Judge to decide on petition filed by Cameron Regional Medical Center
BY JAMEY HONEYCUTT
Attorneys for Cameron Regional Medical Center in Cameron were in Clinton County court on Wednesday, October 6, seeking a temporary injunction to halt construction of a Love's Travel Stop currently under construction across the street from the hospital at the intersection of Interstate 35 and BB Highway.
The hospital is suing the City of Cameron, Cameron Planning and Zoning and Love’s in hopes of keeping the business from locating directly across from their location.
Attorneys for the hospital argued that such a large facility being placed on a two-lane road with no shoulder or turning lane would interfere with emergency vehicle traffic, produce unhealthy pollution levels and risk public safety.
They also questioned the validity of the planning and zoning board’s decisions based on the definition of city's “Commercial #2” zoning designation and what businesses were eligible. Also disputed was the legitimacy of two of the board’s members since they are city employees. Those members are Fire Chief Mike O’Donnell and 911 Supervisor Stan Hendrix.
Lawyers for the city claim that since neither member is compensated for being on the board, they qualify to serve. Hospital counsel countered that being on the payroll in any capacity for the City of Cameron precludes them from being on Planning and Zoning, and thus invalidates their votes to approve the construction of the travel center. O’Donnell has been on the board since 1993, according to the city's counsel.
Cameron’s attorney offered that perhaps the hospital should not have located in an area properly zoned for truck stops and mentioned that the land had been offered to the hospital on several occasions for purchase by the owners, the Earley family of Cameron, which would have given the hospital control over what businesses, if any, could have located there.
CRMC’s attorney argued that eminent harm is possible if construction continues and letting lawsuits take their normal course would allow the travel center to be built before a ruling, therefore asking for the temporary injunction to be granted.
Judge Darren Adkins presided over the hearing and gave both sides multiple opportunities to introduce arguments and question information provided. The proceeding was adjourned as Judge Adkins considers the request for injunction.
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