by JEN BIUNDO
Justices with the Texas Supreme Court this morning denied a case filed by opponents of Buda’s U.S. Foodservice Development, potentially giving the food distributor a green light to move forward with construction of a $52 million facility just east of IH-35.
Members of the group BudaFirst sued the city of Buda last year, arguing that councilmembers violated the citizens’ rights when they refused to call for a referendum election regarding a land use change for the controversial U.S. foodservice development. Though the site is located just east of city limits and Buda has no zoning authority over the land, a development agreement gives the city some clout in land use planning.
The city said the land use change was an “executive act” not subject to a referendum election, in which citizens can vote to overturn council decisions.
After lower courts threw out the suit, petitioners Jim Hollis and Christopher Juusola appealed to the Supreme Court in mid-March. Less than three months later, justices denied the suit without hearing the case. The court also denied a motion to stay, which would have halted development on the property.
“I think this is the last hurdle,” said Buda Economic Development Director Warren Ketteman. “It looks like US foodservice can build that new state-of-the-art $51 million facility in Buda, Texas. It’s good news all the way around.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs were not immediately available for comment Friday morning.
JEN BIUNDO is managing editor of the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Mercury and the Free Press.