DADE CITY — On Dec. 18, when Pasco County commissioners rescinded an earlier vote to spend $450,000 as a local match for an affordable housing program, the developer's representative promised a lawsuit.
Last month, he delivered.
Records show General Home Development Corp., along with Cwhip Partners LLC and Ten Oaks Development Corp., filed a breach of contract complaint in circuit court on Aug. 6 against the Pasco County Commission.
The plaintiffs sued after commissioners first voted to fund the program, then backed out because the county attorney said he gave them bad legal advice based on inaccurate information. The development would have built up to 30 subsidized homes in the Zephyrhills area. Commissioners said they didn't want to compete with private developers. And the county attorney said based on earlier agreements, they weren't required to approve it.
So on Tuesday, commissioners hired an outside attorney to handle the case. Under the agreement, Phelps Dunbar LLC will represent the county for $275 per hour. The firm has offices in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and London. The fees will be paid for with state and federal housing grants through the Community Development Division.