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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

No Davis settlement, court action awaited

A court-ordered mediation March 30 to resolve a lawsuit filed in August 2003 by Holmes Beach residents Ruthanne McLean and Barbara Coloney against the city and resident Frank Davis was apparently unsuccessful and the lawsuit will continue.

"Apparently," because Miami attorney John Shubin, who represents McLean and Coloney, could only state the litigation is still ongoing. He said the court has ordered him and opposing attorney Peter Mackey not to discuss the case with the media.

"The lawsuit is proceeding," was all Shubin would say.

Mackey, however, said "We thought a settlement was reached" following mediation, "but we've not heard back from Mr. Shubin." He said he could not comment on the substance of any agreement, or the pending lawsuit.

Retired Judge Thomas Gallen mediated the dispute on March 30, which alleges that the city commission meeting to discuss Davis' site plan at 5622 Gulf Drive was not properly noticed.

But that dispute is not the only battle between Davis, who wants to build a fourplex at the site, and McLean-Coloney, who are adjacent property owners.

McLean-Coloney, represented by family member Shubin, have another lawsuit against Davis and Holmes Beach, claiming approval of the site plan itself was improper. In addition, Shubin has filed an appeal of the board of adjustment decision that granted Davis a variance to obtain site-plan approval. Not to be outdone, Mackey has filed his own lawsuits against the city and McLean-Coloney.

Greg Hootman of the Florida League of Cities represents the city in the suits.