January 28th - Oral arguments are heard with the Court of Appeals. These were done via Zoom. Our lawyer was given 20 minutes, then their lawyer was given 20 minutes and our lawyer was given 5 minutes for a rebuttal.
April 5th - Councilman Terrell leaves the city council to move out of city limits, leaving 2 years left on his term. His outgoing speech to the city council: "I’d really like you to, uh, on that driving course out there – keep pushing forward. Uh, I know it’s a different economy now, I…..can only expect that, you know, that the judges will see it in the city’s favor, uh, cause that could be huge for Eagle Lake. And if it takes some tax increment finance - financing to get that thing going again, just get it done. Cause the long term thing for Eagle Lake would be huge. And uh, we put a lot of work into that, took a lot of grief…and uh, a whole lot of grief – and it wasn’t….well, you know the story behind that. Anyway, just keep moving forward. And uh, I’ll miss it.” This speech can be viewed/heard here at the 1:52:30 mark.
April 26th - The city's decision to not do an Environmental Impact Statement is reversed and remanded. Which means they need to do further review before making a decision to do an EIS (again). They failed to rely on substantial evidence to determine the project's potential effects on wildlife and failed to consider the project's cumulative effects on climate change.
July 12th - After the court remanded the decision back to city to review climate change and wildlife, Bolton and Menk anticipates this information collection and review will take approximately two to three weeks to complete, at which time they will submit their findings to city staff for review and follow up EIS determination.
August 2nd - Following the July 12, 2021 City Council meeting, a conference call was held with legal counsel and the developer and the developer’s team to discuss what is required by the City and next steps. The developer and his team were advised that the process so outlined in Minnesota Rules 4410 will be followed, meaning that the same timelines and process should be adhered to as if this was a new EAW, with the exception that it will be limited to the remand issues and referred to as a “supplement to the EAW”. The process is not intended to revisit the entire EAW, but rather to focus on the two narrow issues outlined by the Court of Appeals: 1) The project’s potential effects on wildlife; and 2) The project’s cumulative effects on climate change.
Public comments made: city should take into account the county’s concerns regarding traffic and that this process should include the automall and racetrack. (Note: In January 2022, it was announced that the intersection of Hwy 14 and CSAH 17 - the very one included in the traffic study for this proposed project - would have the "Yield" signs replaced with LED lit "STOP" signs. Despite the significant changes to the intersection in 2016, the intersection is still experiencing unnecessary crashes. The traffic study included in the EAW saw no issues that needed to be addressed).
After a lengthy discussion at the beginning of the meeting, a resident stated she saw more concern about the puppies at Bella's House of Doodles than she did for humans impacted by the location of this project.