New Plaintiff Joins NorthSide Case
SAINT LOUIS — Another plaintiff (and set of attorneys) has joined the lawsuit filed against the development company that the city of Saint Louis recently approved for $390.6 million in tax increment financing (TIF) to redevelop 1,500 acres in the city’s north side and in northern portions of downtown.
Dorian Amon, the attorney who filed the initial lawsuit against the development company, NorthSide Regeneration LLC, argued that the city’s development agreement with NorthSide was invalid because the city failed to investigate the project’s financing thoroughly.
The attorneys representing the new plaintiff are arguing for the same ruling, but for different reasons. Some of the allegations made in the motion to intervene filed by attorneys Eric Vickers, W. Bevis Schock, and James W. Schottle, Jr., were:
- The blighting of the properties in the redevelopment area was “unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious,” because the city didn’t conduct an independent study to determine whether the redevelopment area should be blighted.
- The city blighted the area in “bad faith” because it didn’t seek out alternative development proposals, and because the city misled the public and plaintiffs about “the power of eminent domain provided NorthSide under the Ordinance.”
- The city failed to show that the area hasn’t had recent growth and development.
You can read the pleadings submitted by Vickers, Schock, and Schottle here.
On Wednesday, circuit court Judge Robert Dierker granted the new plaintiff’s motion to intervene, and set a hearing for 11 a.m. on Feb. 16 to hear the new arguments against the city ordinance.
Dierker is expected to decide soon whether to grant Amon’s request for a temporary injunction, which would stop the development for a short period of time. At the February hearing, Dierker will consider whether to grant a permanent injunction.
Full disclosure: W. Bevis Schock, one of the intervening attorneys in the case, also serves as the secretary of the Show-Me Institute’s Board of Directors. Schock is involved in the case through his private legal practice, not through his capacity as an institute board member.
Correction: According to city records, the Feb. 16 hearing was rescheduled for 11 a.m.