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IPOC to amend its circuit court complaint

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  • | 4:00 a.m. July 18, 2012
  • Longboat Key
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The Islandside Property Owners Coalition plans to file a fourth amended complaint to its declaratory action, pending in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court before Judge Lee Haworth, that addresses recent changes to the town’s zoning code approved by the Longboat Key Town Commission.

IPOC has asked the town to agree to a motion allowing it to file the complaint without filing a motion. At press time, the town had not indicated whether it would agree to the stipulation.

IPOC and the L’Ambiance and Sanctuary condominium associations originally filed the action in July 2010 against the town and Longboat Key Club and Resort, claiming that the development order through which the Longboat Key Town Commission approved the Key Club’s $400 million redevelopment-and-expansion plan was inconsistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

Since then, the condominium associations have dropped out of the challenge, and IPOC has dropped the Key Club from the suit.

A separate action in which 12th Judicial Circuit Judge Charles Roberts granted IPOC and both condominium associations a writ of certiorari in their challenge of the project, which was then challenged by the town and Key Club, remains pending before the 2nd District Court of Appeals.

The motion states: “The town determined that it would adopt Ordinance 2012-08, knowing that it amended sections of the Zoning Code under challenge. The town cannot claim surprise that IPOC would seek to amend the complaint to address the amendments.”

IPOC raises multiple issues, including an argument that the changes amount to an increase in tourism density that should have required a referendum, according to the group’s attorney, Robert Lincoln.
IPOC also asserts that the changes give the commission authority to rewrite its zoning code without adequate guidelines, Lincoln said.

The declaratory case is scheduled for non-jury trial Sept. 17.

Lincoln said that the filing would push back the proceedings, but he couldn’t estimate the time frame.
The filing comes as the town, Key Club and IPOC prepare to head to confidential mediation Wednesday, July 18, with retired Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer.

Lincoln declined to comment on what, if any, impact the amended complaint could have on mediation, citing the confidentiality agreement that parties enter into when they agree to mediation.

John Patterson, attorney for the Key Club, offered this comment:

“In general, suing someone on the eve of a settlement discussion is an odd way to start it,” he said. “That’s just a general comment.”



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