After lengthy legal arguments, Walmart appeal rescheduled for May 3

Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 10:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 10:44 p.m.

It was nearly 10 p.m. Thursday before the Gainesville City Commission was ready to hear an appeal of Walmart's plan to build a Supercenter on Northwest 34th Street.

At that point, commissioners decided it was so late that it better to reschedule hearing the appeal until May 3.

The hearing was held up by legal arguments made by Walmart's attorney, who questioned whether the commission should hear the appeal to begin with.

So by the time that was out of the way, there was little time left to hear the case by the commission's 11 p.m. adjournment. Thus the appellate hearing was rescheduled for 6 p.m. May 3.

"We're sorry," Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan told the residents who attended. "We would have preferred to get through it tonight."

John Hudson, who owns a rental house near the proposed site for the Walmart Supercenter, is appealing the city Development Review Board's 3-2 vote last month to approve the plan, saying the store would violate the city's comprehensive plan if it was built at the intersection of Northwest 34th and 23rd streets.

That store would replace the store on Northwest 13th Street, not far from Verde Plaza, where Hudson does contract work for the owner.

Karl Sanders, a Jacksonville-based attorney representing Walmart, argued that the commission didn't have jurisdiction to hear the case.

Regardless, the commission was ready to move forward with the hearing before rescheduling the appeal due to time concerns.

After that decision, the commission did take some citizen comment on the matter.

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