A new decision on the proposed Sam’s Club at Cityplace is giving the East Village Association reason to celebrate. Robert Wilonsky has the news on the Fifth District Court of Appeals’ memorandum, ordering the case back to trial court. It’s a blow to city staff, which argued that the neighborhood association has no standing to sue.
According to Justice David Schenk’s opinion, Wilonsky says, “the court disagrees with the city’s assertion that the East Village Association — which was formed in opposition to the Sam’s Club — doesn’t even have standing to bring this suit in the first place. If nothing else, says the justice, at least one of its members lives close enough to the property to justify the lawsuit even without the association’s help.”
We know of one nearby resident, Jonas Park, who has been relentless and outspoken in his opposition to the big-box development. In fact, Candy’s coverage and profile of Park’s effort to halt the megastore-anchored commercial area better fit for the suburbs earned this blog an award. The nearby property owner cited in Schenk’s opinion, David Shaw, claims that the city didn’t say the zoning for the former ACS/Xerox campus would allow for a “big box” store. If he had known, Shaw said he would have been vocal in his objections.
And while Anthony Ricciardelli, the lawyer for the East Village Association, is happy with the opinion — “The main thing to take away is the case will now go back to the trial court with the city’s claims they are immune completely dismissed.” — the truth is that without an injunction, construction won’t have so much as a slight hiccup.
“Construction has started, the store is going up, and the Sam’s will be open and doing business and providing a great resource for the people in the neighborhood,” says Scott Dyche, general counsel for Trammell Crow Company. “This doesn’t change anything.”
And that might be the biggest tragedy.