Oral arguments in a lawsuit against the City of Maricopa are set to be heard by the Arizona Court of Appeals in July.
Bonita Burks sued the City in May 2017 after it granted a conditional-use permit to Apex Motor Club, owned by Private Motorsports Group, for development of land west of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Course for a private track and clubhouse. Burks’ initial complaint was about the possibility of noise and traffic problems.
The Division 2 appeals court in Tucson will hear from both sides July 11 at 2 p.m. Burks’ attorney, Timothy La Sota, requested the oral arguments. La Sota said his client was fighting to make city officials follow the law.
The court is deciding whether Burks, whose Rancho El Dorado home was five miles from the proposed site, has standing to sue or whether the standing requirement should be waived so the courts can look at the validity of her case against the City.
Last September, Superior Court Judge Robert Carter Olson ruled Burks did not have standing. Attorney Michael Riikola appealed that decision, and La Sota took over Burks’ case five months after the Court of Appeals took it up. La Sota previously represented Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers, a political action committee that had tried to force the city to put the Apex permit on a ballot.
Apex has claimed collusion by the two parties, alleging the legal actions were part of a delaying tactic by owners of Attesa, a planned motorsports facility in Casa Grande. That suspicion led to Apex representatives filing a complaint against MCPT over its political financing.
In the case before the Court of Appeals, the city is represented by Denis Fitzgibbons. Private Motorsports Group is represented by the Coppersmith Brockelman firm and Rose Law Group.
Gary L. Vasquez is the presiding judge.