Court Reverses Sand Key Shoppes Zoning
By Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER – A panel consisting of Circuit Court Judges John A Shaefer, George W Greer and George M Jirotka, has overturned the Clearwater City Council's decision to deny Tourist zoning to the Shoppes at Sand Key property.
The December 1st ruling came in response to an appeal of the Council's action by the property owner, D. A. Bennett Company.
The court ruled that because the property's land use designation was Resort Facilities High, Tourist was the only zoning consistent with the city's Comprehensive Plan at the time the application was made.
“The City Council must apply its Development Code and Comprehensive Plan to the issue as it existed at the time of the proceeding,” the ruling stated, “... this case is remanded back to the Clearwater City Council to amend the Shoppes zoning district to Tourist.”
In a letter informing his constituents of the ruling, Clearwater Vice-Mayor George Cretekos wrote, “While I am sure you are disappointed with this decision of the court, know that the City Attorney and staff are currently reviewing the court order and options available. The City Attorney’s office will report its recommendations to the City Council, and I am confident that one option will be to appeal the lower court’s decision to the Second District Court of Appeal.”
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