FARMINGTON — A local development firm has sued the city to force approval of its plans for high-density multifamily housing, a financial institution and mixed-use office building and a restaurant.

America West owns a triangle-shaped, 12.86-acre parcel on the west side of 1100 West and south of Clark Lane. It says that when the Farmington City Council denied the master plan during an Aug. 5 council meeting, it did so because residents spoke out against the development and because the council had predetermined to deny the plan, regardless of provisions in the city's zoning ordinances.

The company also says the city engaged in "backroom" deals with other government agencies and scripted a response to be played out in public. It accuses Mayor Scott Harbertson of requiring America West to get his blessing before the project could move forward.

Harbertson denies the allegations and said the City Council held no closed-door meetings with outside agencies concerning the development.

The mayor said he invited America West to sit down with him and staff members so they could negotiate the development but isn't requiring it to get his "blessing."

According to minutes from the Aug. 5 council meeting, council members expressed concern about density, inadequate parking, lack of consistency with the city's general plan and questions from the Central Davis Sewer District as rationale for denying the plan.

Harbertson said the city has no problem with America West eventually developing the area.

"Why don't we work through the issues so it's the best thing for Farmington?" Harbertson said. "That's where I'd like to see this thing go in the future."


E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com