Judge Gary L. Miller of the Marion Superior Court today ruled against petitioners James and Susan Walsh who sought a judicial review to overturn the Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC) approvals that would allow for the construction of a community healthcare facility in Broad Ripple Park. [PDF]
While unsuccessful for the petitioners, the four-month long legal process has served to delay the project that received overwhelming community support.
Judge Miller agreed with arguments made by City attorneys and attorneys for the development team that the Walshes lacked standing to challenge the MDC’s decision. “The Walshes have the burden to show some special injury other than that sustained by the community as a whole,” Judge Miller wrote, adding, “Proximity to the site is not sufficient in and of itself to confer standing.” He said the Walshes presented statements he termed “conclusory” and determined that as a matter of law, “Conclusory statements are not evidence.” He added, “The Walshes have failed to show that they have suffered a pecuniary injury sufficient to confer standing.” Further, Judge Miller wrote that for the sake of argument even if he granted that they had standing, “The Walshes’ claims fail on the merits and the MDC decision must be affirmed.”
Citing testimony at numerous public hearings that led to the MDC’s approvals, Judge Miller determined that the use and value of adjacent properties would not be substantially affected and that the placement of the new building on a site currently occupied by a parking lot and former library building would not result in a significant loss of green space. “The Petitioners have not met their burden of demonstrating that the Commission’s decision was arbitrary or capricious or otherwise unsupported by substantial evidence,” Judge Miller concluded as he denied the Walsh’s petition for judicial review and affirmed the MDC’s decision.