COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A judge will not dismiss a lawsuit seeking to disconnect a controversial development site at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Third District Judge Paul Maughan on Thursday denied a motion by Cottonwood Heights to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Cottonwood Estates Development, developer of the Tavaci project.

The developer wants out of the city so it can apply for zoning changes it wants directly with Salt Lake County. At issue are density and height restrictions on the property.

"We are pleased that the court agreed with our position," said Richard Burbidge, lawyer for the developer. "We are confident that we can show at trial that Tavaci should be disconnected from Cottonwood Heights."

Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said the city is disappointed the suit will not be dismissed. The development "sits right in the middle of a critical long-term planning area, and it makes it very difficult for us to be able to be planning with a county island in the middle."

Steve Fidel Twitter: SteveFidel