August 5, 2008
Controversy over 13-story building in Ridgeland continues
By Leah Square
Developers of a 13-story building are trying to throw out a group of Ridgeland residents’ appeal of the city of Ridgeland’s decision to approve the controversial building back in October.
Madison County Circuit Court will hear the motion Aug. 11.
The motion, filed by attorneys for building developer H.C. “Buster” Bailey, asserts the appeal lacks standing because the appellants, mostly residents of Ridgeland who call themselves “Zoning Ordinances Need Enforcement,” do not live closely enough to the disputed structure to be able to challenge it.
“So, he’s basically saying that no resident of Ridgeland can appeal the city’s decision to approve his building. Outrageous,” said Janet Clark, an appellant and a founding member of ZONE, who will be able to see the building from her Rolling Meadows Road home.
Bailey is out of town and could not be immediately reached for comment.
The 13-story building, also known as 200 Renaissance, is under construction at I-55 and Steed Road near the upscale Renaissance at Colony Park mall.
For more than a year, the building has been a point of tension between the city, Bailey and ZONE. The later dislikes the building’s tall height and has accused the city of breaking its own zoning ordinances.
The ordinances set the height limit for Ridgeland buildings at four stories, but developers were granted a height variance and conditional use permit by aldermen in a lengthy public hearing in October which allows them to take the building higher than four stories.
Bailey was not named in ZONE’s appeal that swiftly followed the city’s approval decision, but Bailey’s lawyers have intervened to try and get the appeal dismissed.
Bailey’s written motion contends that ZONE’S appeal should be tossed due to “lack of standing by the individual appellants” because they don’t own the property nor live within 160 feet of the building.
The city’s original deadline to answer ZONE’s appeal was July 7, but the court has stayed the briefing schedule pending the outcome of the motion to dismiss, said Ridgeland City Attorney Jerry Mills.
200 Renaissance will house the employees of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada law firm, the Horne CPA Group and Regions Bank’s corporate headquarters. The building should be ready for the tenants to move in from downtown Jackson by fall 2009, Bailey has said.