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San Antonio plans lawsuit against St. Leo in warehouse dispute

SAN ANTONIO — The city plans to sue the adjacent town of St. Leo for its approval of a university's plan to build a warehouse along a residential street.

San Antonio commissioners voted Tuesday to have their lawyer Brian Bolves draft a lawsuit against the town on the grounds that the approval violates St. Leo's comprehensive land-use plan and land development code. The suit also contends that building the warehouse would create a potentially dangerous situation on Pompanic Street, a narrow road whose center line serves as the border between St. Leo and San Antonio.

Bolves declined to specify exactly in what sense the approval was in violation of the land-use plan and development codes.

The commission vote is the latest — and most contentious — turn in a monthslong battle among the two communities and Saint Leo University, which purchased the lot that overlooks Lake Jovita and is bordered by Pompanic Street and State Road 52. The school plans to put its plant operations facility there, prompting concerns from residents along the picturesque street about safety, traffic and an unsightly warehouse.

The lawsuit will seek to nullify St. Leo's approval of the plan. Bolves said he intends to file the lawsuit next week.

"We're not excited about it," San Antonio Mayor Tim Newlon said of the suit, "but we think that this will lead us to be able to negotiate with the university and with the town."

A spokeswoman for Saint Leo University declined to comment.

St. Leo has tentatively agreed to use road impact fees to improve Pompanic Street, offering to pay half of the cost if San Antonio would also pitch in. But Newlon declined, saying, "We're not going to pay any money for a driveway for this university project."

St. Leo Commissioner Greg Smith had little to say about the issue before being able to see the lawsuit.

"We will receive it and strive to find what's a constructive way forward," said Smith, who lives on Pompanic Street. "Personally, I welcome university's growth. And we simply need to take all factors into consideration.'

San Antonio plans lawsuit against St. Leo in warehouse dispute 08/21/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:17pm]
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