Judge lifts Opus restraining order, new lawsuit filed

3 years 10 months 1 week ago Friday, September 12 2014 Sep 12, 2014 Friday, September 12, 2014 2:22:00 PM CDT September 12, 2014 in News
By: Creighton Hayes, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA- Boone County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Crane issued a temporary restraining order, which blocked the Opus development from doing any construction or demolition, Friday morning. Later Friday afternoon, Crane lifted the temporary order.

Crane's ruling comes on the heels of another lawsuit filed Thursday, aimed at halting the development. The Plaintiff's in the suit are Mike MacMann and Betty Wilson, two Columbia residents . Wilson MacMann v. Columbia and Opus - Final Petition for Relief 536.150.pdf

Crews began putting up fences and concrete barriers on seventh, eighth, and locust streets on Friday; just two days after the city granted demolition and construction permits to Opus. The sidewalks and parking spaces are closed in those areas. 

Jeremy Root, who help spread the Repeal 6214 petition to stop Opus, is the attorney for the two plaintiffs. 

"I'm not opposed to students residing downtown," Root said in a previous interview with KOMU 8. "I'm opposed to hasty process that leave too many questions unanswered."

The lawsuit, filed in the Boone County Ciruit Court, says:

"Since the infrastructure is inadequate to serve the proposed student housing development, legislative approval is required in advance of permits for this project, and the citizens of Columbia revoked the legislative authorization necessary for this project to proceed. Yet the City of Columbia and Defendant Matthes unlawfully, unreasonably, arbitrarily and capriciously issued permits anyway."

City Manager Mike Matthes and the city attorney refused to comment Friday on the ongoing suit.

But in a Decemember 2013 interview,  Matthes told KOMU 8 "The action that we have taken has been to raise our hand and say, ‘we are out of infrastructure.' There are answers to these questions, we just have to decide where they are."

A hearing on the future of the lawsuit and Opus Development is set for Monday, September 15, at 9 a.m.

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