Saturday, December 18, 2004
Bond postponed is
boon for Wal-Mart opponents
BY JOE DEJKA
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Neighbors who sued to block construction of a Wal-Mart shopping
center near Papillion scored a minor victory Friday.
can appeal their District Court defeat without posting a $7.4
million bond, at least for now, a judge ruled.
bond was sought by the developer, the landowner and the City of
Papillion to compensate them for the delay caused by the appeal.
The money would have been awarded if the neighbors lost on appeal.
Neighbors, who contended that the bond request was an attempt to
intimidate them, expressed relief at the ruling.
the bond, the R.H. Johnson Co. would take a risk by building
before the Nebraska Court of Appeals weighs in on whether the
center's approval was legal.
74-acre Market Pointe center is proposed at 72nd Street and Giles
Road. The site previously was designated for houses and
County District Judge George Thompson said Friday that the appeal
could take 17 months to resolve, but he said his court lost
jurisdiction when the appeal was filed.
Thompson said it appears that the appeals court could impose a
rejected a Minnesota precedent that lawyers cited to support the
from Minnesota," Thompson said. "My dad played football for
Minnesota University. I have relatives there. I like to fish
there, and I support the Minnesota Vikings. However, the Minnesota
laws are not the laws in Nebraska."
William Gast, co-counsel for the neighbors, said the bond
request was meant to harass and intimidate neighbors.
"There's nothing more fundamental than the right to appeal,"
Gast said. "To try to intimidate someone into giving that up
is harassment as a matter of law."
motion Gast filed seeking attorney fees from the city,
developer and landowner was also rejected for lack of
Papillion City Attorney Mike Schirber said there was no attempt to
Schirber said that, according to the neighbors' own economic
consultant, the city could lose up to $3.6 million in tax revenue
while the case is on appeal.
Attorneys for the city, developer and landowner said they will ask
the appeals court to impose the bond.