Starbucks is still not out of its legal coup, if sources are to be believed. Pete Keelan and Ed Dublois, the two owners of Equinox Square Plaza, have filed a legal motion, in order to have the appeal filed by Bill Drunsic dismissed. Bill is currently also serving as the acting chairman of the town's Planning Commission.
The appeal, issued on May 15th, was filed in order to challenge the decision of the Development Review Board which was primarily concerned with converting a former bank office into one of the Starbucks centers. However, as per the appeal of Pete and Ed, Bill does not have the authority to question the conversion of the shop’s premises as the authority is still retained with DRB.
In order to register an appeal in the State of Vermont, the plaintiff has to meet the following conditions:
- Show injury
- Show causation
- Show redressability
In layman terms, if these three terms were to be addressed, the plaintiff has to allege personal injury caused by an unlawful action of the defendant. This should further be redressed by the appropriate amount of relief, which should be provided as a means of redressing the plaintiff. svHowever, in this case, it was also argued that the injury should be caused by the betrayal and misconduct of a legal and protected interest, and not harm to the public. When the case was explored, there was neither a personal injury or any kind of harm to the public by opening the center.
When the case’s appeal was closely gauged, it was discovered that converting the bank’s office into Starbucks did not have any kind of physical or environmental impact on any individual or the public. While Bill’s case was carefully scrutinized, in front of the Development Review Board, it was also discovered that the appeal catered to a personal interest of the plaintiff to protect his own business. Being a businessman, Bill currently owns and runs the Spiral Press Café in the vicinity. His appeal is aimed at protecting his interest and his business. However, with the launch of Starbucks in the vicinity, there would be no impact to the running of the Spiral Press Café.
At the time of filing the appeal, Drunsic seemed to have an issue with the DRB’s licensing authority. As per the businessman, Starbucks can heavily benefit from the drive thru window (courtesy, the former bank branch which made use of the drive thru facility) and the permit should be revoked, at the earliest. Blaming the authority of DRB, Drunsic has openly voiced his concerns and made his words public, so that the appeal can be actioned at the earliest.
As per the laws of the Environmental Court, the appellant should have a standing as an interested person at the time of initiating the appeal. However, in the appeal filed by Drunsic, there is no interested party and the appeal would have to be dismissed on grounds of a valid motive.
While furthering his dismissal concerns, Bill has also mentioned that he’s filed a counter appeal as he feels that his previous appeal has failed to meet its designation purpose.
In his new motion, Drunsic has rubbished any kind of affirmations, which include the statement confirming that the Spiral Press Café and the new Starbucks joint are separated by a commercial core. The Spiral Press Café sits in the middle of the commercial area and the Starbucks outlet can greatly destroy business for the existing business ventures. Proving himself to be the interested party, he’s widely claimed that the loss of business makes him a valid party to the appeal and the appeal should be reconsidered taking him as the interested party.
Blaming the drive thru to be the main reason of concern, he’s voicing his concerns on behalf of the Spiral Press Café as well as other similar outlets, which are at a risk of losing their business in the onset. With the opening of Starbucks in the neighbourhood, chances are that there will be a loss of substantial revenue for the commercial core’s shops.
The main motive of the appeal appeared to be by law interpretation in the first appeal; while, the second appeal spoke about the inherent competition which will be posed to the Press Café. DRB’s representatives are sticking by their decision and the appeal will again be dismissed, basis the fact that there is a misrepresentation of motive and the wavering concerns will just not hold in the Court of Law.