Judge rules in Community Treasures case

A judge has made a partial decision in the case of Community Treasures versus San Juan County, that the petition filed by the plaintiff’s must follow the procedures laid out by the Land Use Petition Act. However LUPA petitions have a 21 day deadline, and Community Treasures’ petition would fall outside of that deadline, resulting in the dismissal of the case.

The case was first initiated March 9 in San Juan County Superior Court, alleging the county Community Development  and Planning Department over-billed Community Treasures, previously known as Consignment Treasures, for building and land-use fees, and for the alleged misuse of the fees that they had collected, and that they were owed a refund of $1.2 million in total.

The recent decision by Judge Donald E. Eaton found the plaintiffs’ petition must be refiled following procedures laid out by the Land Use Petition Act, granting the motion the defendants put forward.

“It’s not a ruling on the merits on whether the fee charge is unreasonable, it’s a procedural ruling,” Prosecuting Attorney Randall Gaylord said. “He was careful to say that he is not going to dismiss the case now, but just rule that the LUPA procedures apply to this case.”

At this point the judge and defendants are waiting to see if the plaintiffs will continue the case with a petition under LUPA.