Town of Palm Beach News

Lawsuit Hangs Over Testa Redevelopment Plans

In the past week, the Town Council of Palm Beach has approved site plans for a new proposed plaza on Testa property. However, tension between many residents and the Town of Palm Beach Town Council has risen due to new approvals set in place for the Testa Redevelopment Plan.

A few weeks ago, troubled homeowners spoke out against the six variances and four special exceptions that were approved by the Town Council. President of Palm Beach Preservation Alliance and local advocate, William Cooley, has threatened a lawsuit before, but his words have now been put to action.

The Town Clerk, Susan Owens, received a petition from locals and Cooley that orders judicial review on the plans by a higher authority before it is filed in the Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Cooley urged the Town Council to reverse their decision of allowing the site plans to be approved as is. Cooley’s threatening legal action would cost the Town vital funds necessary to the project. However, even after listening to Cooley’s plea for change, votes of Town Council members remained the same.

On Friday, the petition was officially filed in the Palm Beach County Circuit Court for an appeal. It will be brought before the Town Attorney, and then action will proceed after review.

The Palm Beach Preservation Alliance believes that T3 Family Investments received unnecessary special exceptions for site plans. In the corporation’s perspective, zoning laws were put into place for a reason; to preserve the Town of Palm Beach and prevent controversy amongst residents.

The Town Council followed proper procedure before granting T3 Family Investments variances and special exceptions. The battle between residents and the Town Council that has surfaced due to the decision may set a precedent for future special requests on development plans.

The lawsuit is expected to hinder Testa reconstruction plans, but it is apparent that the majority of Town Council members remain determined on moving the project forward.

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The Author



Jeanette has written for online magazines run by some of the biggest regional newspapers, college newspapers, and for various companies. She is most interested in local politics, music, and the 'foodie' scene of Palm Beach.

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