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Residents ask court to void Madeira Beach developments

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Two Madeira Beach residents filed suit late Thursday asking a judge to declare that the City Commission did not follow the rules when it granted two recent zoning changes and a development agreement.

The plaintiffs, Jennifer McCoy Parker and Linda C. Hein, say in the lawsuit that they live near the proposed developments “and, as such, their health, safety, and access to police and fire protection are adversely affected by the rezonings in a manner that exceeds in degree the general interest of the community.”

If the judge agrees the votes weren’t done right, the decision would halt the construction of the two developments planned for the foot of the only bridge linking Madeira Beach to the mainland. Developers propose to build a hotel, condominiums, restaurant and parking garage there.

Madeira Beach Mayor Travis Palladeno could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit, filed electronically at 5:27 p.m., has been threatened for several months by opponents of the proposed development. The opponents have argued that the developments will over power the entrance to the city and bring unwanted traffic and congestion to Madeira Beach. They also argue that the developments will destroy the fishing village ambience of Madeira Beach.

But despite petitions asking that the developments be put to a referendum and threats of a lawsuit, the Madeira Beach commission last month granted the zoning changes for the proposed Madeira Beach Town Center and the Holiday Isle Marina. The commission also passed a development agreement that would govern details of the Madeira Beach Town Center development.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys Ken Weiss and Timothy Weber, says the commission erred in at least three ways:

The rezonings are inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan that sets out Madeira Beach’s development policies in such areas as transportation and land use.

The city failed to properly notify residents of their right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses at the rezoning hearing.

The city did not follow its procedures regarding the rezoning because, among other things, officials did not require the developers to file a “complete application” and failed to approve a site plan before rezoning the property.

The lawsuit is also asking that Madeira Beach pay the costs of bringing the lawsuit.

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