League City residents say officials had no right to adjust property setback

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 27, 2009

GALVESTON � A Texas City attorney has filed suit against the city of League City on behalf of subdivision residents upset with the city's actions in their neighborhood.

According to the lawsuit filed by attorney Cris Rasco in Galveston County District Court on May 22, the League City Planning and Zoning Commission denied the plaintiffs' right to consent in the reduction of a 50-foot setback in the Cypress Bay subdivision as mandated by city ordinance.

"(It) constitutes a taking of their property rights without due process of law or adequate compensation," the original petition states.

Documents show the city approved the preliminary plat for the development's three sections in August 2007 and a final plat for Cypress Bay Section 1 in October 2008. The plats were approved on the basis that each conforms to the general plan of the municipality and its current and future streets, alleys, parks, playgrounds and public utilities.

The last plat shows a 110-foot wide, 7-foot deep canal dredged by removing portions of existing land and connecting to navigable water.

It runs the entire length of the development's western side within 20 feet of the complainants' respective property lines, court papers say.

The residents argue that the commission did not talk to them during the approval process and feel the alleged snub is in violation of city and state laws.

"At no time during the approval process of the Cypress Bay preliminary plat and Cypress Bay Section 1 final plat were any of the plaintiffs contacted concerning consent to reduction of the mandatory setback," the suit says.

Section 102-10 of League City's Subdivision Regulations impart that "the distance of 50 feet may be lessened with consent of the abutting land owner and subsequent approval of the planning and zoning commission."

"Obviously, planning and zoning's approval of the Cypress Bay preliminary plat and Cypress Bay Section 1 final plat violates the League City Subdivision Regulations," the complaint says.

Consequently, the plaintiffs seek to have Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia issue a declaratory judgment that the final plat broke state law as well as issue an injunction prohibiting any construction associated with Cypress Bay Section 1.

Case No. 09CV0779

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