Columbia Crossing legal saga concludes


The five-year-long legal battle between the City of Columbia and developer G.J. Grewe over the proposed Columbia Crossing development has ended, it was announced at Monday’s meeting of the Columbia City Council.

After the large commercial development in the bottoms area south of Interstate 255 lost traction in 2007, when it was defeated in a city-wide advisory referendum by 10 votes, Grewe sued the city for breach of contract. A federal judge ruled in 2008 that Columbia did not have the authority to enter into an agreement with Grewe in the first place, be cause it is a non-home rule municipality.

Grewe immediately appealed the ruling to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where it had remained for years.

Last year, the council created a Columbia Crossing Litigation Settlement Special Committee, after the appeals court informed city leaders they were about to begin considering the case. The settlement committee was formed to try and reach a resolution with Grewe before an appeals court ruled on the matter.

On Monday, it was announced that Grewe’s appeal has been dismissed.

“That case has been voluntarily dismissed by Columbia Crossing, so the appeal is now gone,” said the city’s attorney, who did not release any additional information on terms of the dismissal.

In February 2012, the city held an open meeting for bottoms-area landowners and other city residents to provide input on what they’d like the future of that area of Columbia to hold.

Retail and recreation facilities topped the wish list compiled at this meeting.

In other news from Monday’s meeting, the city amended its electricity aggregation ordinance that allows Homefield Energy to provide electricity to city businesses and residents in lieu of Ameren.

Per the new agreement, Homefield will offer new Columbia residents the opportunity to sign up for services with Homefield, even if the previous owners of the property opted out of switching to Homefield when the program began in 2012.

Additionally, customers who could not sign up with Homefield because they were contractually obligated at the time to another energy provider can switch to Homefield when their contracts are up.

In both scenarios, new customers will be eligible for the same rate existing Homefield customers are receiving.

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