Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier will meet with commissioners Wednesday, about the second of two lawsuits filed after rejection of a Walmart Supercenter in the Ringling Shopping Center.
Commissioners will discuss a possible settlement strategy and mediation for the lawsuit filed by Louis and Diana Doyle, owners of the strip mall. The suit alleges the city violated its own zoning laws in denying the site plan, and asks for injunctive and non-monetary relief.
“I have a low opinion of the second suit,” Fournier said. “They’re really just trying to get a second bite out of the apple.”
John P. Harlee III, attorney for Louis and Diana Doyle, filed a petition for certeriori with Florida's Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland Dec. 6, according to court records. The outcome of that appeal could affect the second lawsuit, which is currently on a judge-granted stay until the Lakeland courts make a decision.
“Frankly, it’s going to be difficult to resolve the second suit,” Fournier said, but he thought it was important to get the City Commission involved before the litigation continues. The Wednesday “shade meeting” will not be open to the public.
Commissioners denied the Walmart in response to an appeal filed by six residents against the Planning Board’s Nov. 14, 2012, approval of the store’s site plan.