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New battle brewing over planned development at the old Cottonwood Mall site

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jun 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-30 23:47:48-04

HOLLADAY, Utah -- Lawyers for the company behind a new housing development at the old Cottonwood Mall site have filed a cease and desist order against two groups that oppose the plan.

They claim the groups lied to gather signatures for their referendum.

Ivory Homes wants to get started on what is now called "Holladay Quarter," but says the acquisition has been anything but easy.

Their latest battle is against the advocacy groups, "Unite for Holladay," and "We love Holladay."

"The people who are now advancing these petitions and who are out attempting to discredit the project are people who were not actively involved throughout," Wade Budge who represents Ivory Homes said.

The cease and desist order accuses the groups of saying the project "would introduce 3,000 new families to Holladay."

The attorneys say that's not true. The number of residential units approved is 985.

The order also asks the groups to stop saying the project won't bring a financial benefit to the city until 2036.

The Ivory Homes lawyers say that claim was disproved by a city report showing a net revenue of nearly $7 million.

"We have no problem with an advocacy group arguing and campaigning in favor of a referendum," attorney Alan Sullivan said. "We disagree with them. They have a right to do that but they do not have a right to misrepresent the facts."

The order also accuses the groups of failing to register as a political issues committee, and violating Utah law by approaching voters at polling places to gather signatures.

The groups opposed to the development say they're the ones being targeted.

They sent a statement to Fox 13 which says in part:

"These developers are using legal threats to stop our grassroots effort because they know ultimately the taxpayers of Holladay don`t want this project."

They vow to continue to gather enough signatures to get the issue on a ballot to ensure all Holladay residents get to vote on whether or not to approve the development.