Robson Ranch Quail Creek v. Pima County – 7/13/2007

July 31, 2007

Arizona Court of Appeals Division Two Holds That County Funding Mechanisms Adopted Under A.R.S. § 11-821 Must Satisfy the Statute’s “Reasonable Relationship” Requirement.

Appellants sued Pima County, alleging that the County’s 2005 sewer connection fee ordinance violated the reasonable relationship requirement of A.R.S. § 11-821, and impaired the contractual relationship established in an existing agreement between the parties. The County moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. This appeal followed.

The Arizona Court of Appeals reversed in part and remanded the case. Based on the statute’s express mandate, the court held that “where a county adopts a funding mechanism identified under A.R.S. § 11-821(D)(4), that mechanism must ‘bear a reasonable relationship to the burden imposed on the county to provide additional necessary public facilities to the development.” The court found that Appellants presented sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact concerning the sewer connection fees. The court rejected the impairment of contract claim, however, concluding that the parties’ agreement did not give rise to any expectations regarding how the County would use fee revenue.

Judge Howard authored the opinion; Judges Pelander and Vásquez concurred.