Judge Does Not Grant Motion To Dismiss, Wawa Civil Challenge Continues

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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On Friday, September 24th, the legal teams of the City of Coral Gables, Wawa and REDEVCO argued a motion to dismiss the legal challenge presented by the Gables Accountability Project (GAP) regarding the proposed construction of a Wawa Gas Station across the street from George Washington Carver Elementary and Middle School.

Judge Michael Hanzman asked tough questions of both sides in this case during the hearing.

Over 170 people tuned in live to the Zoom hearing, where the Judge listened to the arguments by the City, Wawa and developer, REDEVCO, who sought to end the legal challenge claiming no illegality had taken place.

GAP’s attorney, David Winker, argued that the residents who comprise GAP have been wronged by the City’s lack of public comment, lack of notice to the school and parents and the settlement reached with the developer to allow for a speedy process specifically requiring that no public comment take place.

In the end, Judge Hanzman granted GAP a 20-day period in which to submit an amended complaint specifically outlining what action by the City was “procedurally or substantively against the law.” The City will then have 20 days to file a response and subsequently a new hearing will be set.

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5 thoughts on “Judge Does Not Grant Motion To Dismiss, Wawa Civil Challenge Continues

  1. Mayor Vince Ego has a lot of blame on this, chastising residents that questioned the process and apologizing for the attorney. Wawa is coming and there’s nothing we can do about it. Vote wiser next time.

  2. Hanzman did dismiss the complaint, but is allowing plaintiffs to amend, which is no big victory because Florida law requires it. Based on my listening to the hearing, the judge was unimpressed with plaintiffs’ claims. If they do not plead better this time, they will get dismissed again, and it will be final, forcing them to appeal. But good luck with an appellate court stacked with Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis appointees – not plaintiff friendly.

    Plaintiffs might as well accept the gas station, never patronize it and work on ensuring our city officials serve residents and stop the shenanigans. Turn out and vote. Elections matter. If you’re in the courts, you’ve already lost.

  3. There was no hearing for any sort of variance, such as to cut a driveway into a pedestrian school zone, which they are doing now. Redevco has been trying to develop this parcel for ten years (According to the Coral Gables attorney I spoke with about this) and as a minority owned business under the tax designation of “non profit” it was flying through now on the issue of minority rights…

  4. Of particular interest to the judge, was the City Attorney’s decision to classify the shift from approved restaurant to gas station/convenience store as a “minor change”!
    It is sad that the compromised Mayor Lago will only speak up for privileged students at very expensive private schools.

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