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Judge mulls motion in Sisley case
The court battle between Paul Sisley and the city of Floresville continues.
Representatives of both parties appeared in Wilson County District Court Sept. 19, where the defendants filed a “motion for leave to amend its plea of jurisdiction.” Defendants in the case include the city; the Floresville Planning and Zoning Commission; and former Mayor Daniel Tejada, former City Manager Andy Joslin, and planning and zoning commission President Philip Vipond, all in their official capacities.
The motion remains under review by Judge David Peeples, who was assigned as a special judge for the case, according to court records. In it, attorneys Patrick Bernal and Elizabeth Guerrero-Southard amended an earlier motion by including a certified copy of the minutes from the Oct. 25, 2012, Floresville City Council meeting.
During the meeting in question, the city council voted unanimously to deny Sisley’s appeal of an earlier decision by the planning and zoning commission to deny his special-use permit that would have allowed establishment of a mobile-home park at 624 Fourth St. in Floresville. Sisley subsequently filed the suit -- seeking damages, attorney fees, and court costs -- in U.S. District Court. The suit was dismissed and sent back to Wilson County.
The attorneys for the city argue that the court does not have jurisdiction to rule in the case because Sisley allegedly cannot meet his burden of proof to establish that a city moratorium against special-use permits had been in place prior to the filing of his application for the permit.
The city also asserts that Sisley’s application was denied based on its merits. According to the minutes of the Oct. 25, 2012, meeting, concerns were raised over the proposed park’s potential to cause flooding to the surrounding properties. Vipond had said that the land use was not “harmonious” with the surrounding properties.
The 18-month moratorium to which the court documents refer was approved by the planning and zoning commission Sept. 5, 2012, and the ordinance had its first reading by the council at the Oct. 25, 2012, meeting. It was designed to allow the city sufficient time to develop its comprehensive land-use plan, which still is ongoing.
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