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Development company sues

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The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - Triumph Development Company has filed a lawsuit against the City of Ovilla alleging the city failed to provide basic services after land owned by the Triumph company was annexed into the city.

Triumph currently owns property located in Ovilla city limits and was purchased for the purpose of developing single-family dwellings and was identified in the suit as Ovilla Creek Estates.

Triumph alleges when the property was purchased, it was located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city and as a general law city, the City of Ovilla could not annex land involuntarily.

Consequently, Triumph said he filed a petition to have the property voluntarily annexed into the city and in September 2004, Ovilla annexed the property.

A service plan accompanying the annexation ordinance stated water and sanitary would be provided by Ovilla.

According to the lawsuit, Scott Campbell, city manager at the time, had stated on Oct. 20, 2004 Ovilla would provide water and sewer to the property.

On Sept. 9, 2005, the City of Ovilla filed an application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to serve the property with water and sewer, but withdrew the request because water and sewer for the development was provided by the City of Glenn Heights.

Triumph said since Ovilla would not provide water and sewer services, it submitted a petition for deannexation from the city on Oct. 18, 2006 and in January the city denied Triumph's petition.

Triumph was seeking a declaratory judgment because the city failed to provide the water and sewer service violating Ovilla's own ordinance, which would render the annexation void.

The company claims the city violated Texas Local Government Code for not providing the water and sewer.

The development company was also seeking to recover attorney's fees and a reimbursement of taxes and fees paid to the city and any other interests and costs Triumph may show justly entitled.

Triumph also wanted the court to require the city to comply with the service plan attached to the ordinance, which required the city to provide water and sewer services to the Ovilla Creek Estates development.

Current City Manager John McDonald was unable to comment on the suit, because he said he had not received the paperwork from the city attorney.

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