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Collins-Camden Partnership, L.P. v. County of Jefferson

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division

March 25, 2014

COLLINS-CAMDEN PARTNERSHIP, L.P., Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
COUNTY OF JEFFERSON, MISSOURI, and JEFFERSON COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBERS DON BICKOWSKI, RENEE REUTER, BOB BOYER, CHARLES GROETEKE, TERRI S. KREITLER, CLIFF LANE and KELLY WAYMON, Defendants/Respondents

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jefferson County. Hon. David B. Tobben.

Robert K. Sweeney, Allison M. Sweeney, Hillsboro, MO, For Plaintiff/Appellant.

Robert J. Krehbiel, Jacob D. Curtis, St. Louis, MO, For Defendants/Respondents.

Sherri B. Sullivan, Judge. Lawrence E. Mooney, P.J., and Robert G. Dowd, Jr., J., concur.

OPINION

Page 211

Sherri B. Sullivan, Judge

Introduction

Collins-Camden Partnership, L.P. (Appellant) appeals from the trial court's Order and Judgment granting the Motion to Dismiss of the County of Jefferson, Missouri, and Jefferson County Council Members Don Bickowski, Renee Reuter, Bob Boyer, Charles Groeteke, Terri S. Kreitler, Cliff Lane and Kelly Waymon (collectively Respondents). We affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

The pleadings of Appellant's petition, filed on February 22, 2012, set forth the following alleged facts. On April 2, 2008, Jefferson County, a Charter County of the First Class and a political subdivision of the State of Missouri, adopted a Unified Development Order (UDO). The UDO establishes procedures for zoning and rezoning within Jefferson County. Appellant owns a tract of land (the property) located in Jefferson County. In 2011, Appellant sought to have the property rezoned. Appellant alleged it met all of the requirements regarding content and submission set forth in Section 400.1140 and consideration set forth in Section 400.1140(D) of the UDO to have the property rezoned.

Page 212

On October 13, 2011, the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission (Planning Commission), established by Jefferson County pursuant to Section 64.010,[1] approved Appellant's request to have the property rezoned. On November 14, 2011, a public hearing was held before the Planning Commission and County Council on Appellant's request for rezoning of the property as required under Section 400.1140 of the UDO. Witnesses were called for their testimony on the matter and evidence was adduced at this hearing. The hearing was concluded that same day, with the Planning Commission in support of the request. On January 23, 2012, a majority of the members of the County Council voted to overrule the Planning Commission's decision and denied Appellant's request for rezoning of the property.

Appellant asserted in its petition that the vote to deny was the direct result of Respondent County Council member Renee Reuter's introduction of new evidence about the property after the public hearing was concluded, despite the admonition of the County Counselor and without the opportunity provided to Appellant for rebuttal. Appellant also asserts Reuter did not file a protest petition challenging the rezoning of the property as set forth in Section 400.1140(C) of the UDO.

Appellant claims it had a sales contract pending on the property pending its rezoning that was rescinded as a direct result of the actions of the County Council majority, causing it to suffer damages in excess of $25,000. In Count I of the petition, Appellant alleges a " Procedural Violation" of the UDO, asserting that the majority of the County Council's rejection of the Planning Commission's recommendation for rezoning of the property violated the procedural requirements set forth in the UDO. In Count II of the petition, Appellant alleges a " Substantive Violation" of the UDO, declaring that Appellant's rezoning request met all of the requirements of the UDO; the Planning Commission received all of the evidence presented at the October 13, 2011 hearing upon which the Planning Commission voted to approve the rezoning of the property, and no additional evidence was presented to the ...


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