Hearing on tower is delayed

November 17, 2006|By a sun reporter

The Board of Appeals postponed a hearing on a challenge to the county's approval of a 23-story lakeside residential and retail tower in downtown Columbia.

The hearing, which was to have been held Tuesday, has been rescheduled for Dec. 5.

Attorney E. Alexander Adams, who is representing four county residents, filed the appeal in September.

The opponents say the county violated many of its regulations when the Planning Board approved the plan by WCI Communities Inc. to build a $70 million, 275-foot-tall tower overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi.

The project would have ground-level retail shops and 160 condominiums on 22 stories.

The opponents lost an earlier appeal when the hearing examiner ruled that they lacked legal standing to challenge the development. The latest appeal seeks to overturn that decision, as well as to gain a full hearing on the merits of the opponents' case.

Representatives of the developer and county officials have said consistently that the project complies with all regulations and that there are no legal grounds to prevent construction of the tower.

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