Webster University, Webster Groves tied up in lawsuit over land expansion

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by Chris Standford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 4:20 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Webster University and the city of Webster Groves are tied up in a lawsuit.

The school has been working on getting approval from the city to expand north across Lockwood Avenue.  Webster University has already purchased about five acres from Eden Theological Seminary, but the city denied the university a conditional use permit, stopping the University’s plans.

With the new property, Webster University planned to repurpose acquired buildings, create more green space, and parking.

The school is now suing the city for the approval to expand or the $5 million it paid for the property, plus interest.

“It’s unfortunate that the university chose this path to deal with this issue,” said Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch.   

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, says Webster University agreed to pay almost $5 million to acquire the White House, Wehrli Center, and Luhr Library building, and lease the ground underneath the library because Eden could no longer afford to use of maintain the buildings.

“Effectively the city has taken property from us, and said you can’t use properties that you purchased,” says attorney Gerard Carmody who represents Webster University and Eden Seminary in the lawsuit.

A judge will decide if the lawsuit will proceed.

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