The developer behind a project in Galloway Village that has been radically opposed by a small group of homeowners is trying to have the city’s plans for a public vote thrown out.
Elevation Enterprises LLC filed suit in Greene County Circuit Court to stop the vote on August 3rd and obtain a ruling that the process outlined in Springfield’s city charter used by development opponents is in violation of the Missouri and U.S. Constitutions.
The opponents of the development used a provision in city code and obtained a petition with 2,700 signatures that once certified required the city council to either reverse their zoning decision to permit the development or place the matter on the ballot. Council chose to vote to place the matter on the ballot for voters to decide.
Lawyers for Elevation Enterprises are taking issue with the petition, stating it should be invalid for three reasons:
- The petition fails to state anywhere it is seeking a referendum vote;
- The petition incorrectly states it is a recall petition rather than a referendum petition;
- The petition failed to use the full title of the ordinance that petitioners want to see repealed.
They also claim in their filing that the actions taken by Council and the process for referendums violates the 5th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and Article 1, Section 2 of the Missouri Constitution.
This is not the first time this section of the city’s charter has been disputed in court. In 2013, a judge ruled to stop the vote on an issue related to a Walmart community market near the intersection of Grand and Chestnut, stating it conflicted with state law. The decision was appealed but upheld by the state appeals court.ElevationEnterprisesSuit