Ross was asked afterward for a detailed copy of his responses to The Ada News.The questions are in bold-face followed by the answers.
If the county commission granted Dial’s request, could it result in lawsuits over persons previously denied similar requests for changes in zoning?
“My response is that it could possibly have an effect. The effect on past decisions would depend on how long ago they were made, as a statute of limitations would apply to some previous requests.
However, nothing would prevent those persons who made the previous requests, even those now barred by the statute of limitations, from suing on that past decision, from bringing another request, then being denied, and then filing suit if denied. The effect of the Dial decision would be that any person making a future request will compare his or her situation to that of Mr. Dial.”
Starns asked Ross whether or not he could represent the commissioners in the event they acted contrary to his advice.
“First, I clarified that I did not advise them whether to vote yes or no. I advised them on how they should go about that decision, which was to develop standards to use on every change of zoning request, and then every person — whether Mr. Dial or some other individual — would all have their requests considered using the same standards. If the board was to be sued by someone based on the granting of Mr. Dial’s request to rezone, I would not be able to represent them as I would have a conflict of interest — that being that I advised them to do something prior to making that decision and they did not.
“However, I also stated this would not prevent me from representing them in every change of zoning case in the future, even if the person seeking it was arguing that approval of Mr. Dial’s request would support an approval in that future case.”