Missouri Fire District Sues City Over Building Permits For New Station

A Missouri fire protection district has filed suit against a local municipality who it claims is obstructing its ability to construct and open a badly needed firehouse. The Monarch Fire Protection District filed suit against the City of Wildwood last week seeking injunctive relief.

The fire protection district is seeking temporary and permanent injunctions allowing allow it to build a new 12,000-square-foot station to replace an existing one built in 1970 that lacks the space and infrastructure for an ambulance.

According to West News, the fire protection district and the city have been wrestling over issues including the size of the lot, the cutting of trees without approval, a demo permit for a vacant single family home, soil testing, and the results of a recently completed traffic study.

The lawsuit was filed January 13, 2022 in St. Louis Circuit County. A copy of the complaint is not available, but will be posted here when it is. According to the district’s web site, it currently has five fire stations that cover an area of 62.7 square miles.

The new station was the subject of a bond referendum that voters approved in 2020. Under the referendum, the district has three years to complete at least 85% of the project, meaning if the city is successful in stalling the project much longer, the district will lose the ability it fund it. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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