Frank Planka is suing MI Homes, the developer of Mustang Crossing, based on his claim that the company’s actions have stifled his ability to access his property adjacent to the development.
During the Alvin City Council meeting Aug. 1, the lawsuit’s existence was publicly brought before the council during a public comment period.
Planka and his lawyer, A.G. Guy Crouch III, claim that MI Homes’ actions violated well-established rights-of-way on the property that have existed since 1890 and made Planka’s 10-acre tract inaccessible.
“He can’t get to it now, they’ve built the property up almost four feet. They’ve flooded him out,” Crouch said.
Due to the lawsuit, MI Homes submitted new plats to the council, who approved them unanimously. Mayor Paul Horn explained that the new plats separate the already built portion of Mustang Crossing and the portion currently affected by the litigation.
“We took and separated that part under dispute, took it out, said ‘Y’all go take care of that issue,’ and the rest of it that’s not in any contention, they can go ahead and build and do the things they want to do on it,” Horn said.
Crouch asked the council to table the issue until after it reviewed the lawsuit, but Horn explained that to do so would have required tabling the revised platting for the entire Mustang Crossing development, bringing it to a screeching halt until the litigation was concluded, despite the area related to the dispute comprising only a small portion of Mustang Crossing. Crouch tacitly threatened to add the city to the lawsuit if it didn’t take steps to resolve the issue.
“I don’t want to bring in the city of Alvin. My family goes back to the 1870s in this town. My office has been there for 70 years — my 50th year there — but, I can’t let an individual be run over, be landlocked, be flooded all because a developer comes in here,” Crouch said.
Horn said the actions taken by the council remove the city from the dispute. The motions that separated the plats also reversed previous actions in the original plats that abandoned the 1890 rights-of-way. Horn described it as a precautionary measure for the city.
“We don’t think we did anything wrong. Our attorney says we didn’t do anything wrong, but this makes it absolutely clear that if we did anything wrong it’s not wrong now,” Horn said.