Recently there have been people out surveying the Parker resort access sites. The activity is a reminder that the developer, Mr. Hooten, is proceeding with his plans despite the as-yet-unresolved lawsuit. It’s possible that final plans for the first phase of construction could be submitted soon.
The important thing about the final plans (and something that the City Council seems to have misunderstood based on comments made at meetings) is that the City Council no longer has a role in approving them.
Final plans only require approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Furthermore, last year when the City Council approved the Parker plans and the annexation agreements, the City forfeited its ability to require any significant changes to the Parker plans.
The City of Galena is now contractually required to allow everything presented in the preliminary plans: the 50,000 square foot event center, multiple restaurants, all the outdoor dining and entertainment terraces, every one of the 120 cabins, the winery, all the roadways and parking lots … everything the developer asked for. The City Council no longer has a voice in what happens with the Parker, and the Zoning Board can only review final design and engineering details – they cannot require any changes to the amount, type, or location of the uses that the City Council approved last year.
All of that is why the Parker lawsuit is so critically important. It is the last thing standing between Galena and the construction of a giant modern commercial development within city limits.
Wendy Clark’s lawsuit has been updated as of Feb. 14, in part based on the resort amendments the city approved last fall.
Wendy Clark’s amended complaint includes ten counts based on the city’s violations of city code and state law when they approved the Parker Resort plan and the associated rezoning, annexation agreements, and implementing ordinances.
Those ten counts cite the city’s failure to consider impacts as required by city and state law, the city’s failure to follow its own ordinances, and the city’s use of illegal zoning practices. An eleventh count seeks an injunction to keep the developer from constructing the Parker Resort as currently planned, based on the harm it will cause to neighboring property.
The City of Galena is required to file its response within 30 days of the date the amended complaint was filed. That means that a response should be filed with the court next week.
The next status hearing on the case is scheduled for April 27. We’ll keep you updated as best we can, but remember that court cases often move slowly.
The work of the lawsuit is now at a stage where it is becoming time-consuming and therefore expensive. Wendy and her attorney put in a lot of work to amend the complaint, and there will be more hard work ahead after the city responds. Please consider contributing what you can to help stop the Parker.
Thank you again for all that you have done to make a difference.