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Developer's lawsuit dismissed

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Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
715-273-4335 customer support
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

In a judgment signed Jan. 7, Pierce County Judge Robert Wing dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Town of River Falls by a man who wanted to develop and sell residential lots.

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Judge Wing found Scott Bjork, 188 Kinni Ct., River Falls, and the limited liability corporations named as co-plaintiffs failed to provide evidence they were discriminated against.

The judge affirmed the town's decisions, finding "all of the challenged acts performed and decisions made by (the town planning commission, the town board and the town zoning board of appeals) are supported by reasonable bases."

The lawsuit was filed in March 2006 by Bjork, whose request to have land rezoned from Exclusive Agriculture to Agricultural Residential was denied by the town planning commission and the River Falls Town Board.

Also named parties to the case were seven limited liability corporations: Cady Lane 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, W7740 490th Ave., Ellsworth.

In his suit, Bjork alleged the town improperly denied an application to rezone land and improperly denied permission to build non-farm buildings, the town's actions violate the state constitution and the zoning ordinance is invalid.

Bjork has owned land in the town since 1998. In January 2006, he asked the town to rezone part of his land. Subsequently, he applied to build various non-farm buildings on his land. The town denied those requests.

He then filed a lawsuit appealing the town's decisions and asking for $1.57 million to $10.36 million in damages.

In the suit, Bjork claimed the town violated equal protection requirements under the Wisconsin Constitution. He argued similar applications for rezoning were granted when his was not.

Last August, Judge Wing granted partial summary judgment to the Town of River Falls, finding its zoning ordinance as it stands is lawful.

The order signed by the judge last week dismisses the entire lawsuit. A trial set for Jan. 16-18 was removed from the court calendar.

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