A group calling itself Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers has filed a complaint against the City of Maricopa over its dismissal of a petition against Private Motorsports Group.
That club of car enthusiasts is seeking to construct Apex Motor Club on the west side of the city. In April, the city council approved a conditional use permit allowing the construction. MCPT, which lists non-residents Robert Rebich and David Prom as its officers, circulated petitions to force that decision to a referendum.
Though the petitions had enough signatures to make it a ballot issue, the city claimed the permit was not a legislative act but an administrative act and was not subject to referendum, according to the Arizona Constitution.
The suit filed Monday in Pinal County Superior Court lists the City of Maricopa, the mayor and all members of the city council, Private Motorsports Group and City Clerk Vanessa Bueras as the 10 defendants.
City spokesperson Jennifer Brown said the city had not yet been served but will follow the standard procedures for responding to a lawsuit. That includes evaluating whether the city’s attorney, Denis Fitzgibbons, should handle the case or outside counsel should be involved or the city should coordinate with the co-defendant in the case.
Apex has been represented in its land-use dealings by Rose Law Group. In this case, Apex is represented by Coppersmith Brockelman Lawyers. MCPT is represented by Timothy A. La Sota, PLC.
In deciding how to respond to the suit, the council will meet in executive session, which might be a special meeting outside the regular meeting schedule. Because of the Fourth of July next Tuesday, the next scheduled meeting of the council is not until July 18.
After being served, “we generally have to file an answer within 20 days,” Brown said. Once an answer is filed, “the court basically dictates the next steps for us,” she said.
Rebich has not returned calls for comment on the Apex issue. He and Prom are listed as plaintiffs on the suit, along with MCPT.