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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

WSH Member Susan Trevarthen to Discuss Digital Signs and Billboards at Upcoming Strafford Seminar

WSH Member Susan L. Trevarthen will be speaking at an upcoming live seminar entitled “Digital Signs and Billboards: Crafting and Enforcing Local Regulations.” The seminar will be conducted via phone and the web on Thursday, September 27 from 1 pm to 2:30 pm EST. Affiliates with WSH are eligible to attend the seminar at 50% off. For more information or to register at half price, please call 1-800-926-7926 ext. 10 (mention code: ZDFCT).

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Government AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Municipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysFirst AmendmentElectronic Signs

Fourth DCA Affirms Denial of Writ of Mandamus in Public Records Request; Finds No Abuse of Discretion by Municipality

The Fourth District Court of Appeal recently released a decision that provides municipalities and law enforcement with significant firepower against public records requests for information obtained in criminal investigations. In Harvard v. Village of Palm Springs, 11-1192, the issue was whether the Village of Palm Springs (the "Village") properly withheld law enforcement records, including a juvenile offense report and copy of a videotaped interview. The Fourth District sided with the Village, holding that the release was discretionary under 985.04(3) and that the investigation fell within one of the exemptions set forth in 119.071(2)(h)(1)a-c.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Public RecordsGovernmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida Litigators
Author(s): John J. Quick & 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

The Red Light Camera Diaries: Sarasota County Denies Due Process Challenge Brought by Driver

Last week, we reported that a Polk County judge denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by 40 ticketed drivers challenging red light camera citiations on constitutional grounds.  In that case, the court rejected the drivers' argument that issuance of citations generated by red light camera violations violated the equal protection clausen. On August 29, a County Court judge in Sarasota County denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by a defendant driver who had been issued a red light camera citation. County Court Judge Kimberly Bonnner held that the defendant failed to prove that the issuance of a citation for red light camera violations did not constitute a violation of the due process clause.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentRed Light CamerasRule EnforcementMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellDavid M. WolpinFlorida ConstitutionFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Attorneys Recognized as BestLawyers by National Publication

Each summer, BestLawyers compiles a list of the most reputable attorneys throughout the country. This year, WSH is thrilled to announce that several of its Members and Partners have been selected for "BestLawyers 2013."

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentAppellate Law & PracticeAwards & RecognitionsLand Use & Zoning (Private)
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

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

Florida Courts Continue to Side with Municipalities in Red Light Camera Challenges

Throughout the past year, judges in both Broward and Miami-Dade County have heard challenges to the red light camera systems on constitutional and evidentiary grounds, and have ruled in the municipalities’ favor. This summer, Polk County entertained a similar challenge from more than 40 ticketed drivers, with similar results.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Red Light CamerasRule EnforcementJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSamuel I. ZeskindFort 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 LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation 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

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Tribal Immunity for Miccosukee in Dram Shop Case

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a lower court decision to dismiss a father’s claim against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe for violating state dram shop laws by knowingly serving excessive amounts of alcohol to his daughter, who subsequently died in a fatal car accident. In Furry v. Miccosukee Tribes of Indians of Florida, the Court held that tribal sovereign immunity barred Furry from bringing suit against the Miccosukee Indians.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsUnited States CongressFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara