The Town of University Park has spent more than $38,000 on legal fees since January to participate in the Cafritz development process, according to budget figures discussed at Monday night's council meeting.
The total reflects the cost of retaining attorney David Podolsky, who has served as town's counsel on Cafritz-related matters since the beginning of the year.
Suellen Ferguson, who normally represents both University Park and College Park, was sidelined by a conflict of interest when the two municipalities' councils voted differently on the rezoning plan.
In cases where legal counsel is retained for development issues, Mayor John Tabori said, there are typically two to three days of hearings involved at the planning board and district council.
But the Cafritz planning board hearing took two days on its own, while the district council had at least half a dozen meetings, many lasting a full day. Podolsky was present at all of these.
“I’d say he spent four times as much time as he normally would have as a consequence of the complexity and length,” Tabori said. “I don’t think anyone would’ve expected this to drag out as long as it did."
“It’s not a done deal,” he said. “But my presumption is she will return.”
Podolsky will be present at the next scheduled council meeting on Sept. 10, but Tabori said that if Ferguson is able to return, she will take over further dealings with the planning board and the Cafritz team.