Judge bars Taylor Morrison from selling homes in disputed… – Tampa Bay Times

Homebuilder Taylor Morrison can keep developing a 194-home project in Keystone, but can’t sell individual lots to homebuyers until a court challenge is settled, a Hillsborough Circuit Court judge ruled Friday.

The written ruling from Determine Mark R. Wolfe followed a four-hour hearing on Jan. 18 in which area residents asked for an emergency injunction to halt the Taylor swift Morrison development between Patterson and McGlamery roads.

“The sale of homes to third parties… would not be in the public’s best interest because the houses may be required to become demolished at the conclusion of the case, ” Wolfe ruled.

The particular area of Keystone/Odessa within rural northwest Hillsborough is covered by a county-approved overlay district limiting home density in order to one house per 5 acres. Taylor Morrison plans 194 homes on just more than 200 acres it purchased in 2021, saying the particular zoning entitlements granted in the 1990s predate the rural protections adopted within 2002.

The residents sued Hillsborough County , contending the project violated the particular county’s own land use rules. They wanted construction stopped. Taylor swift Morrison joined the suit and its attorneys provided lead counsel during the Jan. 18 hearing.

During that listening to, Andrew Miller, vice president for land development in Taylor Morrison, said the company had invested $35 million in the project so far. He said grading and earthwork on the first phase is nearly complete plus the company aimed to sell homes by the end of the particular year.

A stop-work order would cost the company $65, 000 to remove heavy construction equipment from the site, $370, 000 in monthly labor and other costs and $350, 000 within monthly interest, he testified.

Wolf’s judgment noted that since building has been ongoing since spring 2022 the particular damage the residents tried to prevent has occurred already. However, if they prevail from trial, state law allows a judge to purchase the advancement removed.

He barred Taylor Morrison through selling houses and plenty on the particular property prior to resolving the situation because “the court would likely be unable to order removal of development and construction around the non-party’s real property. Thus, plaintiffs would not have an adequate remedy at law to address the harm if they prevail. ”

Wolfe’s ruling also noted the particular testimony from residents plus stop-work order from Hillsborough County surrounding illegal tree removal from the site before the county issued a development order in May 2022.

That suggests Taylor swift Morrison “acted in violation of permits and ordinances in the pursuit of speedy development of the property. Plaintiffs, therefore, have established through evidence that they would be irreparably harmed and without an adequate remedy with law in case Taylor Morrison were allowed to sell, convey, or otherwise transfer all or some of the property. ”

Wolfe ordered nonbinding arbitration to try to resolve the case.

“We never said you can’t build in Keystone, ” stated Melissa Nordbeck, one associated with the lead plaintiffs. “Our position since the very beginning of this assault on our community was a person have in order to build (according to county rules plus the Keystone community plan) — an added layer of protection for our 36 miles of rural and agriculture land that is intended to preserve our chosen way of life. ”