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Sun Oct 13, 2019, 06:52 AM

St. Louis County Library argues judge should dismiss Frontenac suit to block new complex

CLAYTON — A circuit judge in St. Louis County said Friday that he would give “most prompt attention” to a decision on whether a lawsuit by the city of Frontenac seeking to block construction of a St. Louis County Library administrative building and genealogy center should proceed.

But the issue is not likely to be settled before the 6-acre site at Clayton and Spoede roads is prepared for development. Judge Stanley Wallach set a conference in the case for Nov. 21.

At a hearing on Friday, James Hetlage, a lawyer for the library, argued Frontenac’s suit should be dismissed because the city does not have standing to file it. The library has argued that the state constitution gives it the authority to move forward with construction regardless of local zoning because the library district is a subdivision of the state with power equal to a municipality.

Edward Sluys, a lawyer for Frontenac, said the city still had an interest in making sure the complex was safe for the public and that the library is still bound to develop the property for an “appropriate use.” The library should not be permitted to unilaterally decide what use is appropriate, he said. “There has to be some review.”


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