Grove Battle Grinds On
Valid petition suit of PUD neighbors dead for now
The neighbors surrounding the proposed Grove at Shoal Creek planned unit development had their valid petition lawsuit dismissed on jurisdictional grounds last week. Essentially, the neighbors will have to wait until there is an actual vote of City Council on the PUD (currently scheduled for Sept. 22) before the court will rule on whether they are technically allowed to submit a valid petition and force a supermajority vote by Council to override it.
The developer, ARG Bull Creek, Ltd., was not named in the original lawsuit, but eventually intervened in the proceedings. ARG took the occasion to run a victory lap in an Aug. 19 press release, saying it was "pleased by the court's decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a few households living near the project." While the neighbors can re-file the suit after next month's vote, ARG said it hoped the plaintiffs would "join ARG in respecting the decision of the city's democratically elected representatives expressed by a majority vote."
The group of plaintiffs, represented by Bull Creek Road Coalition Vice President Grayson Cox, clarified later that the court hadn't ruled either way on the merits of the case (whether or not the neighbors have a valid petition), but simply that it couldn't rule before a Council vote. Cox said the plaintiffs are "more confident than ever that the mandatory valid petition statute applies to The Grove PUD's zoning case and look forward to when the district court agrees with the plaintiffs and the 426 Austinites who filed two amicus briefs supporting our case."