Iowa state senator suing city he represents

Senator Robb Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, reacts to the sex education bill not making it through the...
Senator Robb Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, reacts to the sex education bill not making it through the second funnel in the 2016 legislative session on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (Randy Dierks, KCRG-TV9)(KCRG)
Published: Jan. 9, 2020 at 4:35 PM CST
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Democratic State Senator Rob Hogg has filed two lawsuits in Linn County against the Cedar Rapids City Council. The lawsuits stem from Cargill's plan to build a rail yard in a southeast side neighborhood.

The City Council last month voted to greenlight the Cargill project but Hogg says he thinks his suit will stop those plans in their tracks.

Hogg stressed to TV9 that he may be a Democratic state senator but he says his decision to sue Cedar Rapids' City Council is one he made as a private citizen as he lives near the area where the rail yard is planned to be built.

In his lawsuits, which his wife is also listed as a plaintiff on, Hogg calls plans to re-zone the property where the rail yard could sit, "illegal... discriminatory... and/or an abuse of discretion." Specifically, Hogg says the rail yard would violate the City's previous land use plans. He says those plans were part of the reason he chose to purchase property in the area in the late 90s.

"I just think it's wrong to take the cheap and inconvenient way of trying to solve a problem for Cargill by putting a rail yard in a residential neighborhood, in a nature corridor, in the flood plain, when it contradicts the City's plans for those things," said Hogg.

The lawsuits also say the City's plans to approve the rail yard are at odds with the City's Flood Control System Master Plan.

When asked about Hogg's lawsuit, City spokesperson Maria Johnson told TV9, "The City does not comment on pending litigation."