Wildwood Developer Wins First of Five Lawsuits

by George Waldon  on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 12:00 am  

Smith sued the city on March 16 challenging Carpenter's position on the ordinance that allegedly abandoned Gordon Road and cut off development access to his property.

Six months later, both cases remain dormant before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mary McGowan.

In June, Smith sued Stewart Title Co. after he was twice denied title insurance coverage regarding legal fees in his battle to develop his 40 acres adjoining Gordon Road.

Stewart Title allegedly proclaimed the public record indicated that Gordon Road was "still a dedicated public right-of-way" before Smith paid $1.4 million for the land in January.

This case is in Pulaski County Circuit Court before Judge Tim Fox. Both sides have filed briefs and await his decision.

Meanwhile, in federal court in Little Rock, Smith has sued the city through his Wildwood Partners LLC.

The complaint alleges violations of his constitutional rights protected by the Fifth and 14th Amendments. Smith equated the city's actions regarding access to Gordon Road as an illegal taking without just compensation.

The city attorney has denied those allegations and maintains the dispute is grounded in issues that should be resolved in state court. U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes heard arguments last week and will decide whether to hear or dismiss the case.



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