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Cupples 7 demolition ruling

Cupples 7 demolition ruling

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6/28/12 ruling from Judge Robert Dierker upholding denial of demolition permit for Cupples 7
6/28/12 ruling from Judge Robert Dierker upholding denial of demolition permit for Cupples 7

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Published by: St. Louis Public Radio on Jul 09, 2012
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07/09/2012

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STATEOFMISSOURI)
)55
CITYOFST.lOUIS)MISSOURICIRCUITCOURTTWENTY-SECONDJUDICIALCIRCUIT(Cityof
st.
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CauseNo.1222-CC00490BALLPARKLOFTS
fII,
LLCandMONTGOMERYBANK,NA,Petitioners,DivisionNo.1CITYOFST.LOUIS,etal.,Respondents.ORDERANDJUDGMENTTheCourthasbeforeitPetitionersBallparkLoftsIII,LLCandMontgomeryBank,NA'sPetitionforReviewofAdministrativeDecisionbytheCityofSt.LouisPreservationBoardandclaimofInverseCondemnation.Havingconsideredthepleadings,thefullrecordandtranscriptfromtheBoard'sproceedings,theargumentsoftheparties,andtheapplicablelaw,theCourtnowrulesasfollows.BackgroundThiscasearisesoutofPetitionerBallparkLoftsIII,LLC's("Ballpark")attempttorestoreCupplesNo.7,awarehousebuildingthatisofarchitecturalandhistoricalsignificancelocatedat1014SpruceStreetindowntownSt.Louis,Missouri("CupplesNo.7").Foravarietyofreasonssetforthmorefullybelow,thateffortfailed,andovertheyearsCupplesNO.7hasdeterioratedtothepointthat,accordingtoPetitioners,CupplesNO.7hasbecomeapublicsafetyhazardanditisnolongereconomicallyfeasibletorestore
it.
 
CupplesNO.7islocatedwithinthehistoricCupplesWarehouseDistrictandthePreservationReviewDistrict.ItisalsolistedontheNationalRegisterofHistoricPlaces.Plannedintheearly1890s,theCupplesWarehouseDistrictoffereduniqueefficienciesforinventorystorageandtransport.Undergroundraillinesconnectedthemainrailstationtothewarehouses,whichallowedforefficientshippingandreceivingofgoods.Thus,theCupplesWarehouseDistrict,andspecificallyCupplesNo.7,arehistoricallysignificantrepresentationsofS1.Louis'commercialandeconomichistory.CupplesNO.7alsohasarchitecturalsignificance.TheprominentSt.LouisarchitecturalfirmEames
&
YoungdesignedCupplesNO.7in1907.Thebuildingexhibitsthepreferredaestheticforwarehousebuildingsofitsera,andfeaturesanarcadedfacadethatnowfacesSpruceStreet,onwhichaone-storybasewithacorbelledfeaturetransitionsintopiersrisingfivestoriesandculminatinginroundarches.Morecloselyset,smallerarchescompletethefacadeontheatticlevel.TheCupplesWarehouseDistricthashistoricallybeenthefocusofrestorationeffortsdowntown.CupplesNo.7,specifically,wasincludedintworedevelopmentplans.Thedepressedhousingmarketandtheeconomicslowdown,however,havemadefinancingarestorationmoredifficult,andcurrentlyBallparkhasnoplantorestorethebuilding.TheDepartmentofPublicSafetycondemnedCupplesNO.7onDecember30,2008,andonSeptember
zo",
2011,theCityofS1.LouisclosedSpruceandt
t"
StreetsadjacenttoCupplesNo.7duetoaconcernoverpublicsafety.TheCROandtheBoardexistinparttoprotectandperpetuatebuildingsthatarearchitecturallyandhistoricallysignificant.Amongotherthings,theCROreviewsapplicationsforthedemolitionofstructureslocatedwithinaHistoricDistrictorwhichare
2
 
partofaLandmarkSite,anddecideswhethertograntthepermit;theBoardistheforumforappealsofCROdecisions.Theoverridinggoalofbothagenciesistopreservearchitecturallyandhistoricallysignificantbuildingswheneverpossible.OnNovember9,2011,PetitionersappliedtotheSt.LouisCulturalResourcesOffice(the"CRO")forapermittodemolishCupplesNo.7.Theapplicationwasdenied.PetitionerstimelyappealedtotheCityofSt.LouisPreservationBoard(the"Board").TheBoardconductedanevidentiaryhearingonNovember28,2011(the"Hearing'),andthereafterupheldtheCRO'sdenialofademolitionpermit.Petitionersnowseekjudicialreviewofthatdecision.StandardofReviewUnderArticleV,section18,oftheMissouriConstitution,judicialreviewofadministrativeactionsaretodetermine"whether[suchagencyactions]areauthorizedbylaw,andincasesinwhichahearingisrequiredbylaw,whetherthesamearesupportedbycompetentandsubstantialevidenceuponthewholerecord."Mo.Const.art.V,Sec.18.Section536.140.2,RSMo,limitsthiscourt'sreviewofadecisionofanadministrativeagency"toadeterminationofwhethertheactionoftheagency(1)isinviolationofconstitutionalprovisions;(2)isinexcessofthestatutoryauthorityorjurisdictionoftheagency;(3)isunsupportedbycompetentandsubstantialevidenceuponthewholerecord;(4)is,foranyotherreason,unauthorizedbylaw;(5)ismadeuponunlawfulprocedureorwithoutafairtrial;(6)isarbitrary,capriciousorunreasonable;(7)involvesanabuseofdiscretion."PetitionerargueschieflythattheBoard'sdecisionwasnotsupportedbycompetentandsubstantialevidence.Underthisstandard,theCourtmustlooktothe
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