By Kevin Deutsch
Developer 13th Floor Homes is suing the city of Tamarac over its handling of the Woodlands Golf Course project, claiming the process by which the city is considering its development plan violates the law, court filings show.
Lawyers for the company argue the city’s plan to hold a Nov. 10 legislative-style hearing considering an extension for the Woodlands Golf Course site plan is illegal.
The reason: a “quasi-judicial” hearing, which is evidence-based, more structured, and less biased than a legislative hearing, is required under law, 13th Floor Homes’ lawyers argue in their court filings.
The lawyers said that all prior city hearings on the project’s land-use plan were quasi-judicial over the past two years, but not the planned Nov. 10 hearing.
“The city has attempted to change the rules at the 11th hour, weeks before the final hearing,” the developer’s lawyers wrote, asking a judge to issue an injunction to stop the hearing.
Circuit Court Judge Keathan Frink ordered an emergency Zoom hearing on the matter on Nov. 10 at 8:30 a.m., in advance of the scheduled city commission hearing.
The legal battle comes after city commissioners denied the developer’s request for a 10-month extension to finish preparing the site plan for the Woodlands Golf Course last month. After long deliberation, the commission voted to let the developer present their plan on Nov. 10.
The extension request was the third made by the 13th Floor Woodlands HB GP. The developer proposes a large-scale Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) and a Rezoning, covering approximately 165.53 acres of the former Woodlands Golf Course to develop 397 single-family homes.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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