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WSH Obtains Appellate Victory For Town of Manalapan

On November 14, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued a per curiam affirmance of the trial victory obtained by WSH Partner Daniel L. Abbott in a long-lasting battle between a homeowner and the Town of Manalapan over a zoning issue.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)LitigationLocal Government
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentRule EnforcementDaniel L. AbbottMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation Attorneys
Author(s): Daniel L. Abbott

WSH Obtains Favorable Final Order in Significant Environmental Law Matter for Condominium Association

This summer, WSH reported on a favorable decision in an administrative proceeding that WSH Members Mitchell J. Burnstein and Susan L. Trevarthen obtained on behalf of the Mayan Beach Club (“Association”). The case arose when Broward County and the Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (“STOP”) challenged a modification to an Association permit that would level a 176-foot sand dune, arguing that the dune provided significant environmental protection and should not be destroyed for the purpose of providing a more desirable ocean view for the Association’s owners. Specifically, the challengers alleged that the dune contained an endangered species of plant known as the beach star, helped prevent coastal erosion of the shoreline, and provided a nesting habitat for species of marine turtles that are protected under state law. The Association and the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) countered that the Association had agreed to partner with the City of Fort Lauderdale as part of a dune restoration project at the Palms Condominium, under which a stretch of beach would harbor several endangered species of vegetation. The Association and DEP also argued that neighboring beach areas provided nesting habitats for the turtles. On August 25, Florida Administrative Judge David Maloney recommended that the DEP enter a final order issuing the Modification. In his opinion, Judge Maloney stated that there was no evidence that the adjacent beaches provided inferior protection for the sea turtles or endangered vegetation. He also held that the facts did not support a finding that the dune prevented coastal erosion, since it lacked the height or continuity along the shore needed to be considered a “significant dune.”

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityGovernment AffairsLand Use & Zoning (Private)Eminent Domain
Tags: Mitchell J. BurnsteinJoshua D. KrutClifford A. SchulmanSusan L. TrevarthenFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys Florida Environmental Law
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Widely-Publicized Florida Case Involving Rules on Exactions and Inverse Condemnation

On October 5, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari filed on behalf of the plaintiff in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Management District.  Oral arguments will be scheduled in the coming months. The case involves Coy Koontz, a landowner who owned 15 acres of land, the majority of which fell within a riparian habitat-protection zone in the Econlockhatchee River hydrological basin and contained protected wetlands. The development of the land was under the jurisdiction of the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationAppellate Law & PracticeLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstitutional LawEminent DomainAdministrative Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtMitchell J. BurnsteinJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Attorneys Re-Elected to BAPA Leadership Positions

WSH Partner James E. White and Associate Johanna M. Lundgren have been re-elected to their current leadership positions Broward Chapter of the American Planning Association (“BAPA”) for the 2012-13 fiscal year. James currently serves as the Board’s Legislative Representative Committee Member, while Johanna serves as an At-Large Board Member. The American Planning Association is a not-for-profit educational organization that champions good planning through direct public advocacy in government. Created in 1978 through the consolidation of two separate planning organizations, the APA has more than 40,000 national members, including more than 15,000 certified planners.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsGilberto PastorizaSusan L. TrevarthenJames E. WhiteFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys Johanna M. Lundgren

ALJ Recommended Order OKs Condominium Association Plan to Level Sand Dune

WSH Members Mitchell J. Burnstein and Susan L. Trevarthen recently obtained a favorable decision in an administrative proceeding on behalf of the Mayan Beach Club (“Association”). The case arose when Broward County and the Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (“STOP”) challenged a modification to an Association permit that would level a 176-foot sand dune, arguing that the dune provided significant environmental protection and should not be destroyed for the purpose of providing a more desirable ocean view for the Association’s owners. Specifically, the challengers alleged that the dune contained an endangered species of plant known as the beach star, helped prevent coastal erosion of the shoreline, and provided a nesting habitat for species of marine turtles that are protected under state law. The Association and the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) countered that the Association had agreed to partner with the City of Fort Lauderdale as part of a dune restoration project at the Palms Condominium, under which a stretch of beach would harbor several endangered species of vegetation. The Association and DEP also argued that neighboring beach areas provided nesting habitats for the turtles. On August 25, Florida Administrative Judge David Maloney recommended that the DEP enter a final order issuing the Modification. In his opinion, Judge Maloney stated that there was no evidence that the adjacent beaches provided inferior protection for the sea turtles or endangered vegetation. He also held that the facts did not support a finding that the dune prevented coastal erosion, since it lacked the height or continuity along the shore needed to be considered a “significant dune.”

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Categories: Environmental/SustainabilityLand Use & Zoning (Private)Eminent DomainAdministrative Law
Tags: Mitchell J. BurnsteinClifford A. SchulmanSusan L. TrevarthenMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys Florida Environmental LawMiami Eminent Domain Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

House Bill 937: Give Me a Break! (At Least a Little One on Advertising Costs)

Section 50.061, Florida Statutes regulates the amount a publisher of a newspaper can charge local governments for the publishing of any and all official public notices or legal advertisements. The cost of advertisements can vary in price from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for a comprehensive plan amendment and certain government initiated zoning ordinances. Over the last couple of years, the Florida Legislature has considered several different bills that would help to reduce the cost of publishing legal advertisements. On May 4, 2012, the Governor signed House Bill 937 (the “Bill”), which may provide some relief to local governments when publishing an advertisement that requires multiple publications.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Government Affairs
Tags: Chad S. FriedmanSusan L. TrevarthenFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs Attorneys
Author(s): Chad S. Friedman

Town of Cutler Bay Receives Award for Revolutionary Green Initiative PACE Program

The Florida League of Cities awarded the Town of Cutler Bay with the Environmental Stewardship Award for its Go Green Initiative, and specifically for its revolutionary Property Assessed Clean Energy District (PACE) Program. The Town was the first governmental entity in Miami-Dade County to achieve the Florida Green Building Coalition’s Silver Certification. WSH Associate Chad S. Friedman worked with the Town on its Green Initiative from its inception, drafting legislation at the state and county level and researching similar programs. The PACE Program is the country’s first partnership among cities aimed at reducing their carbon footprint. Over the next five years, the program is predicted to reduce carbon dioxide output by more than 35,000 metric tons, as well as stimulate the local economy by $735 million and create 4,500 jobs.

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Categories: Environmental/SustainabilityLand Use & Zoning (Private)
Tags: Municipal GovernmentChad S. FriedmanGilberto PastorizaClifford A. SchulmanSusan L. TrevarthenSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Fort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Eleventh Circuit Upholds County's Nude Dancing Ban, Despite Strip Club's Unsavory Allegations Against Lower Court Judge

The Eleventh Circuit recently upheld a Spaulding County, Georgia ordinance banning nude dancing in places where alcohol is sold. In holding for the County, the Court also upheld the Order of Summary Judgment by the District Court Jack Camp, a judge who was all-too familiar with the subject matter of after-hours entertainment.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokSusan L. TrevarthenFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Litigators Obtain Victory in North Bay Village First Amendment Challenge

On June 12, Judge Ungaro of the Federal Southern District of Florida, granted the City of North Bay Village's motion for summary judgment seeking the dismissal on standing grounds of a First Amendment challenge to the City's Land Use Code. Applicant Isle of Dreams, Inc., which has indicated that it would like to operate an adult-use nightclub, filed its suit without first applying for and obtaining a decision on a site plan application. Without that, the Court ruled, Isle of Dreams had no standing to raise any constitutional challenges to the City's Land Use Code. Congratulations to WSH litigators Edward G. Guedes, Matthew H. Mandel and Michael S. Popok, and land use attorneys' Stephen J. Helfman, Susan L. Trevarthen and City Attorney Nina L. Boniske on the victory.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentLand Use & Zoning (Private)Constitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentNina L. BoniskeJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFirst AmendmentFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Michael S. Popok

A Sad Day for Growth Management in South Florida

John M. DeGrove, the father of growth management in Florida and many other states, recently passed away at age 87. As one of the hundreds of planners, policymakers and attorneys around the state who got their start working with Dr. DeGrove, I can attest that the state and the planning profession have suffered a great loss. A political scientist by training, he was a planner by choice. While he held high ideals, he was a pragmatist, and more than willing to work across party lines and find consensus on solutions to protect and improve the quality of life in Florida. While we can look back from this point and regret what may not have worked as intended, in large part because it was never funded properly by the Florida Legislature, we must not lose sight of what was accomplished under the 1985 Growth Management Act. The state has chosen to move on from Dr. DeGrove’s brand of growth management, but it will always benefit from the many poor decisions averted and wise decisions nurtured under the policies he fathered.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Awards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)
Tags: Florida Growth Management ActCommunity Planning ActMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentAwards & RecognitionsSusan L. Trevarthen
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen