July 19, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Judge denies interveners in Life360 lawsuit; future vote uncertain

After a four-hour hearing, Judge Gerald McBeth of Nevada, ruled today that the attempt by certain citizens to intervene in a lawsuit to defend a referendum petition, was denied. This means they will not be allowed to join the lawsuit.

Judge McBeth also ruled in favor of the City against Life 360 Church and Robert and Jennifer Buchanan on claims that the referendum process itself was defective. The judge found the City Clerk gave the correct number needed for signatures. He additionally held that the title of the referendum petition circulated for signatures was not defective and petitioners had the right to 10 extra days to gather signatures, as allowed by the charter.

The last issue to be addressed is whether or not using the referendum petition process in rezoning conflicts with state law.

The next hearing is scheduled Aug. 9. Time and location has not yet been determined.

Meanwhile, the preliminary injunction prohibiting the City from going forward with the election, remains in place.

Background

The issue began in late 2012 when Life 360 Church and the Buchanans initiated the process to rezone their property to sell their land to Walmart.

After three public hearings, City Council voted in favor of allowing the land to be rezoned from residential to general retail to allow for the commercial development.

In response, those objecting to the zoning change gathered signatures to put the question to a vote. But the church filed the lawsuit shortly thereafter, which led to the temporary injunction, putting the vote on hold.

For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), cscott@springfieldmo.gov

city of springfield

Department of City Attorney

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1645 • Fax: 417-864-1551 • springfieldmo.gov