Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rejected Walmart market developer sues Hillsborough County

TAMPA — The developer of a proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market in Carrollwood has sued Hillsborough County commissioners for rejecting a plan that would have allowed its construction.

Brightwork Acquisitions, which had contracted to buy the former Hudson Nursery property on N Dale Mabry Highway, asserts the county arbitrarily rejected the proposal, bowing to pressure from residents.

By doing so, the group says in the lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday that commissioners violated its constitutional right to equal protection under the law. By denying a zoning modification that would have allowed the Walmart and Wawa convenience store on a busy eight-lane highway lined with stores and offices, Brightwork claims the county treated the group differently than other developers with similar proposals.

"We believe that the decision for denial was politically motivated and was not based on any legitimate health, safety and welfare justification," said Scott McLaren, a lawyer with the Hill Ward Henderson firm.

Representatives for Brightwork and Walmart appeared before commissioners last month seeking a modification to zoning on roughly 10 acres of largely undeveloped land fronting Dale Mabry. Their request would have gotten rid of provisions requiring offices and townhomes, instead allowing just commercial buildings, lowering the overall square footage.

Residents of nearby neighborhoods showed up by the score, saying the proposal was not compatible with nearby homes and would cause traffic snarls on a road already clogged during rush hours.

Commissioners cited a lack of compatibility in denying the application.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner, who made the motion to reject the proposal, said he was confident in the board's position and said it was crafted after consulting with the County Attorney's Office.

County Attorney Chip Fletcher said he was aware of the court challenge. "We're reviewing it and we're going to vigorously defend the position of the commission," he said.

Bill Varian can be reached at varian@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3387.

Rejected Walmart market developer sues Hillsborough County 02/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 11:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii

    Military

    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.