AR Supreme Court Decision Opens Doors for Summit Mall

by George Waldon  on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003 12:07 pm  

The legal battle over the proposed Summit Mall in west Little Rock took a new turn Thursday.

The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a 2001 Pulaski Circuit Court decision that stopped the city from issuing a building permit for the $100 million project and remanded the case.

The decision also indicated support for the opponents' effort to put the matter to a referendum vote.

Circuit Court Judge Mackie Pierce had indicated the city's action was legislative and not administrative, making it fair game for a referendum vote.

With the higher court's recent opinion, the stage is set for a special election to determine whether the project will move forward.

Originally proposed in the late 1980s, no dirt has ever been turned on the 97-acre site of the proposed 1.1 million-SF mall at the southwest corner of Interstate 430 and Shackleford Road.

The supreme court ruled that Pierce erred in determining that opponents of the mall objected to the city board's actions in a timely manner.

The court determined the objection to a lapse in the approval process should've occurred years ago when Simon Property Group Inc. of Indianapolis missed a deadline.

Since the project's inception in 1987, the city granted multiple extensions for the submission of a final plan and the retention of the necessary zoning for the project.



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