Meridian City Council’s decision to approve Linder Village, a development that will include a WinCo Foods on Chinden Boulevard, is on its way to being reviewed by a judge. The developer, DMG Real Estate Partners, wants to weigh in.
DMG Real Estate Partners is intervening in a petition for judicial review that could require the city of Meridian to restart the public hearing process for Linder Village.
The residents who filed the petition — David McKinney, Sally Reynolds, David Eastman and Tony Brownlee — live in the neighborhood south of the development. They say their individual interests will be affected or harmed by the city’s approval of the development.
DMG is entitled to intervene because the city’s approval of the development application of Linder Village is at stake, the company’s petition to intervene states.
“DMG worked for years to obtain the city of Meridian’s approval, was required to hold multiple meetings with the neighbors, participate in multiple public hearing and concede to martieral revision to the initial proposed development, all at significant cost to DMG,” the petition to intervene stated, written by Kenneth Howell and Brian Ballard of Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley LLP.
District Judge Lynn Norton approved the request to intervene in the petition on July 31, allowing DMG’s attorneys to respond to the petition and participate in the rest of the process. City attorney Bill Nary said it is common for the “affected party” to intervene in a petition.
The petition was filed by attorney Andrea Carroll in the 4th Judicial District on April 16. Judicial petitions are usually filed because of an error of local, state or constitutional law, such as an official conversation happening off the record or a city not using the proper criteria to evaluate a permit.
On July 5, Carroll submitted a brief in support of petition for judicial review, outlining the resident’s argument. The city of Meridian and DMG submitted briefs in response to Carroll’s brief on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2. DMG’s brief, like the city’s, argued that the city should not have to restart the public hearing process for Linder Village.
The response briefs are one of the last steps in the process before the judge makes a decision. Carroll or the judge have the option to request an oral argument for the case before the decision. As of Tuesday, neither had, according to Nary.
Nary said the case could wrap up in October, or later if an oral argument is requested.
Earlier this year a judge ruled on a similar petition regarding the Costco Wholesale development, coming to Ten Mile Road and Chinden Boulevard in Meridian. In that case, Judge Nancy Baskin on Feb. 27 denied the petition for judicial review. Baskin ruled that while “petitioners have standing” because of Costco’s potential impacts, they “failed to show how any of their substantial rights were infringed by the approval of this development.”
Linder Village was approved by Meridian City Council on Jan. 15. On March 19, the council denied the petitioners’ written request for reconsideration.
The Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission first heard the application for Linder Village in October 2017. The commission unanimously recommended denial. Meridian City Council then heard the application in January 2018 and sent it back to the commission. The commission recommended approval of the Linder Village application on Nov. 15, 2018, after developers had made some changes to the project.