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.