Homeowners try to stop Walmart construction with lawsuit

Article Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel

By Rikki Klaus

Published May 14, 2015


DEBARY -- Homeowners in Volusia County are going to court to try to keep a Walmart out of their neighborhood.

The group is suing the city of DeBary over the approved development on the corner of North Pine Meadow and U.S. 17-92.

They said it will bring too much traffic to the area.

At rallies and public meetings, neighbors have voiced their concerns about traffic, devalued property and deforestation. But the city council approved the development anyway.

Now, the Glenn Abbey Club Homeowners Association is suing the DeBary City Council.

In a hearing Monday morning, a lawyer representing the HOA said the city's comprehensive plan does not allow for big box stores at the property, and he complained that people were denied the right to speak at public meetings.

"They paid no attention. They could care less. It was only an up or down vote. We want this project or we don't. We don't care if residential low density is next door. We don't care whether the comprehensive plan is inconsistent. That doesn't matter,” Stanley Townsend said.

An attorney for the development argued the comprehensive plan is not a zoning code, and he said there have been five public hearings and plenty of chances for the public to speak their minds.

"There can be any number of zoning districts that would be appropriate and permitted within that land use designation by the comprehensive plan,” Alex Ford said.

The development includes a gas station, strip mall and 44,000-square-foot building.

The judge hasn't made a ruling yet.