Tuesday 2 September 2014
 

Sunset School lawsuit dismissed

 

A Cerro Gordo County District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed in objection to a proposed use for the former Sunset Elementary School in Clear Lake.
    Days after officials at LifeLine Resources, L.L.C. announced they had withdrawn their $200,000 offer to purchase Sunset School, Judge Chris Foy issued his ruling on a suit filed against the Board of Adjustment for

the City of Clear Lake. The sale of the property had been tied up in court after neighbors in the Sunset area complained about the company locating in a residential neighborhood.
    On Nov. 23, 2010, Kristen and Daniel Ollenberg, 209 Mars Hill Drive, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in 2010, alleging the Board of Adjustment acted illegally in granting a Conditional Use Permit to Life-Line, LLC to operate a family and individual counseling service in the former Sunset School building at 408 Mars Hill Drive. 
    The Clear Lake School Board voted to sell the property to Life-Line Resources on May 10, 2010.
    In his ruling, Judge Foy stated the Ollenburgs failed to prove their case.  They alleged: 1) the Board did not provide proper notice of a hearing for a conditional use permit; 2) the “other uses” clause used by the Board is unconstitutionally vague and over broad; 3) the Board failed to follow standards for issuance of such a permit; and 4) findings of the Board were not supported by evidence in the record.
    “We are very happy the court has upheld the Board’s action.  It shows the Board’s decision was grounded in fact and in law,” said Clear Lake City Attorney Charlie Biebesheimer. 
    School leaders also celebrated the ruling, although they are unsure if it comes too late for a timely sale of the building.
    “We are pleased about the court’s decision regarding Sunset. However, given the timing of the ruling and the withdrawal of LifeLine’s offer two weeks ago, we’re not sure what LifeLife’s decision will be going forward,” said School Board President Deb Betz.  “Personally, I am hoping LifeLine will still consider Sunset, as they provide an invaluable service to students in North Iowa.”
    Mark Doebel, of LifeLine Resources, said the organization withdrew its offer to buy Sunset in order to focus on the opening of five new offices within the state. 
    “At this time our focus is on those offices in Leon, Stuart, Manchester, Fort Dodge and Perry,” said Doebel.  “We have rented, not purchased, at those sites.”
    Doebel said that he will - Read More Via e-Edition