Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Judge declines to hear more arguments in residents’ challenge to Venice shopping center

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Challenge filed by resident group asks judge to send shopping center decision back to Venice City Council, which has two new members since it last dealt with the matter

VENICE – Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Danielle Brewer denied a request by a developer to present additional arguments as she considers a challenge filed by residents opposing the Venice City Council’s decision last July in favor of a proposed shopping center in the Milano development.

That favorable land-use decision allowed Border and Jacaranda Holdings, LLC, the company controlled by developer Pat Neal that owns 10.4 acres at the intersection of Jacaranda Boulevard and Laurel Road, to develop a commercial center potentially anchored by a Publix at that site.

The North Venice Neighborhood Alliance, Gary Scott Kenneth Baron and Seth Thompson, represented by attorney Ralf Brooks, filed a petition asking Brewer to direct the City Council to review its decision.  

Brookes argued that the council ruling failed to meet the requirements of the city’s Land Development Code.

The City Council vote was 5-2 in favor, with Mayor Nick Pachota and Council Member Rachel Frank in dissent.

In November 2023, two council members who voted in the majority were replaced by Council members Joan Farrell and Ron Smith – both of who used opposition to that decision as a central theme of their campaigns.

Brewer’s denial of the request for oral argument in the case – filed April 22 – simply stated that the court would render its decision based on the pleadings and record currently on file with the court.

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