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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Belleair attorney: No grounds for lawsuit blocking Belleview Biltmore sale



In a follow-up to this month’s contentious debate over whether to rezone the Belleview Biltmore hotel property, on Tuesday Belleair commissioners will discuss their attorney’s legal opinion that Belleair has no grounds to seek an injunction blocking the former hotel’s owners from selling to a developer who won’t restore the landmark.

Commissioner Stephen Fowler had called for the injunction, saying such a sale would violate the town’s historic preservation ordinance.

But Town Attorney Dave Ottinger wrote in a memo this week that “adequate protection” to preserve the hotel is already built into the ordinance’s stringent demolition permitting process.

“Attempting to enjoin the sale of the hotel property would be a substantial violation of private property rights, which could be actionable against the town,” he wrote.

Ottinger said he was still researching Fowler’s request that Belleair file a demand that hotel owners perform repairs or routine maintenance on the hotel to avoid what essentially amounts to “demolition by neglect” under Belleair’s ordinance.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, commissioners will hold the first of two votes to affirm Green Golf Partners’ management lease for the Biltmore Golf Course.

Officials will also consider allowing golf carts on town streets.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.

[Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014 11:16am]


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