Parkland lawsuit loses some steam, but hot issues remain

May 25, 2012

Muskego - Several claims made against Muskego and its Community Development Authority in a lawsuit brought by the partnership that owns the former Parkland Mall property were dismissed Tuesday by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lee Dreyfuss Jr.

But the most serious allegations - that the city conducted what amounted to taking the property - must still be decided. Dreyfuss will begin hearing those arguments June 21. Additional briefs will be filed after that before a decision is rendered.

The owners of the former mall property occupying about 10 acres on Janesville Road at Lannon Drive are suing the city for $46 million. The land is now vacant except for the remains of a failed tree farm.

Art Dyer is the most visible member of Parkland Venture, which owns the property.

The claims that were dismissed were that the city tried to interfere and conspired to interfere with and harm his business, that misrepresentations were made over the years and that the owners have been defamed.

"It's nice to have the claims finally be heard," Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said.

The two sides met in a court-ordered mediation in March, but the talks did not settle the dispute. No talks have been held since then and none are scheduled, said Remzy Bitar, attorney for the city.

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