Metro sues to force subdivisions to finish infrastructure work

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 3:18pm

Metro government has sued a West Nashville subdivision called Woodland Forest, the latest residential neighborhood Metro has targeted for failing to complete the construction of public infrastructure.

In all, according to the Metro Department of Law, the city has filed suits against nearly 30 subdivisions that were conceived during the housing boom, but stalled over the three-plus years after the real estate market crashed in 2008.

Metro has turned to legal action to enforce the completion of public infrastructure when developers abandoned the construction of roads, sidewalks, and water and sewer facilities, for example, before completion, Metro attorney Brooks Fox said.

“The Woodland subdivision is the latest lawsuit to be filed in this pursuit,” Fox said.

The newest suit, filed Feb. 21 in Davidson County Chancery Court, targets Woodland Forest, a subdivision near Charlotte Pike and Sawyer Brown Road, north of Interstate-40. The suit lists developers Nicholas Psillas and Deborah Psillas as defendants.

Metro claims the Metro Planning Commission’s approval of the development was contingent on the developers’ agreement to ensure the completion of all required public infrastructure improvements.

Work still isn’t complete, according to the suit.

Metro is demanding that the defendants be found in breach of the agreement, requiring them to build the neglected public infrastructure work. The suit also asks that the defendants be enjoined from continuing with other development work until they fulfill their contractual obligations.

In addressing belly-up subdivisions, Metro has also established a process for Metro aid to help complete unfinished streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure.

The Metro Council earlier this month approved the city’s acceptance of “incomplete infrastructure” in 11 privately developed subdivisions that were abandoned mid-construction.

The plan’s approval has established an application process for up to $2.5 million to be authorized for street, light and other construction work in these residential neighborhoods, many of which are in Antioch.