VOL. 16 ISSUE NO. 51   | DECEMBER 22 – 28, 2010


Subdivision ordinance sails through P&Z with minor revisions

Planning department bids two retirees a fond goodbye

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larry sahr and bambi mullerDuring the Dec. 16 planning commission meeting, Associate Planner Bambi Muller officially thanked the two retirees, Senior Planner Larry Sahr, (l), and Planning Commissioner Bob Williams (below), who were both attending their last meeting.  
bob williamsPhotos by Linda Bentley

CAVE CREEK – On Dec. 13, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Rea affirmed oral arguments on M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank’s motion for summary judgment against Arek Fressadi set for Jan. 3, 2011, while taking under advisement M&I’s motion to dismiss Fressadi’s counterclaim in a judicial foreclosure proceeding against his property on School House Road.

That same day, Fressadi filed a motion for judicial notice in another complaint against the town and three neighboring property owners, where he requested the court take judicial notice of his complaint to Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard regarding his assertions against the town for “false pretenses and theft.”

Fressadi wrote, “In preparing plaintiff’s response for summary judgment in (sic) became apparent that the actions of the town of Cave Creek could be construed as criminal and thus better adjudicated in criminal court – not civil.

“Should the attorney general proceed with an investigation leading to a conviction of state actors, agents, employees and officers of the town of Cave Creek, plaintiff will file a motion to dismiss this civil matter.”

However, if M&I forecloses on the property, it would appear to render Fressadi’s claims moot.

Fressadi’s complaint to Goddard accuses the town of “committing fraud and obtaining my land and having me pay for improvements based on false pretenses prior to the expiration of seven years …”

He then provided a “brief synopsis of the crimes,” beginning in February 2002 when he initially inquired about extending the sewer district to serve his property and that of a neighbor by entering into a development agreement.

Although the town passed an ordinance in December 2003 allowing for reimbursement agreements, it still did not mandate that the town enter into such agreements.

When the town did not enter into a sewer reimbursement agreement with Fressadi, he billed the town on Feb. 1, 2004 for the cost of the sewer line he installed.

Fressadi said he has since modified his billing to include the cost of the land he claims was “extracted” from him as an easement for the sewer.

He wrote in his letter to Goddard, “There was no intention of a gift; nor did superior court approve the transfer/transaction,” adding, “This is not a frivolous claim. I have in good faith attempted to resolve this matter through negotiation, civil litigation, and other means to no avail. The time has come to call it what it is – stealing by false pretense and allow the state to address the wrongdoings of a municipality who bent the law for their own ulterior motives.”

Long-time readers may remember how Fressadi obtained the property in the first place.

In 2000, Fressadi, while doing business as Arek Construction, filed a lis pendens against the property on the day before it was to close escrow with another buyer, whereby he held the sellers, Robert and Debbi Ravenscroft, hostage until they agreed to sell the property to him at the price he dictated.

Fressadi’s Dec. 10, 2010 “Revised Sewer Reimbursement Statement” begins with an entry dated Feb. 4, 2004 for “sewer line extension” for $79,533.75, followed by a Feb. 4, 2004 entry for “exaction of easement” for $65,833.33.

The entries that follow are for compounded monthly interest charges beginning March 4, 2004 through Jan. 4, 2011 for a revised statement total of $288,389.70.

In his e-mail to the defendants’ attorneys, which accompanied his motion for judicial notice, letter to the AG and Revised Sewer Reimbursement Statement, copying council, Planning Director Ian Cordwell, Town Manager Usama Abujbarah, Town Engineer Wayne Anderson, the AG’s office and a few others, Fressadi claimed, “I did not and do not need a sewer extension line running down the middle of my property.”

He goes on to say, “Given three of the six sitting council members are members of the bar, I will also bring this to the attention of the state bar not only for the council members, but the town’s attorneys as state actors.”

Fressadi concluded his e-mail with, “Best wishes this holiday season.”

In October, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Brian Hauser ordered the parties to participate in a mandatory settlement conference not later than Feb. 28, 2011 and reset the next status conference for 9 a.m. on March 10.

In November, Hauser issued a ruling denying Fressadi’s request to order the town of Cave Creek to enter into a development agreement with him.

During a recent board of adjustment meeting, David Solomon, representing Real Estate Equity Lending, which now owns a property adjacent to Fressadi’s and also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, told the board, “We have no desire to be in any agreement whatsoever with Mr. Fressadi.”

During that same meeting, Attorney Michael Curley, representing M&I Bank, the applicant for a variance for another adjacent property, referring to Fressadi, said, “It is absolutely in our best interest to separate our interests. We cannot sit and have a gun to our head and be held hostage to another property owner,” adding, “The plausibility of this being reconcilable is a fallacy.”

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