Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park

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The Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park (CPMP) is a group formed to fight the construction of the Meadowcreek Parkway, a portion of which would traverse through the City's McIntire Park. The coalition consists of several environmental groups that are opposed to the Parkway. They have filed several lawsuits to stop construction as well as a restraining order. [1]

Members

Legal actions

The group solicited donations for a litigation fund beginning in December 2008.[2].

On February 24, 2009, Attorney Jennifer McKeever filed two motions in Charlottesville Circuit Court designed to stop the parkway's construction[3]. McKeever’s first action was to file a motion asking for the court to declare that the City illegally transferred land to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). In June 2008, City Council approved permanent and temporary construction easements on 9 acres of land owned by the City in Albemarle County[4]. The motion for declaratory judgment claimed the action was unconstitutional because state law requires a supermajority to convey public land to another body [4 votes on a 5 member body]. The vote on June 2, 2008 was 3-2 with Councilor Holly Edwards and Mayor Dave Norris voting no.

The second action was a request for a preliminary injunction to halt all activities related to the construction of the Parkway pending the resolution of the constitutionality of the conveyance. The request claimed that VDOT has caused and is causing “irreparable harm” by using the 9 acres as a staging area for the parkway’s construction.

The preliminary injunction was denied after the suit's first hearing on March 18, 2009. Judge Jay Swett found that the Coalition would not be harmed by continued work at the site, and said they should have filed the injunction earlier if they had hoped to stop construction. Judge Swett said VDOT would be harmed if he granted the injunction, and so he opted to deny the request. He did agree to proceed with the request, and a second hearing was held in May 2009[5].

On June 26, 2009, Judge Swett issued a ruling that denied the Coalition's argument that the conveyance of land was unconstitutional. Swett ruled the Virginia Constitution does not require four out of five Councilors to have approved the granting of temporary and permanent easements to VDOT. The ruling also denied an injunction requested by the Coalition to stop work on the Parkway, and also denied a request for the City to pay its legal fees[6].

Federal lawsuit

On February 22, 2011, the CPMP filed a lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration seeking for an injunction against construction of the interchange. The group filed a restraining order on July 8, 2011. [1] On May 29, 2012 Judge Norman K. Moon dismissed the suit, ruling in favor of the FHWA.[7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Coalition files restraining order on McIntire project, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, July 8, 2011, retrieved July 11, 2011.
  2. Kleeman, Peter. "Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park needs your help." Weblog post. Kleeman Blog. Peter Kleeman, 13 Dec. 2008. Web. 30 June 2009. <http://kleemanblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/coalition-to-preserve-mcintire-park.html>.
  3. Nairn, Daniel, and Sean Tubbs. "Meadowcreek Parkway opponents file first in a potential series of lawsuits." Weblog post. Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. Charlottesville Tomorrow, 26 Feb. 2009. Web. 30 June 2009. <http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2009/02/meadowcreek_lawsuits.html>.
  4. Doernberg, Ben, and Sean J. Tubbs. "Council grants easement for Meadowcreek Parkway near CHS." Weblog post. Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. Charlottesville Tomorrow, 4 June 2008. Web. 30 June 2009. <http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2008/06/council-grants-easement-for-meadowcreek-parkway-near-chs.html>.
  5. Tubbs, Sean J. "Judge denies injunction to stop Meadowcreek Parkway construction; case to continue in mid-May." Weblog post. Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. Charlottesville Tomorrow, 19 Mar. 2009. Web. 30 June 2009. <http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2009/03/judge_denies_injunction.html>.
  6. Tubbs, Sean J. "Judge Swett: Supermajority of votes not required for Meadowcreek Parkway easement." Weblog post. Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. Charlottesville Tomorrow, 29 June 2009. Web. 30 June 2009. <http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2009/06/mcp_ruling.html>.
  7. Web. Judge Moon rules against Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park; Parkway Interchange to proceed, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 29, 2012, retrieved June 25, 2012.