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Judge likely won't stop $400 million downtown east development

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: December 13, 2013 - 6:00 PM

A Hennepin County judge has rejected the bulk of an effort to stop the $400 million development plan for land adjacent to the new Vikings stadium.

Judge Mel Dickstein seperately granted a temporary restraining order, however, to further consider whether the city is exceeding its authority by developing and operating a public park. He would like to hear from the city's independent Park and Recreation Board. A hearing on that matter is scheduled for next Wednesday. 

"The court concludes only that there are issues regarding the authority of the city to acquire and maintain parks independent of the Park Board that must still be addressed, and that those issues require the involvement of the Park Board before resolution," Dickstein wrote in a Friday ruling.

The plaintiffs said in a statement that this bars contracts from being signed or bonds from being issued until the hearing is held.

Regarding the plaintiffs' primary argument, Dickstein ruled Friday that the city was not violating spending limits in the Vikings stadium legislation by spending extra on a parking ramp and park land required under that bill.

"Plantiff's claims are premised, in part, on the assertion that the city's expenditure for the Downtown East Block 1 Ramp is actually an end run around its statutorily limited contribution to the Vikings stadium," Dickstein wrote. "The court concludes, however, that the Block 1 Ramp is an integral part of the mixed use development described as Downtown East."

The 1,600 stall parking ramp, which satisfies most of a parking requirement in the stadium legislation, is also intended for use by Wells Fargo employees and occupants of the new residential units.

Order Granting Motion 27 CV 13 21254 by eric_roper

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