A local attorney has filed a suit on behalf of himself and some neighbors to block development of a planned 96-room hotel approved by city officials for construction near the Key West Bight.
The attorney, Robert Goldman, filed papers Thursday in the 11th District Circuit Court against the city of Key West, M I Regional Properties and Harborside LLC. The project is the brainchild of developer Pritam Singh, whose projects have included housing at Truman Annex and Parrot Key Resort in New Town.
Goldman has been an outspoken opponent of Singh's planned Harborside hotel complex, to be built on the currently rubble-and-weed-strewn grounds of the former Jabour's trailer park near Caroline and William streets.
The court papers -- like Goldman's previous arguments before the City Commission -- state that the 96-room structure is overly dense for the area, that considerations such as parking in the development plan were beyond the scope of what the attorney says the law allows.
"We want to restrain or enjoin the city from issuing any building permits or furthering in any way the building of this development," Goldman said in an interview, in which he was asked what he would prefer on the site.
"A park. If no park, they can build whatever is lawful and right. Now, if they want to build a hotel, it is 41 units with no restaurant and no conference center."
City Attorney Shawn Smith said Thursday afternoon he had not yet seen the court papers.
"The city has not been served or seen the lawsuit," Smith said. "The city will respond in court, where cases are actually tried."
Singh said he had not yet been served.
"It is my hope that we will be able to resolve this issue," he said. "We are looking forward to giving the city of Key West a beautiful hotel."
The named plaintiffs in the suit are Richard and Lynda Curry, Joseph Hall, Kathleen David, Robert Spencer, Paula Hodges, Maureen Bramlage, Gloria Shaw and Philip Reilly.
Multiple variances, the court papers allege, were granted by the city to Singh, allowing him to "by-pass the stringent United States constitutional requirements to obtain a variance."
The plaintiffs, Goldman alleges, "will be irreparably and adversely aggrieved and affected by the negative impact on the value of their residences; the lack of a storm water drainage plan; and the increase in traffic and the unavailability of off street parking."
The project, the suit alleges, violates the city's own comprehensive plan "for preserving the nature, character and historic quality of the man-made and natural environment."
The city and the companies named have 20 days from the date of service of the papers to respond in court.
Goldman sued successfully to block another development that was planned for the property prior to this one called Watermark, a condominium project that a court ordered reduced in size but which was never built.