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Brooker Creek Preserve land-use changes draw challenge

CLEARWATER — At 9:30 a.m. today, Pinellas County commissioners will meet to consider land-use changes that would allow five-story utility buildings and a reservoir in the Brooker Creek Preserve.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, an 18-year-old environmentalist will be in court seeking a temporary injunction to put a halt to those changes.

The changes are at the heart of a lawsuit Mathew Poling, a freshman at the University of Florida from East Lake, is pursuing against the county.

Poling says the county has built numerous buildings in the preserve that violate the countywide future land-use plan as instituted by state law. And the proposed changes would open the door for more industrial building on land that should be preserved, he says.

In addition to halting the land-use changes, Poling is asking the court to shut down existing buildings while his lawsuit makes its way through the legal system.

A county attorney filed a motion to dismiss Poling's suit Monday afternoon. But the county's motion was not yet on the hearing calendar late Monday, so Poling should get to make his case Wednesday for an injunction.

Both events will occur at the County Courthouse, 315 Court St. Today's board meeting will be on the fifth floor. Wednesday's court hearing will be in Courtroom C on the fourth floor.

Brooker Creek Preserve land-use changes draw challenge 01/05/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 7:58pm]
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