“1000 Friends of Florida” appeals rejection of attempt to block Minto West/Westlake

080914-Minto-West-1The group fighting to overturn approval of the sprawling development now called Westlake said Wednesday it’s appealing last month’s ruling to dismiss its case.

“”We believe this ruling is inconsistent with numerous comprehensive plan policies regarding development and road design in and around rural communities,” 1000 Friends of Florida attorney Robert Hartsell said in a statement.

After the county approved the project, formerly known as Minto West, environmentalists, preservationists and residents of The Acreage sued, arguing that the project violated state laws against sprawl and that the county had ignored its own comprehensive plan.

Last year, an administrative law judge ruled that the county did not violate state laws against sprawl in approving pro-Minto changes to the county’s comprehensive plan. After the state Department of Economic Opportunity affirmed that ruling, the only legal challenge remaining was whether the county ignored its comprehensive plan in approving the project.

Acting Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Edward Garrison ruled April 26 that the county did not do so.

The ruling was the latest setback for environmentalists and preservationists, who argue Westlake and other large development projects will lead to sprawl and damage the environment.

Meanwhile, Minto, using a state law passed in 2012, is backing efforts to have the project area incorporated as the county’s 39th city.

 

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