The lawsuit requests that the circuit court overturn the city’s denial of a petition that would have required City Council to pass the waterfront plan by a supermajority.
"The Iron Ladies," as their supporters call them, are April Burke, Beth Gibney and Marie Kux.
The Circuit Court decided in March that “in order for the court to grant relief requested by the plaintiffs, it would first have to required the Director to accept the plaintiffs appeal as properly filed. ...The writ does not grant the authority to require an official to undo an act that is already done.”
Roy Shannon, the plaintiff’s attorney, told Patch Tuesday that he believes “the court may have erred there,” which is why the plaintiffs are asking the high court to consider their case.
City Planning and Zoning Director Faroll Hamer ruled the morning of the public hearing and vote on the city's waterfront plan that the petition signed and submitted by the women and other parties was not valid.
If Hamer had accepted the petition, City Council would have had to pass the plan with a 6-1 vote. Council members voted 5-2 in favor of the plan on Jan. 21.
In addition to filing a case in the city’s Circuit Court, the women also filed a separate appeal of the director’s decision with the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals. In April, the board rejected Hamer’s decision, siding with the three women and other citizens who asked that the waterfront area near their homes not be rezoned allowing more and different kinds of development such as hotels.
Shannon said he believes City Council should not have voted on the plan Jan. 21 because he filed the appeal at the time—a point of contention between the city and the plaintiffs.
"In a procedure like this, the process is as important as the substance," Shannon told Patch this week.
City Attorney James Banks said the city intends to file an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeal’s decision to the Circuit Court. It has 30 calendar days from the board’s ruling April 13.