It may cost the residents appealing the Renaissance high rise decision $75 million to stop actual construction from proceeding on the 13-story building.

Those in opposition to the building, which was approved by the city of Ridgeland on Oct. 11, filed an appeal last Friday in Madison County Circuit Court.

These appellants can also request that a judge issue a "stay order" to stop construction work at the building's proposed location on Steed Road near Interstate 55 southbound.

Such an order, however, would require the appellants in the case to post a bond, which could be set at 125 percent of the project's cost, estimated at $60 million.

Dinsmor resident Lawson Hester, a member of Zoning Ordinances Need Enforcement (Z.O.N.E.) and an attorney who has been working with residents appealing the city's decision, said that a $75 million bond would be impractical.

But he also said that it is up to the court to decide if such a large bond would be imposed on residents who are party to the appeal.

"There's no proof in the record of the value of this building for the purpose of appeal," Hester said. "The amount of any bond is not a foregone conclusion."

Hester also said he believes that such a stay order would probably not be issued until the building is greater than four stories, and would not be required without a ruling from the court.

"Even if (building developer H.C. "Buster") Bailey proceeds post haste, the building would not proceed beyond four stories before the Circuit Court issues a ruling," he said.

The building, which is set to house the Butler Snow law firm, Horne CPA Group, and a financial firm, should be completed by the fall of 2009, according to Bailey.

Bailey said his firm is working on minor alterations to the building's site plan and architectural design, and could be approved by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen in a month.

"We expect to begin construction in a month," he said. "We have to, in order to finish the building in time to accommodate the tenants."

James Peden, a Ridgeland attorney representing Bailey in the appeal, said he does not think $75 million is realistic for the building's opponents.

"I'm not anticipating it," he said.

In their appeal, residents living on the west side of Highland Colony Parkway argue that the 4-3 vote by the Board of Aldermen in favor of the building represented illegal "spot zoning" that violated numerous city ordinances.

"The decision of Ridgeland was a result driven decision...based on inappropriate factors other than those required by law to form the basis of the City's decision," reads part of the appeal filed in Circuit Court.

Hester argued that the desire for Butler Snow and the building's other tenants made the aldermen disregard their own mandate to uphold building regulations.

"It appears to me that they had made up their mind and this was something they wanted," Hester said.

Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier, who voted in favor of the building after the six-and-a-half public hearing on Oct. 10, disagreed.

"I think we worked very hard to try to make sure we were on good solid legal grounds," Gautier said, citing 15 findings of fact in the city's decision that he said made the building acceptable.

Hester also argued the city's request to Bailey to change certain aspects of the building indicate the aldermen approved an abstract concept, instead of detailed plans for the structure.

"Whatever label you put on it, I sincerely doubt the aldermen know what they have approved," he said.

"It does not fit in the city of Ridgeland," said Meadowlark Lane resident Katherine Youngblood, a Z.O.N.E. member who is appealing the city's decision.

Gautier countered that the city only approved the special exception for the building's height at the public hearing, not its complete and final plans.

The building, known as 200 Renaissance, has been a contentious issue since its plans were made public roughly two months ago.

Bailey and his supporters argue that it will represent a big step forward in the development of Ridgeland as a city and will bring desirable professionals, as well as a big boost in tax dollars.

Z.O.N.E. members and others, however, argue that the glass and steel structure will disrupt neighborhoods west of Highland Colony Parkway and breaks the city's own building ordinances.

The development is part of Renaissance at Colony Park, a shopping and commercial district between Old Agency Road and Steed Road on Highland Colony Parkway.