LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The attorney for a group of Hurstbourne residents claims Metro government’s approvals for Topgolf at Oxmoor Center should be voided because the companies behind the project failed to use their real names and weren’t registered to do business in the state.
Steve Porter, who is representing six people who live near Oxmoor, filed a motion on Thursday asking a judge to toss out the actions last fall of the Louisville Metro Planning Commission and the Metro Council, which agreed to rezone 22 acres at Oxmoor for the golf-and-entertainment center.
It alleges that Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith ought to consider no other issues in the neighbors’ lawsuit, but rather focus on “inaccurate and improper applications made by illegal and non-existent applicants.”
A hearing is set for Monday.
Porter argues that “Topgolf USA Louisville, LLC” and “GGP Inc.” were listed in application documents for the project last year even though they weren’t registered in Kentucky and may not even have existed at the time.
GGP was the previous owner of Oxmoor; Brookfield Properties Retail acquired GGP last August and now owns the mall, where Dallas-based Topgolf would build its first Kentucky facility at the old Sears store.
Porter’s motion says “Topgolf USA Louisville, LLC” is not “Top Golf” and that “GGP Inc.” is not “Brookfield Property REIT Inc.”
“These two billion-dollar organizations should have been able to comply with the laws of Kentucky if they wanted to do business in this state,” the motion says. “Any processing or consideration of these applications never should have occurred. It was the duty of the applicants and their legal representatives to be sure the applications were accurate and complete before they were ever submitted.”
Topgolf attorney Cliff Ashburner said in a statement that the new claims don't have merit.
"This motion, which seeks to piecemeal the case and cause further delay is not only meritless but is in direct contravention of the Court’s order, an order Mr. Porter proposed. We look forward to arguing the entire case in accordance with the Court’s order on May 23 and prevailing on the merits at that time," he said.
At a press conference, Porter conceded that his clients have previously raised concerns with the applicants' names, but the motion and supporting documents filed Thursday "put it into great depth with a lot of research.”
Asked why he didn't ask for a judgment in the case earlier, Porter said he couldn’t make “because it took a lot of time to put all that together.”
He said he also is asking for a delay in the current schedule in the lawsuit, which calls for written briefs to be filed by April 8 and a May 23 hearing. The neighbors' legal action alleges that the Topgolf approvals violated Louisville's land-use rules on lighting and other aspects.
"It only made sense," Porter said of the request to first handle the question of the applicants' legal names. "Why get into all the substantive issues if the applicants were illegal and never should have been approved to begin with?"
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