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City of Phoenix v. Landrum & Mills Realty Co

Supreme Court of Arizona

February 26, 1951

CITY OF PHOENIX et al.
v.
LANDRUM & MILLS REALTY CO

Judgment affirmed.

Francis J. Ryley, George Read Carlock and Joseph P. Ralston, all of Phoenix, for appellant William Larson.

Jack Choisser, City Atty., Laurence H. Whitlow and Jack D. Hays, Asst. City Attys., all of Phoenix, for appellants, City of Phoenix et al.

Jennings, Strouss, Salmon & Trask, Riney B. Salmon and Clarence J. Duncan, all of Phoenix, for appellee.

De Concini, Justice. Udall, C. J., and Stanford, Phelps and La Prade, JJ., concur.

OPINION

De Concini, Justice.

Page 1012

[71 Ariz. 384] This case arose from the protest of defendant, William Larson, a taxpayer of the City of Phoenix, against the action of the city council in leasing certain real property owned by the city to plaintiff Landrum and Mills Realty Company, a corporation. The realty company, as plaintiff and hereinafter referred to as appellee, brought an action under the Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act, sections 27-701 to 27-706, A.C.A.1939, and secured judgment of the lower court upholding the validity of the lease. The facts are not in dispute and are set forth in an agreed statement of the case. They are substantially as follows: On September 13, 1949 and for many years theretofore the City of Phoenix owned and now owns certain real property involved in this action which is located inside the city and is described as follows:

The East half of Block Twenty-three (23), Original Townsite of Phoenix, according to the plat of record in the office of the County Recorder of Maricopa County, Arizona, in Book 2 of Maps, page 51 thereof.

For some time the council of the City of Phoenix, had desired to lease said property not only for revenue purposes but also to provide parking facilities for automobiles in the downtown area. The parking problem had become acute and had been the subject of many discussions and a matter of great concern to the council.

To accomplish these purposes the city council duly passed the necessary ordinances and resolutions and pursuant thereto entered into a lease with the appellee realty company, it being the highest and [71 Ariz. 385] best bidder, to rent the premises for a period of 50 years at a rental of $ 2500 per month conditioned that the appellee build a parking garage to accommodate 400 cars at one time. The appellee met all the requirements by posting a sufficient bond and executed a lease satisfactory to both parties.

Thereafter, defendant William Larson, as an elector and taxpayer of the city asserted that said lease was void, invalid or voidable on the part of the city. On July 18, 1950, he caused to be served on the appellee realty company and the defendant city a written notice of his objections to said lease and demanded that it be rescinded and cancelled and declared null and void. As a result of this written notice by defendant Larson, the city considered the nullification and rescission of said lease.

Because of these threats by defendant Larson and the position of the defendant city, it became impossible for appellee to proceed with any reasonable degree of safety to perform the acts and expend the moneys required by the lease. To resolve the uncertainties so created and to establish the validity of the lease, an action was brought by the appellee in the superior court of Maricopa ...


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