ST. LOUIS — A dispute over zoning reclassification sought by the developer of residential villas and a senior living residential community that included an assisted-living facility in Frontenac has been partially resolved in federal court.
U.S. District Judge Henry Edward Autrey of the Eastern District of Missouri on Sept. 1 granted the city's motion to dismiss certain claims of the Grove Assisted Living LLC, which sued the city last year while granting the plaintiff 14 days to file an amended complaint.
Autrey further held that if an amended portion of the plaintiff's lawsuit seeking monetary damages for alleged due process and equal-protection violations under the Fifth and 14th amendments survives the challenge, he would continue to hold that portion of the litigation in abeyance until the part of the suit related to zoning playing out in state court is resolved.
In a 22-page ruling devoted primarily to the history of the 9.6-acre parcel bordered by Spoede Road to the west, City Hall and the Public Works complex to the east, Clayton Road to the south and Interstate 64 to the north, Autrey found that in its present form, the monetary-damages claim "fails to satisfy the requirements" of a due process claim.
"Under the standard of review, it cannot survive Defendant’s challenge," Autrey wrote. "Although Defendant requests the opportunity to review a request to amend, the Court is of the opinion that Defendant will not be prejudiced by allowing an amendment at this stage of the litigation."
Autrey wrote that the city would have an opportunity to review an amended complaint and proceed accordingly.
The subject property owned by Grove Assisted Living had been the site of the Ladue Early Childhood Center, including a school building, a parking lot and a soccer field. But since about June 2011, it has been vacant due to the construction of a new Ladue Early Childhood Center at a Ladue Road property in Creve Coeur, which was purchased by the school district in 2010, the ruling states.