It's been two years since plans for the Springhills development were rejected by Alachua County commissioners. The developer then sued the county over the project, which would have been built near the intersection of 39th Avenue and I-75. Now amid the legal battle, commissioners are divided on a decision to resume talks with the developer.
Tuesday night commissioners voted against allowing a break in the lawsuit between the Springhills developer and Alachua County. The lawsuit was filed by back in 2007 by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust or PREIT. The developer's attorney says they were hoping for a different outcome last night, allowing them to discuss new plans for the project.
The vote was a two-two tie, resulting in the action being rejected. Commissioners Paula Delaney and Mike Byerly voted against temporarily suspending the lawsuit. Byerly says allowing for negotiations during a temporary break in the lawsuit would be poor public policy. Commissioners Lee Pinkoson and Rodney Long voted for allowing negotiations between the county and PREIT. Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut was not there.
The Springhills site remains on the list of developments on PREIT's website. PREIT's attorney says had commissioners allowed for discussions, PREIT's design team would meet with members of the community to discuss the feasibility of a revised plan for the project. The issue is expected to be discussed again at next month's commission meeting.
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