San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 24th, 2009
Buda residents to appeal

STAFF REPORT

The attorney for two Buda men who sued the city to put a land use change up to public referendum said his clients will appeal an appeals court decision against the referendum.

Irion and Slade Partner Terry Irion, who is representing the pro-referendum Buda residents, said he will file a motion to ask the three-judge Third Appeals Court panel to re-hear the case. Irion said he will file the motion on or before Dec. 4.

“We were disappointed by the court’s ruling,” Irion said. “We think the action taken by the city council was a legislative act. We don’t think there was anything temporary about the action whatsoever. Designating a land use and permitting the construction of an industrial building is just about as permanent an act as you can get. And we do intend to file a motion for re-hearing.”

Last week, Third Court of Appeals Judge Diane M. Henson said the land use change in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction is not subject to referendum because it was not “legislative in character.”

In June, the city approved an amendment to its agreement with Sunfield Municipal Utility District (MUD) No. 1 to designate 95 acres east of Buda for light industrial use. The decision cleared the way for US Foodservice to build a 500,000-square-foot distribution facility on 40 acres of the property.

A group called BudaFirst.org, financed mainly by near-by landowners, carried a petition asking for the council’s decision to be put up to vote. The group collected 788 signatures, meeting the requirements for a petition.

However, Buda city attorneys advised the city council that the decision was not subject to referendum, and the council voted, 6-1, against calling for a public vote.

With that, former Buda Mayor Jim Hollis and Buda realtor Christopher Juusola filed suit against the city, only for Henson to rule in the city’s favor.

Irion declined to say whether his clients intend to pursue further legal action in the event the appeals court reaffirms its decision.

“I think (we’re) just going to take this one step at a time,” Irion said.

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0 thoughts on “Buda residents to appeal

  1. I’m sorry… if these folks don’t want advancement and modern change they can always move away. Who says that they need to stay where they are?

    Welcome US Foods!

  2. I would like to know how they are going to make retail come to this location if they prevent US Foods from building their center. It looks to me like the opportunity for retail development like they want has passed by with construction of shopping complexes in Kyle and south Austin. Seems to me to be a pipe dream not based on present realities. If they had really wanted that type of retail development to grow on that location then they should have been a lot more active in making it happen, starting about 4 years ago

  3. If they want retail, it’s because they think it will increase their own neighboring property values more than US Foods would – and to heck with what’s actually good for Buda.

  4. Wow. You guys are such experts on the ins and outs of economic development in Buda! Maybe you should apply for Ketterman’s job. I think he makes in excess of $100,000. And I think his contract may be expiring soon. Maybe you should apply.

  5. Andy has a good point…what retailer/developer would want to try coming to an area where “residents” were already successful in keeping out another business?? Answer: None of course. Perhaps instead of lawsuits that waste money those opposed should just buy the land themselves and open their own “retail” stores, but then that would mean “putting their money where their mouth is”…..hmmm.

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