Developer Glen Wiles filed a lawsuit last Tuesday against the city of Berea, seeking to reverse the planning commission’s denial of his plans to construct a street with 12 houses off Christmas Ridge Road.

According to the suit filed in Madison Circuit Court, the planning commission rejected Wiles’ development plan July 22 in an 8-0 vote, despite favorable comments from the city attorney and codes enforcement director.

Wiles said Friday he wants to build the houses for rent to senior citizens.

“The houses would be handicap accessible, including the kitchen appliances. I would maintain the street and not turn it over to the city,” he said.

“This property is an example of the dead space that the city has been trying to get developed,” Wiles said. ““This is a good development plan, prepared by Charles E. Black Consulting Engineers. It would upgrade the area.”

The property is surrounded on four sides by trees, he said.

“Everything I’ve ever tried to do in this town, I’ve had to get a lawyer and fight to get it done,” Wiles said.

His suit alleges, “the bad faith action of the commission, taken in willful disregard of its own codes enforcement officer and city attorney, constitutes convincing evidence” of “oppression and malice.”

The action entitles Wiles to punitive as well as compensatory damages, the suit states.

Berea Codes and Planning Administrator Dale VanWinkle said he could not comment on pending legislation.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or at 623-1669, Ext. 267.

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