Judge Marsha Bergan declines to dismiss Iowa River Landing suitPosted: March 30, 2012
After rejecting a request for an immediate injunction to keep Coralville from moving forward with the Oliver McMillan/Von Maur land giveaway, District Court Judge Marsha Bergan dismissed Coralville’s request to have the Iowa River Landing lawsuit thrown out.
Judge denies Coralville’s request to dismiss lawsuit by Emily Schettler in the Iowa City Press Citizen, Mar. 30, 2012
District Court Judge Marsha Bergan has denied the city of Coralville’s request to dismiss a lawsuit against the city over its development practices in the Iowa River Landing.
Attorneys for the city had asked Bergan to dismiss a lawsuit brought by area developers and business owners who were seeking an injunction to prevent the city from completing a proposed land deal with Von Maur.
My short summation of the case: Coralville is giving San Diego developer Oliver McMillan $1.5 million with which he will buy a prime parcel of land in the Iowa River Landing. He is then required to turn around and sell that land to Von Maur for $10. (This is, of course, just a small piece of the ~$14 million puzzle of tricks Coralville is using to incentivize Von Maur to abandon Iowa City.) Iowa law states that cities cannot sell land below market value, but apparently laws don’t apply when you call a project urban renewal.
Ultimately I’m not sure what the plaintiffs in this case hope to get, and I’m doubtful that they will prevail in the end. Hopefully, though, this case will open a bit wider the window that is exposing the shady chicanery of Kelly Hayworth and the City of Coralville.