Santa Fe residents sue school district over ag barn plans

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Mar 15, 2010

GALVESTON - A group of Santa Fe residents has filed suit against their city's public school district in an effort to stop the construction of an agricultural barn near their homes.

The plaintiffs, led by Lloyd Gilliam, argue in a suit filed Feb. 18 in Galveston County District Court that the Santa Fe Independent School District's plans to build the barn went against a declaration that forbids use of land for the erection of a non-residential structure and the raising of animals.

Represented by Galveston attorney Anthony P. Griffin, they request a temporary injunction pending final trial from Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia.

SFISD announced in August 2009 that the facility will be built near R.J. Wollam Elementary School, which is in close proximity to the complainants' homes.

The suit says there have been no changes to the subject convenants; a majority of the tract owners have not voted for any change.

"The subject owners, whose land is subject to the conditions imposed, bring this lawsuit to avoid waiver of their rights," the original petition says.

The plaintiffs insist they informed the defendant their opposition to the proposed building site and have no adequate remedy of law.

"The plaintiffs purchased the property with the subject restrictions and the guarantee that the restrictions would flow with the land for a specified period of time," the suit says.

"Absent a preliminary injunction pending final trial, the defendant will continue to process of building the proposed commercial facility."

According to a March 9 Galveston County Daily News article, a few of the residents plan to move elsewhere if the barn is built. They said the facility will bring an onslaught of pest and insects.

Judge Mallia will hear the request on the temporary injunction March 30.

Case No. 10cv0489

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