St. Paul Ford site development lawsuit dismissed – Twin Cities



A lawsuit focused on the new real estate development at Highland Bridge, the former site of the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant campus in St. Paul, has been dismissed.

Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann recently dismissed the legal petition filed by members of the Neighbors citizens group for a St. Paul habitable “with prejudice,” or permanently, meaning he won’t. cannot be returned.

The petition to the court, which asked if the main developer was meeting the site’s open space requirements, was filed in October against the town of St. Paul by Highland Park residents James Winterer, Kathryn McGuire, Catherine Hunt, Howard Miller, Bruce Faribault and Bruce Hoppe.

A call to a lawyer representing the plaintiffs was not immediately returned Thursday.

In their legal complaint, residents said Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies had failed to provide sufficient open space equivalent to 25% of the lot coverage in plans for a mixed commercial-residential building at 2170 Ford. Parkway, the site of a future Lunds and Byerlys. attached to five floors of housing. The building is expected to include 22,000 square feet of “green” amenity space on the roof, half of which, according to the rules set out in the Ford site master plan, can be calculated as contributing to the open space requirement. .

The Ryan Cos has asked the city for a zoning change, noting that even with the roof added, open space on the job site would be around 19% of the land.

A city zoning administrator subsequently denied the waiver hearing request and approved the proposal after including the 22,000 square feet of amenity space in his calculation, instead of half.

“He appears to have concluded that rooftop space should be 100 percent,” the judge said, in a 23-page order dismissing the neighbors’ lawsuit. The judge said it was not clear from the legal record how the administrator came to his conclusion and that “the decision may or may not have a rational basis.”

Still, Guthmann noted that rather than file an administrative appeal challenging the zoning decision, neighbors filed a “writ of mandamus” on October 29 asking the courts to step in and force the city to hold a waiver hearing. zoning.

The judge referred to state law, which stipulates that a writ of mandamus should not be issued “in all cases where there is a clear, expeditious and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law”. Residents could have taken their case to the city’s Zoning Appeal Board.

He also noted that residents had not been personally harmed by the possible zoning snafu and did not have the legal capacity to raise their concerns in court. “The petitioners have never reported any injury at all,” he said.


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