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Property owners sue over deal gone awry

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By Lisa King

A group of local property owners are suing a development company that they say failed to honor an agreement to buy a parcel of land from them and three governmental bodies whose restrictions they believe contributed to the breakdown of their deal.

The suit, filed last month in Shelby Circuit Court by Frank and Judy Kees, Randall and Freida Stivers, Samuel and Jennifer Carl and Richard and Stephanie Head, contends that ICON Properties, LLC, of Louisville did not uphold its agreement to purchase 81 acres west of Shelbyville.

ICON is owned by developer William Hysinger of Simpsonville and his partners.

In addition to ICON, the suit also names the City of Shelbyville, the Triple S Planning Commission and the Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer and the individuals who serve on those groups -- including Mayor Tom Hardesty and members of the City Council -- because of infrastructure requirements being placed on the owners.

On Monday, the suit was amended to remove the names of individuals and to target only governmental bodies.

Greg Neal, attorney for the plantiffs, said the govermental bodies are named in the suit because they were party to agreements made with ICON.

"ICON are the ones who cut deals with the city, and whatever agreements they made should stay between them," he said.

Frank Chuppe, Shelbyville's City Attorney, said that the gist of the dispute is over the property in question, which is located north of U.S. 60 in Shelbyville and between Ardmore Lane and the new bypass extension of Taylorsville Road (Ky. 55).

“From our standpoint, the important thing is that the lawsuit does not say that the city or the water and sewer commission did anything wrong,” he said. “This is really a case by these property owners against ICON, and it appears as though they've made the city and the water commission a party because they do not want to be subject to any agreement or conditions that ICON put on the property in the past.”

In the suit, the plaintiffs charge that since Hysinger, James Mulrooney and Richard Smith of ICON and ICON-Shelby “have breached the agreements in their entirety...they must pay the plaintiffs compensatory damages in excess of the minimal jurisdictional limits of this court.”

The suit also says that the City of Shelbyville and Triple S Planning and Zoning should be required to eliminate the conditions placed on the property by Hysinger, including limiting the property to commercial development only.

The suit also states that the plaintiffs don't feel they should have to be made to pay for a sewer-line extension, as required by the Water and Sewer Commission. 

None of the indivduals named in the suit would comment or return phone calls to The Sentinel-News.