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Judge dismisses challenge to town's impact fee law

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news Ellsworth, 54011

Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Indicating the builders' organization hadn't exhausted administrative remedies, Pierce County Judge Robert Wing dismissed a lawsuit challenging a town's impact fees.

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In an order signed July 7, Wing dismissed a lawsuit filed by the St. Croix Home Builders Association against the Town of Oak Grove. A spokesman for the builders' group said it still has a suit pending in St. Croix County and hasn't given up its fight.

"We respect the decision, but we think it's flawed," said Bill Berndt, the government affairs consultant for the Home Builders Association. "To protect home affordability and to make sure this ordinance in Oak Grove is fair, we feel that we cannot let this slide."

Development impact fees are one-time charges intended to help pay for additional public services needed as an area grows.

The original Home Builders Association complaint filed in March 2008 claims the town's law places an unequal burden for improvements on new development, and has thus injured the business of association members and diminished the value of their properties. The complaint asked Oak Grove be ordered to refund over $450,000.

For more please read the July 15 print version of the Herald.

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