Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County 15SL-CC02471
Honorable Brian H. May
K. Hoff, Presiding Judge
Sarandos ("Sarandos") appeals from the trial
court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Loop
Trolley Transportation District ("District") and
the Loop Trolley Company ("Trolley Company")
(collectively "Respondents") on Sarandos's
action for declaratory judgment and permanent injunction
brought to prohibit construction and operation of a
trolley-car rail system along Delmar Boulevard, from the Loop
in University City to Forest Park in St. Louis
("Project") 535 feet beyond the boundaries of the
District. We affirm.
Factual and Procedural History
relevant parties in the current action are as follows: The
District is a political subdivision of the State of Missouri
created in accordance with the Missouri Transportation
Development District Act, Sections 238.200-.275, RSM0
("TDD Act"), that authorizes the creation of
transportation development districts to plan, fund, and
construct transportation and related infrastructure projects.
The Trolley Company is a non-profit corporation that
contracts with the District related to the operation of the
Project. Sarandos, along with Elsie Beck Glickert
("Glickert") and Jen Rivenes Jensen
("Jensen"), are residents and taxpayers of the City
of St. Louis ("St. Louis City") and the City of
University City ("University City"), respectively,
who filed the underlying action challenging the construction
and operation of the Project.
District and the Project
2007, pursuant the TDD Act, St. Louis City and University
City each passed and approved resolutions calling for the
joint establishment of the District, for the purpose of
"funding, promoting, planning, designing, constructing,
improving, maintaining, and operating" the Project.
August 2007, University City filed a petition in the St.
Louis County Circuit Court ("Formation Petition")
seeking to create a transportation development district under
the TDD Act, for the undertaking of the Project and the
imposition of a one-percent sales tax ("Sales Tax")
in the District.
Formation Petition set forth the legal description for the
proposed District, including a map illustrating such
boundaries as required under the TDD Act and a general
description of the Project ("Project Description"),
which stated that the "approximate location of
the Project improvements will be along Delmar Boulevard
between Kingsland Avenue and DeBaliviere Avenue and along
DeBaliviere Avenue between Delmar Boulevard and Lindell
Boulevard within the boundaries of the District." The
Project Description further "anticipated that the
Project may also include" various activities
and work necessary or convenient for the purpose of funding,
promoting, planning, designing, constructing, improving,
maintaining, and operating or assisting in the Project, such
as the construction of one or more turn-around areas for the
rail system, and other improvements located within or
adjacent to Delmar Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue.
published notice of the filing of the Formation Petition, the
trial court issued its Order dated December 18, 2007
approving a mail-in election and certifying for
qualified-voter approval, submitting a single question
regarding creation of the proposed District, "for the
purpose of funding, promoting, planning, designing,
construction, improving, maintaining and operating or
assisting in (a) design, construction and installation of
improvements along Delmar Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue
necessary for a trolley-car system;…(c) construction
of one or more turn around areas for vehicular traffic and/or
rail system;…(g) all other costs and fees necessary or
incidental to the foregoing" and approval of the
proposed Sales Tax. The results of the mail-in election were
reported as being 38.097 votes in favor of the ballot
question and 0.88 votes against, which was an overwhelming
majority in favor of the Project. Sarandos, who owns
commercial property within the District, cast a ballot
against the District.
2008, following voter approval, the trial court entered its
final judgment ("Formation Judgment") in which it
established the District as a political subdivision in
accordance with the TDD Act and authorized the Sales Tax. In
addition, just as in the Formation Petition, the Formation
Judgment contained the Project Description in which it
provided a "general description" of the Project, an
"approximate" location for the Project, as well as
gave the District broad authority to "also"
construct improvements necessary and convenient for the
proposed trolley-car system.
August 2008 to March 2016, the District collected
approximately $5, 034, 679 in Sales Tax,
which generated funds used for planning, design,
implementation, and construction of the Project.
addition to the funds generated from the Sales Tax, the
District also obtained a grant from the Federal
Transportation Administration ("FTA") to help
finance the Project. On August 23, 2013, the District was
granted $22.1 million from the FTA.
November 2012, the Trolley Company submitted an application
for a conditional use permit to University City to build and
operate the trolley project, which was granted on March 11,
2013. It included a proposed route extending in front of the
University City Library west of the District boundary at
2000, and well before the formation of the District in 2008,
plans for the Project have been the subject of considerable
public discussion and media attention as well as the subject
of discussions at community meetings and in public documents.
Throughout the planning process, the general public,
community leaders, government agencies, and local
neighborhoods have been involved in the Project.
2008, the District's plans have included Project
improvements beyond the District boundaries on both ends of
the route. Moreover, as early as 2004, plans for the Project
contemplated extension of the system accordingly.
Specifically, the final plans for the Project included an
extension of the trolley-car route 300 feet, beyond the
District's boundaries on the eastern end of the line, to
provide a connection to Forest Park, and an extension of 235
feet beyond the District's boundaries on the western end
of the line, to provide a feasible terminus for the system.
The final plans fell within the approximate Project location
as defined in the Formation Judgment.
January 2015, contractors received notice to proceed with
construction of the Project and construction commenced
immediately thereafter. As of December 2015, construction in
the challenged areas of the Project route had commenced.
April 2016, implementation of the Project was substantially
complete: track 85%, maintenance facility 70%, catenary
system 85%, first two trolleys 80% and utilities 95%.
Construction costs totaled $46.96 million with overall
project costs at $50.90 million.