Arizona high court rules utility panel lacks authority to regulate forced sales
PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that utility regulators don’t have authority over a city’s use of eminent domain to take over a utility.
The court’s decision Thursday erases the Arizona Corporation Commission’s order that Circle City Water Co. seek commission approval for Surprise’s proposed condemnation of Circle City.
The case arose from a developer’s efforts to get a water supply for a planned new 8,500-home community within both the utility’s service area and Surprise’s municipal planning area.
The developer asked the commission to block the condemnation after Surprise said it didn’t have to provide water to the development based on a contract between the developer and Circle City.
The Supreme Court’s ruling cited an Arizona Constitution provision that says the commission cannot regulate municipal utilities.
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