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Four Allen Street Businesses File Lawsuit To Block ‘Summers On Allen’ Plans

Four Allen Street businesses have filed a lawsuit against the State College Borough Council that alleges the council’s January vote to approve plans for the Summers On Allen pedestrian plaza proposal violated procedures outlined in the Borough’s Home Rule Charter and procedural manual.

Connecting Point Computers, Cuts by Christy, Woodring Floral, and Rapid Transit Sports, identified as ASSETS in legal documents, filed a complaint Monday in the Centre County Court of Common Pleas that listed Borough Council as the defendant.

Borough Council originally rejected the Summers on Allen Proposal in December, which sought to turn Allen Street into a pedestrian plaza complete with daily programming for eight weeks from June to July 2020, with a 4-3 vote.

The proposal was placed on Council’s agenda again last month following the swearing-in of new members Deanna Behring and Peter Marshall, who replaced Catherine Dauler and David Brown. Dauler and Brown originally voted against the proposal. It was approved with a 4-3 vote during this second round of consideration.

The complaint argues that Council’s January vote to approve the proposal should be ruled null because the proposal was placed back on Council’s agenda by a member who voted against the prevailing decision. The complaint cites Council’s procedural manual in claiming that only a member who voted in favor of the prevailing decision can re-table an already rejected matter. It also alleges that Council interpreted Section 504 of the Home Rule Charter incorrectly and contradicted procedural details in Section 603.

Borough Solicitor Terry Williams originally argued that the proposal could be considered as a new matter before a new Council, not a reconsideration of an older proposal.

“The January 13, 2020 vote was procedurally defective, and as such, is a nullity,” reads the complaint, which officially requests a writ of mandamus that would force Council to recognize the former vote as its final decision. “The December 16 vote was procedurally correct and binds the Council.”

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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