Judge halts Town Center for now
Four Clear Lake Shores residents who don't want the city to borrow $1.4 million for the Town Center have managed to halt the project . . . at least until next week.
Judge David Garner of Galveston County's 10th Judicial District Court granted a temporary restraining order against the city and its economic development corporation until Jan. 29, when a hearing will be held on whether to extend the order.
City Administrator/Police Chief Paul Shelley said former mayors Katherine McIntyre and Ted Guthrie, along with two other residents, filed for the restraining order on Tuesday to prevent any financing for the Town Center.
The project aims to create an attractive gateway to the city and calls for rules discouraging ugly strip centers and big-box retailers. The idea is to encourage small businesses and to diversify the city's sales tax base.
The group that filed the restraining order wants voters to have their say on any plan that requires debt for the Town Center. A petition to that end has already been submitted to the city, but City Attorney Loren B. Smith and a bank's lawyers have suggested that it be ignored, Shelley said.
Because of the temporary restraining order, City Council did not take any action during its meeting Tuesday on a resolution that would have allowed the economic development corporation to proceed with the project and secure financing, he said.
We'll go the hearing and see what happens at that point," Shelley said. If the judge sees there's any merit, we'll get a court date."
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