on January 12, 2012.

II. ISSUES ON APPEAL

1. Whether the district court erred by dismissing Alpine's state law takings claims on summary judgment.
2. Whether the district court erred by dismissing Alpine's federal law takings claims on summary judgment.
3. Whether either party is entitled to attorney fees on appeal.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

When reviewing an order for summary judgment, the standard of review for this Court is the same standard as that used by the district court in ruling on the motion. Summary judgment is appropriate if "the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." I.R.C.P. 56(c). Disputed facts should be construed in favor of the non-moving ...

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