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FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT CIVIL DIVISION
Stephanie Woodruff, Dan Cohen and Paul Ostrow, Plaintiffs v. The City of Minneapolis, Defendant I Plaintiff Stephanie Woodruff is a resident of the City of Minneapolis and the Vice Chair of the City of Minneapolis Audit Committee. II Plaintiff Dan Cohen is a resident and owner of homesteaded property in the City of Minneapolis and served on the Minneapolis City Council from 1965-1969 and served as Council President from 1967-1969. III Plaintiff Paul Ostrow is a resident and owner of homesteaded property at 2239 Arthur Street NE and served on the Minneapolis City Council from 1997-20009 and served as Council President from 2002-2005... IV Defendant City of Minneapolis is a municipal corporation and a political subdivision of the State of Minnesota (hereinafter “the City”) V. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is an agency of the State of Minnesota established pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 3.8842 (hereinafter “MSFA”) VI. The Ryan Development is a proposed development of a parking ramp, a public park, skyways, office space and residential development in the area immediately surrounding the site for the new Vikings stadium (hereinafter “Ryan Development.”) The Ryan Development consists of five city blocks immediately adjacent to the proposed Vikings Stadium designated as Blocks 1 – 5. (See Exhibit A) COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF
VII In May of 2013, the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution granting local approval to Chapter 299 of Session Laws 2012. The City Council also considered and approved a financing plan based upon a staff report and financial projections presented to the Ways and Means/Budget Committee in May 2012 (See Exhibit B). VIII In June of 2013, the Minneapolis City Council approved an action giving concept approval to the Downtown East Development Project. The Council action and all the documents presented to the Community Development Committee are attached as Exhibit C. IX On December 9, 2013, the City Clerk for the City of Minneapolis posted online Term Sheets, proposed bond resolutions and resolution establishing an Industrial Development District documents and made those documents available to the public for the first time. Those documents are attached collectively as Exhibit D. X On December 10, 2013, the Community Development Committee for the City of Minneapolis sent forward to the Ways and Means/Budget Committee and the Minneapolis City Council an action to authorize execution of contract documents and the issuance of 65 million dollars in general obligation bonds to finance the Ryan Development. XI The Term Sheet indicates that the City and the MSFSA intend to execute a contract naming the Minnesota Vikings as a third party beneficiary to the contract. If the contract is executed, the City may become liable even if the bond issue or development agreement is later deemed invalid by the Court. XII Final approval of the bond issuance and development agreement is on the agenda of the City Council for December 13, 2013.
COUNT ONE: CITY EXPENDITURES CONTRARY TO STATE LAW XIII Plaintiff re-alleges Paragraphs I through VI.
XIV Chapter 299 of Minnesota Session Laws 2012 comprehensively governs the design requirements and funding mechanisms for the construction of a new Vikings stadium. The City of Minneapolis as a political subdivision of the state cannot exceed the authority granted to the City under the act.
XV. M.S. 473J.11 Sub. 4(b) limits the City’s share of “stadium costs” for the required stadium design to $150,000,000. XVI Upon information and belief, the City has already pledged $150,000,000 for the construction of the “stadium” as defined by M.S. 473J.03 Sub. 8. XVII M.S. 473J.03 defines “stadium costs” subject to the City’s maximum contribution as including “stadium infrastructure.” Sub. 10 defines “stadium infrastructure” to include plazas, parking structures, rights of way, connectors, skyways and tunnels.” XVIII The proposed “Ryan Downtown East Project Term Sheet dated December 6, 2013(Attached as Exhibit E and hereafter “Proposed Term Sheet”) includes the following as estimated public costs of the Ryan Project to be funded by the City: Purchase Price for Urban Park to be utilized by Vikings on game day: $20,000,000 City portion of purchase price for Block 1 Ramp: $32.63 Million Additional site costs for Park: $4.98 Million XIX The urban park to be paid for by the City as a part of the Ryan Development satisfies the requirements of Sub. 3(6) which provides for “elements sufficient to provide community and civic uses as determined by the authority.” City expenditures for this required desi gn element, at least to the extent that the Minnesota Vikings fail to pay fair market value for their use of the park and to the extent that those expenditures cause the city to exceed the limit on city funding of stadium costs, violates the limitation on city funding for stadium improvements. XX
The Stadium Bill requires 2,000 structured parking stalls and 500 surface parking stalls within two blocks of the stadium. City expenditures for this required design element, to the extent those expenditures cause the city to exceed the limit on city funding of stadium costs, violates the statutory limit on city funding for stadium improvements. COUNT TWO: VIOLATION OF PUBLIC PURPOSE DOCTRINE XXI Plaintiff re-alleges Paragraphs I through XV. XXII The stadium bill clearly requires the Minnesota Vikings to fund all stadium costs inclusive of the costs of stadium infrastructure to the extent those costs exceed the maximum public contribution to the project of $498 million. ($348,000,000 from the state and $150,000,000 from the city).
XXIII The City’s assumption of financial obligations which under state statute are clearly and unambiguously the obligation of a private party, the Minnesota Vikings, is improper as a matter of law as not serving any legitimate public purpose. XXIV Any public purpose served by the anticipated city actions are incidental to the private benefit accruing to the Minnesota Vikings and/or Ryan Companies. COUNT THREE: EXERCISE OF POWERS RESERVED FOR THE MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD XXV Plaintiffs re-allege paragraphs I through XVII. The Minneapolis City Charter governs the authority of the Minneapolis City Council and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. XXVI The City Charter authorizes the Minneapolis City Council to act “where the law provides for municipal action” so long as the charter “does not reserve that authority to a board or commission other than the Council.” (See Exhibit E). XXVII The City Charter specifically reserves to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board certain powers pursuant to Article VIII, Section 6.2 which provides for the following general functions
and powers: “The Board establishes, governs, administers, and maintains, and may design, develop and improve- (A) the parks, parkways and recreational opportunities in and adjacent to the City.”(See Exhibit F) XXVIII Under the Term Sheet, the City Council is funding the acquisition of the park and is establishing the Urban Park. Further, under Section 12D) of the Term Sheet, the City Council “will be responsible for operating or maintaining the public park.”
XXIX The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has taken no action authorizing the establishment, administration, development or maintenance of the Urban Park. The adopted Comprehensive Plan of the MPRB does not include the proposed park.
XXX Since the City Council has no authority to establish or maintain a park under the City Charter, any action by the City Council to finance, acquire and maintain such a park is null and void.
COUNT IV: INADEQUATE FINDINGS IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT XXI Plaintiffs re-allege paragraphs I through XXII. XXXII The establishment of an Industrial Development District under Minnesota Statutes 469.058 requires a finding that the property so designated meets the definition of “marginal property” under Subdivision 5 of Minnesota Statutes 469.048. XXXIII Upon information and belief the purchase price for the property within the district will be $71 per square foot and the property is located in the Downtown Growth District. Further the property is immediately adjacent to the proposed new Vikings stadium. Plaintiffs allege as a matter of law that the property does not meet the definition of “marginal property.”
XXXIV The record of City Council proceedings does not include any specific facts or particular circumstances supporting a finding that the properties within the district meet the statutory definition of marginal property. The staff report merely asserts, without supportive information or documentation, that the property is marginal under Sub. 5(1) or Sub. 5(7). The findings of the Community Development Committee on December 10, 2013 were arbitrary and capricious.
COUNT V: EXCEEDING THE POWERS GRANTED BY THE PORT AUTHORITY ACT XXXV Plaintiffs re-allege paragraphs I through XXVI XXVI Following a public hearing held on December 10, 2013, the Community Development Committee forwarded to the City Council for approval a Resolution Establishing the Downtown East Office/Housing/Park Industrial Development District. (“See Exhibit D above) XXXVII The inclusion of Blocks 4 and 5 in the Industrial Development District is improper as a matter of law as the development of a park is not within the scope of the Port Authority Act and is contrary to legislative intent and the express language of the statue. XXXVIII The inclusion of Blocks 4 and 5 in the Industrial Development district is improper as a matter of law as contrary to the authority granted to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board by the Minneapolis City Charter. IREREPARABLE HARM TO PLAINTIFFS XXXIX Plaintiffs pray for the extraordinary remedy of a temporary injunction due to the irreparable harm that will be suffered by the Plaintiffs as residents and taxpayers in Minneapolis if injunctive relief is denied. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that absent an injunction barring final Council action on December 13, 2013 that final contracts will be signed and bonds will be issued. XL Plaintiffs pray for expedited hearings in this matter but further represent that due to the inadequacy of the public information regarding these matters, that significant discovery may be
necessary. The lack of public information available is one of the primary challenges faced by the Plaintiffs in this matter and the lack of transparency and information available to the public has been a general cause of concern. (See Exhibit G “Too Tangled a Web For Haste authored on December 10, 2013 by former Governor Arne Carlson). The Plaintiffs pray for the following relief from the Court: 1. A temporary injunction barring the City from final Council action on the project until this matter can be determined on the merits. 2. A declaratory judgment finding that the City is limited by state law to a maximum contribution in city resources for stadium costs in the amount of 150 million dollars; 3. A declaratory judgment finding that the issuance of general obligation bonds for the financing of the parking ramp required by the stadium legislation is subject to the statutory maximum of city contributions to stadium costs. 4. A declaratory judgment finding that the Minneapolis City Council does not have the authority to use general obligation bonds for the acquisition or creation of park land in the City of Minneapolis. 5. A declaratory judgment finding that the Minneapolis City Council does not have the authority to maintain or administer the proposed park. 6. The issuance of a permanent injunction barring the City Council from issuing any bonds or entering into any contracts inconsistent with the Court’s orders. Dated: December 11, 2013
__________________________________________________ Stephanie Woodruff, 111 East Franklin Avenue #220, Minneapolis, Mn. (612-964-0628) ___________________________________________________ Dan Cohen, 1215 Edlin Place Minneapolis, MN. (612-374-1530) _______________________________________________________ Paul Ostrow, 2239 Arthur Street NE, Minneapolis, MN. (612-239-8612)
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