Rendering of the project as seen from Cherry and St. Paul streets
The Burlington Town Center redevelopment case is back in court. Attorney John Franco filed a legal challenge in U.S. District Court Friday morning, arguing that developer Don Sinex and the City of Burlington didn't do enough to notify Franco and his clients of changes to the project.
Franco, who is representing project opponents, contends that the city violated the settlement agreement the two parties reached last July. By not allowing his clients to weigh in on the changes, Franco argues, Sinex denied them their constitutional rights to due process.
He and his clients are asking that Sinex pay for "emotional distress damages" and attorney fees. Franco declined to comment on the decision to reopen the case.
Last month, Sinex received permission from the city planning and zoning office to add 16 additional apartment units and eliminate 40,000 square feet of planned retail space in his CityPlace Burlington development. The changes would also amend the parking setup — which Franco argues would ultimately result in fewer parking spaces.
The changes are "in express violation of the DRB's Conditions of Approval" which mandate any changes go before the Development Review Board, Franco wrote in his legal complaint.
Sinex has previously said the changes, which were approved administratively by the city, were necessary to cut costs of excavating for parking space.
In response, Franco sent a letter to Sinex asking him to adhere to his original building plan and requesting that the city reopen the appeal period, which had closed.
In Friday's filing, Franco objected to the fact that neither Sinex nor the city had warned him of the request for amendments; he learned about those changes from a Seven Days report, he has said.