After hearing arguments on Jan. 31, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge David Lee Vincent III ruled Tuesday that the city did not err in its approval of a conditional use permit for a Walmart development project in Ellisville.
The move clears a legal front in the battle over the contentious project, which has been the subject of fierce protests by some residents and even sparked a failed drive for the recall election of several council members.
In rejecting the lawsuit brought by city resident Thomas Debold to block the development, Vincent said that the city had met each and every requirement for obtaining a conditional use permit that is required by the municipality’s code.
The decision to approve the permit for Walmart was “supported by competent and substantial evidence upon the record and is hereby affirmed,” Vincent wrote. The judgment is not an interpretation of whether or not the city made the “right” choice in allowing Walmart to build, but rather that the process was followed properly.
Debold’s lawsuit to block the Sansone Group project at the Manchester Road and Kiefer Creek intersection alleged that the city made several missteps, including a lack of adequate traffic studies and a violation of an ordinance requiring a 25-foot setback. Debold's attorney also made motions to disqualify the city’s legal counsel, which was provided by the Sansone Group.
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