Webster University and Eden Theological Seminary are discussing an out-of-court settlement with Webster Groves.
In the lawsuit filed last year, Webster and Eden seek to overturn a city council decision that prevented the university from using property it purchased on Eden’s campus.
Neither Webster Groves nor Webster University representatives were willing to comment on the state of the negotiations to this point.
At the Feb. 21 hearing, Judge Mark Seigel asked the parties if there was any way to settle the case without drawing it out in the courtroom.
Helmut Starr, Webster Groves city attorney, suggested the university subdivide the land to consider it a different plot. At the hearing, Starr said the council would be more favorable if the land were subdivided, but he could not guarantee a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) would be granted. Starr said this process could take up to three months if it all goes smoothly.
When asked if the university’s proposed subdivision were a part of the discussed settlements, Starr said he was unable to comment, but he thought it was a step in the right direction for the parties.
“I took it as a sign of good faith on the side of the universities,” Starr said.
A settlement conference has been set by the court for May 20. Both parties expect this to be a time for them to sit down with the judge and discuss where they are at with the negotiation.
Starr said if the judge finds the parties are at an impasse and unable to come to an agreement, it will be up to the judge to come to a decision on the case.