Despite concerns from the project’s developer, Virginia Beach officials are standing by a previous vote on an arena proposal in the city.
In October, the Virginia Beach City Council voted 8-3 in favor of a proposal from United States Mangement (USM) that included a reworked funding model for the arena. That was not enough, however, as the eight votes of approval were one short of the nine needed to allow the motion to pass. The reason needed for the supermajority, according to Virginia Beach officials, is that the project involves the leasing of city-owned land.
It was recently revealed that USM commissioned the Richmond-based McGuire Woods law firm to review the vote, specifically to see if the supermajority rule was correctly applied. McGuire Woods eventually expressed to the city that it did not believe the vote required a supermajority but, after a review, the city is standing by the original vote. More from The Virginia Pilot:
The council met in closed session to discuss the arena on Tuesday. The opinion was released shortly before the formal council meeting.
“I continue to believe that the law required a supermajority of nine affirmative votes of the City Council when it voted,” City Attorney Mark Stiles said in a statement.
In a document released last week, McGuire Woods, a legal firm United States Management hired, concluded the opposite, saying a supermajority vote was not required.
“We are disappointed by the city attorney’s response to our very well-researched legal memorandum and challenge,” United States Management President Andrea Kilmer said on Tuesday night. “We have not determined our next steps, other than restating our determination to bring an arena to our region.”
In the time since that vote was taken, some talks about the project have continued, as the council granted USM an extra 60 days to seek a loan in November.
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