Family Dollar appeals city decision

 Family Dollar appeals city decision

Family Dollar appeals city decision

Published: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 09:49 AM.

The developer who wants to relocate the city’s Family Dollar store to a wooded site on U.S. 98 on the western edge of Apalachicola isn’t giving up.

On Friday, Panama City attorney Robert Hughes submitted a notice of appeal of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s Nov. 18 vote that gave a resounding no to a proposal to relocate the store from its current site adjacent to the Gulfside IGA to a lot that neighbors the Best Western Inn.

Hughes, who represents Blue Current Development LLC, the firm of Panama City Beach’s Brett Woodward, is alleging the city’s zoning approval process was riddled with errors and impropriety, and that the city should not be allowed to reverse its April 2012 decision that the lawyer says was a go-ahead for Woodward to move forward on the project and buy the land.

Hughes wants the city’s board of adjustment to reverse P & Z’s denial of the special exception request, and to direct city commissioners to grant the retail specialty store exception Woodward seeks in order to construct a more than 8,300-square foot store on 1.16 acres at U.S. 98 and Clairmont.

The lawyer argues P & Z’s unanimous vote in April 2012 to confirm that “the operation is consistent within the C-3 zoning district” led to Woodward spending about $302,000 on the project, including about $245,000 for the land, $24,000 for civil design work, $9,300 for legal fees, $9,000 for architectural work, $8,500 for surveying work, and $6,000 for environmental work.

In his recounting of what he says are the facts of the case, Hughes wrote that in April 2012 P & Z “of its own volition… voted unanimously to confirm that the C-3 zoning was appropriate and correct for the Family Dollar store.”

He cites City Administrator Betty Webb’s Sept. 19, 2012 follow-up letter confirming the vote as “justifiable reliance” upon which Woodward went ahead to buy the property a month later. He said Blue Current “worked diligently in late 2012 and spring of 2013 to develop its site plan in conformity with the city’s land development code.”

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