Ramsey County Judge Dismisses the Ford Site Development Lawsuit
Ryan Companies is redeveloping Ford Motor Company’s old site, which will now be named Highland Bridge. The new site will include housing, retail space, office space, green space, and access to surrounding neighborhoods. There will be an estimated 3,800 new residences, 20 percent of which are affordable housing. The design is meant to enhance the natural beauty of the area in an attempt to promote community and wellness with more than 55 acres of open space.
Recently, local residents of a group, Neighbors for a Livable St. Paul, filed a lawsuit against the Highland Bridge development alleging that the City of St. Paul was not following its master plan for Highland Bridge and must follow its own zoning rules. The group is concerned that the City is altering and changing zoning rules to inflate and alter the new development. They argue that the City is doing whatever it wishes instead of acting in the best interest of local citizens. The local residents believe adjusting the ordinances to fit developer needs will cause Highland Bridge to fill up entire blocks, leaving little open public space.
Ultimately, Ramsey County District Court Judge John Guthmann dismissed the lawsuit because the residents could not prove that they will suffer any harm or be in imminent danger because of the City’s actions. The City maintains that its variance process is legal and developers, like Ryan Companies, are allowed to apply for variances. Furthermore, the City Attorney for St. Paul reaffirms that this development is an enormous opportunity to benefit the entire city.