By Tamas Mondovics
Bloomingdale area residents hoping to halt the development of the now infamous, Bloomingdale Big Box and residential complex project within their neighborhood are anxiously awaiting an answer following a court hearing last month.
The topic is the Bloomingdale MUD ( Mixed Use Development), which was approved by the County and proposed by developer Red Cast Bloomingdale LLC., involving plans for 158,800 sq. ft. big box store—most still believe to be a Walmart or a similar retailer—with 720 proposed number of parking spaces, five out-parcels as well as a residential complex with 261 apartments or condominiums.
In an update on its website, Can-Do (Coordinated Active Neighborhoods for Development Organization) representing Bloomingdale area residents said that the case got its first review in front of 13th circuit judge, William P. Levens.
The group filed a lawsuit late last year against Hillsborough County and Developer Red Cast Bloomingdale LLC, involving the project, which was replied by both entities with a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice based upon the belief that it is not valid.
The online update said that county’s request to dismiss with prejudice means that the case would be dismissed not allowing an amended filing by the attorney.
Attorney Pamela Joe Hatley, representing the plaintiff, Bloomingdale area resident Fred Brown in the case attended the review, facing five attorneys from Hillsborough County and two attorneys representing Red Cast Bloomingdale LLC.
As the issue continues to be tweaked and qualified by both sides of the table, Can-Do spokesperson George Niemann explained that the issue heard by the judge is not, if the county in fact followed procedure in their process for the property, but rather, if the case does not have merit as the county is stating.
“The issue of if the county followed or failed to follow proper process was not being decided,” Niemann said. “But if the motion to dismiss is denied and the case moves forward, the rest of the issues can be properly and deservedly addressed.”
Following the hearing Judge Levens did not provide an immediate ruling, instead decided that he would provide a decision within a fairly short time after reviewing the issues in question further.
Niemann added, however, that if the case is dismissed, Can-Do will have to brainstorm its next step, which may involve an appeal.
“Our next steps will be decided based upon the decision by the Judge,” he said. “It is possible that complaint would need to be refiled.”
The group, however, strongly believes in its case, and is confident if its potential to move forward.
For more information visit http://www.kwuick.com/BloomingdaleBigBox/SitePages/Position.aspx.
Attorney Pamela Joe Hatley