Associate District Court Judge ­Sheryl McFarlin has refused a request by a group seeking to block the development of a city-owned, bond-financed convention center in downtown Dallas. She turned down a request for a temporary restraining order from Citizens Against the Taxpayer Owned Hotel, an organization primarily funded by Dallas real estate developer and hotel owner Harlan Crow.

Citizens Against the Taxpayer Owned Hotel asked the court to prohibit city officials from “entering into a binding development agreement” or “using any money or other property of the city, directly or indirectly ... for the purpose of siting, financing, constructing, acquiring, leasing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility.”

The anti-hotel group has forced a citywide referendum May 9 on whether Dallas may publicly own a convention center hotel, but city officials said they intend to sell $525 million of revenue bonds and begin construction on the facility before the vote can take place.

After the rejection of the restraining order, the Dallas City Council approved a hotel development agreement with Matthews Southwest to build the hotel and an operating agreement with Omni ­Hotels to run it.

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