The City of Bellevue is appealing Sarpy County District Court Judge Nathan B. Cox’s ruling stating that it can’t annex two properties located north of the Normandy Hills sanitary and improvement district.
Annexation of the properties, owned by Frank Krejci and Darling International, would have paved the way for city officials to subsequently annex Normandy Hills and Cedar View SIDs.
The two SIDs were part of a package that called for the annexation of nine SIDs and five additional miscellaneous plots. All parcels with the exception of Normandy Hills and Cedar View are now inside of Bellevue’s corporate boundaries.
Because of Cox’s May ruling, the city currently isn’t able to take action against Normandy Hills and Cedar View because the SIDs now aren’t adjacent or contiguous to Bellevue’s corporate boundaries as required per Nebraska state law.
City Attorney Bree Robbins earlier this month pushed the case to the Nebraska Court of Appeals. The city, she said, contends two of the judge’s determinations: the two properties in questions are rural in nature and the Darling International property isn’t adjacent to Bellevue’s corporate boundary.
Robbins said that her first brief highlighting how she believes the district court erred in its decision is scheduled to be submitted to the appellate court near the end of August. Then, she said, attorneys representing Krejci and Darling International will have the opportunity to respond.
Although the Krejci and Darling International cases were consolidated in Sarpy County District Court, as of Friday, Robbins said that they are being tried individually before the appellate court.
“I had to appeal each case, but I would not be surprised if at some point the court of appeals consolidates the cases into one,” Robbins said, adding that she and the plaintiffs’ attorneys are only able to argue based off information already submitted in the lower court.
The city’s hope, Robbins said, is for appellate court judges to determine the Krejci and Darling properties are suburban or urban in nature and that the Darling property is adjacent to the city’s corporate boundaries.
If these determinations are made, it would once again open the door for the possibility of annexing Normandy Hills and Cedar View.
Once all briefs are submitted to the Nebraska Court of Appeals, Robbins said appellate court judges will made a decision without oral argument, or determine if oral argument is necessary.
“Where we can present our case in front of the panel of judges,” she said.
With the process underway, Robbins said it’s now a matter of meeting deadlines and playing the waiting game. She said she’s had cases take a year or more to reach resolution in the appellate court.
“It just really depends on what the court’s docket is,” she said.