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More legal actions filed over St. Pete Beach redevelopment rules

ST. PETE BEACH — Two new legal actions were filed against the city last week in a seemingly never-ending battle over redevelopment regulations.

One action bypasses the courts to petition the state for a formal administrative hearing to challenge the city's comprehensive plan now under review by the Department of Community Affairs.

The other is an amended complaint for the latest lawsuit in a long list of legal challenges relating to the comprehensive plan and land development regulations proposed by Save Our Little Village and approved by voters in June.

The DCA petition, on behalf of resident Dr. William Pyle, was filed by Ross Burnaman, an attorney who wrote the Hometown Democracy Petition and argued for it before the Florida Supreme Court.

Pyle is a major financial supporter of a political action group, Citizens for Responsible Growth, which opposed the SOLV referendum. His petition alleges that the city's referendum-approved comprehensive plan violates state law and asks the DCA to reject it.

Meanwhile, lawyer Ken Weiss filed an amended complaint for resident Bruce Kadoura. The filing adds SOLV and its members as defendants, and it also doubles to 10 the number of counts to be decided by the court.

Weiss' original complaint alleges the city contracted away its legislative authority, thus violating the state's Growth Management Act.

The SOLV members added to the complaint are Beverly Garnett, Michael Seimetz, Lorraine Huhn, John H. Penny and Paul Pfister.

"We are trying to move this along by adding everyone and expanding the counts to try to get a final ruling," said Weiss. "This case should dissolve all other issues."

The commission is not expected to respond to the latest filings when it meets Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

That special meeting was called to consider an unrelated change to the capital improvements portion of the city comprehensive plan.

The state-required action will update the city's five-year capital improvements plan. Ironically, no projects costing more than the $100,000 state threshold are planned.

After that meeting, the commission will meet in a workshop to discuss a proposed ordinance regulating water sports on the Gulf of Mexico.

The ordinance, which has been controversial for water sports venders, would limit the availability of personal watercraft, and regulate parasailing, motor boat rentals, cruise tours and sightseeing activities.

More legal actions filed over St. Pete Beach redevelopment rules 09/27/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 29, 2008 3:12pm]
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