Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Missouri Court of Appeals upholds dismissal of Stretch's streetcar lawsuit

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM

The legal coast is clear, for now, for the streetcar
  • The legal coast is clear, for now, for the streetcar.

Jeff "Stretch" Rumaner and Sue Ann Burke should have sued the Kansas City streetcar project sooner, an appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, issued a long-awaited ruling that upheld a Jackson County Circuit Court judge's decision to jettison a lawsuit that sought to thwart the two-mile Main Street streetcar line.

The appellate court says Grinders owner Stretch and River Market businesswoman Burke couldn't litigate against the streetcar because they didn't sue before the election or within the 30 days following the certification of the election.

In short, Stretch and Burke didn't call their lawyers in time.

Both were plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Transportation Development District, a taxing mechanism created to fund the $100 million-plus streetcar line stretching from the River Market to Crown Center.

They didn't want to pay the extra, special property-tax assessment and sales tax that the streetcar would incur and argued that Missouri law prevented the formation of a second TDD where one already exists; Kansas City approved a TDD to assist with the redevelopment within downtown's south loop.

Wednesday's ruling means that, barring any further legal challenge, the streetcar in Kansas City is a go.

Read the decision here if you want.

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