In Government, Litigation, News & Updates


Laura Wendell and Susan Trevarthen, as co-counsel with John Lukacs, secured a litigation victory for the City of Coral Gables and the Historic Preservation Board of the City of Coral Gables.   The plaintiff had sued the City and Board in a single count complaint seeking compensation under the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act, arguing that it was entitled to $5 -$10 million in damages.  The plaintiff owns property which features a residence dating from 1966, designed by the internationally renowned architect, Alfred Browning Parker.   Plaintiff claimed that it was entitled to Harris Act damages by reason of the City’s designation of its property as a local historic landmark in 2012 and subsequent denial of plaintiff’s request to demolish the residence in 2014.   The Court granted final summary judgment in favor of the City on the grounds that the Harris Act precludes a cause of action as to application of any “law, rule, regulation or ordinance which was enacted on or before May 11, 1995.”  Even though the City’s historic designation of the property and denial of plaintiff’s request to demolish occurred recently, the Court agreed that, because the City had applied decades-old legislation, summary judgment was warranted.

Start typing and press Enter to search