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Paul R.GougelmanPartner
Paul R.
Gougelman

Partner

Ft. Lauderdale
(954) 763-4242
pgougelman@wsh-law.com

Paul Gougelman is a seasoned local government attorney who handles municipal law, land use, planning and zoning matters for local government clients. His work includes negotiating development agreements and approvals, drafting municipal codes and plans, advising municipal staff, managers and attorneys, handling public hearings and counseling elected officials, and advocating for municipalities on legislative issues.

Paul’s relationships with his clients are longstanding; he has served as Town Attorney for the Town of Indialantic for 30 years, as City Attorney for the City of Melbourne for 18 years, and as Town Attorney for the Town of Melbourne Beach for over two decades.

Paul’s other representations have included:

  • General Counsel for the Space Coast League of Cities
  • Special counsel to the cities of Maitland, Longwood, and Lake Mary
  • Hearing officer for Orange County, Florida
  • City Attorney for the City of Cocoa Beach

As General Counsel for the Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council, Paul helps to shape the discussion on new transportation issues impacting local government, such as autonomous vehicles. The MPOAC is a statewide governmental agency of 27 metropolitan planning organizations. He also serves as General Counsel for the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, and the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Paul also has substantial experience representing community redevelopment districts. He has assisted several cities in creating community redevelopment agencies and has represented those agencies in various municipalities. Paul has experience representing special districts as well, such as the Plantation Acres Improvement District.

A believer in public service, Paul was appointed by three different Florida Governors, both Republican and Democrat, to serve on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council for 13 years, where he chaired the Project Review Committee which provided oversight and regulatory review of more than 30 developments of regional impact. He chaired the Brevard County Charter Commission in the mid-1990s, which brought charter government to Brevard County. County voters had twice rejected a county charter in Brevard County, but the Charter that his Commission wrote received over 60% of the vote.

Paul also served as a member and Chairman of the Brevard County Planning and Zoning Board for many years. In the 1990s, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad, a public ambulance squad with over 100 employees and 500 volunteers. During his stewardship, the Squad was awarded the distinction of being the top ambulance squad in America at the annual Clincon competitions for emergency rescue.

Paul has held leadership positions in The Florida Bar’s Section for Environmental and Land Use Law. He speaks and writes frequently on municipal, planning, zoning and land use issues at bar and continuing education conferences. Originally from Chicago, Paul grew up in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to becoming a member of the Florida Bar, Paul worked for both the Florida House of Representatives and the Broward County League of Cities in the 1970s.

Pauls’ expertise in zoning matters was acknowledged and cited by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal in Lee County v. Sunbelt Equities, II, Ltd. P’ship, 619 So. 2d 996 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993).

Professional & Community Involvement

  • The Florida Bar, City, County and Local Government Section
  • The Florida Bar, Environmental and Land Use Law Section
  • Urban, State, and Local Government Law Section, American Bar Association
  • Brevard County Bar Association

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America®, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2022
  • Fort Lauderdale Illustrated, “Top Lawyer,” 2020
  • Space Coast League of Cities Public Service Award, 2012, 2013
  • Florida League of Cities City Attorney of the Year, 2004
  • Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad Community Service Award, 1994
  • Chairman, Brevard County Charter Commission, 1993-1994
  • Chairman, Brevard County Charter Review Commission, 1997
  • Chairman, Brevard County School Board Search Committee for New Superintendent, 1993
  • Chairman, Brevard County Planning and Zoning Board/Local Planning Agency, 1991, 1992
  • Member, Brevard County Planning and Zoning Board/Local Planning Agency, 1989-1992
  • Governor’s Appointee, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, 1986-1997
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad, Inc., 1994
  • Board of Directors, Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad, Inc., 1990-1992; 1994-1996
  • Seminole County Charter Advisory Committee, 1987
  • American Bar Association, Special Committee on Creative Growth Management Techniques, 1988- 1990
  • Florida Municipal Attorneys Association, 1986 to present
  • Executive Council, Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section, 1983-1987
  • Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce Project 2000 Governance Task Force, 1986
  • Member, City of Orlando, Land Development Code Citizens Review Task Force, 1984
  • Founding Member, American Planning Association, Florida Atlantic Coast Chapter

Academic

  • Adjunct Professor, Land Use Law, University of Central Florida, Brevard County campus, 1994-1999
  • Adjunct Professor, Environmental and Land Use Law, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, 1989-1998
  • Adjunct Professor, Public Administration Law, Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. (Melbourne, Florida campus; 1989-1996)

Representative Experience

  • Attorney of record amicus curiae in the landmark Florida Supreme Court zoning case of Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County v. Snyder, 627 So. 2d 469 (Fla. 1993).  This case changed the entire law of zoning and land use in Florida.
  • Counsel to the Town of Indialantic in its litigation with the Florida Department of Community Affairs of the first comprehensive plan in the State of Florida developed under the landmark 1985 Growth Management Act and Rule 9J-5 proceedings.
  • Attorney of record amicus curiae in the landmark Florida Supreme Court case regarding transportation utility fees in State v. City of Port Orange, 650 So. 2d 1 (Fla. 1994)

Practice Areas

Admissions

Florida, 1981


U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 1983


U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, 1983

Education

Nova University Law Center, J.D., 1980


Florida International University, B.A., Political Science, 1975

Presentations
  • A City Clerk’s Guide to Ordinance Drafting & Legal Notices, Florida Association of City Clerks, 2012, 2014
  • Florida Update: State & Local Government Law, National Business Institute, 2013
  • A City Clerk’s Guide to Florida Statutes, Florida Association of City Clerks, 2011
  • Analyzing the Land Subdivision Process in Florida, National Business Institute, 2007
  • Handling Quasi-Judicial Hearings; Judicial Review of Zoning Decisions, Florida Chamber of Commerce Land Use Seminar, 1995-2003
  • Handling Quasi-Judicial Matters, Florida Chamber of Commerce Land Use Seminar, 1994
  • Handling Cases Before Local Governments:  A Formula for Success, Florida Bar, 1991
Press Mentions
  • Longtime Municipal Attorney Steps Away, Sort of, Florida Today, September 8, 2014
  • Shark Debate Hooks Town, Florida Today, August 28, 2014
  • City Restricts Panhandling, Florida Today, July 9, 2014
  • City Studies Panhandling, Florida Today, May 6, 2014
  • Many Cheer High Court Ruling on Public Prayer, Florida Today, May 6, 2014
  • Minus Adds Diversity to Melbourne City Council, Florida Today, January 17, 2014
  • Goodes Death Continues to Draw Emotional Reactions, Florida Today, December 30, 2013
  • Ocean Avenue Zoning Changes Will Face Review, Florida Today, December 19, 2012
  • Judge Dismisses Ex-Officers Suit Against Chief, Manager, City, Florida Today, October 6, 2012
  • Is Potty Over in Melbourne? Florida Today, September 2, 2012
  • Officers Tapes Scuffle Fuel for Potential Suit, Florida Today, June 2012
  • Beggars Could be Losers if City Rules Enacted, Florida Today, June 12, 2012
  • Bill Gives People Right to Comment, Florida Today, January 15, 2012
  • Sides Settle In Firing of Beach Town Manager, Florida Today, January 4, 2012
  • Food Cart Idea Won’t Fly in Melbourne, Florida Today, December 27, 2011
  • City Attorney: Police Must Follow Specifics in Searches, Florida Today, 2011
  • Truce Ending Water Conflict, Florida Today, May 13, 2011
  • Shoetz, David, Business or Pleasure? Swing Club Showdown, ABC News, April 24, 2008
  • As Road Needs Grow, Impact Fees Surface, Florida Today, May 8, 2006
  • Melbourne Keeps Building Heights in Eau Gallie Area, Florida Today, February 25, 2004
  • Indialantic Swears In Council, Florida Today, November 2003
  • Melbourne Curfew Law Not Unduly Restrictive, Florida Today, September 7, 2002
  • Deed Restricts ARCs Sale, Move, Florida Today, February 12, 2002
  • Residents Fear Loss of Ocean View – Indialantic Breezeway Law Up for Vote, Florida Today, July 14, 2001
  • Melbourne Rejects Cellphone Ban, Florida Today, May 10, 2001
  • Melbourne Settles Ambulance Lawsuit, Florida Today, April 3, 2001
  • Women’s Clinic Zoning May Lead to Lawsuit, Florida Today, August 11, 1998
  • City Council Vote a Tie on Abortion Clinic Zoning Buffer, Florida Today, August 26, 1998
  • Editorial, Melbourne Should Back Off a Fight With Abortion Clinic, Florida Today, August 22, 1998
  • As Condos Rise, So Do Tempers, Florida Today, September 11, 1997
  • Court’s Power Line Decision May Spark Statewide Controversy, Florida Today, May 31, 1997
  • Charter Panel Has Familiar Face at Helm, Florida Today, August 23, 1997
  • Government is More Than a Job to Chairman, Florida Today, January 13, 1994
  • Wanted: A Hero for Wekiva, Florida Today, December 21, 1987
Publications
  • The Death of Zoning As We Know It, Florida Bar Journal, March 1993
  • Impact Fees, Florida Environmental and Land Use Planning Law, 1980
  • Moratoria and Interim Growth Management Control, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law, Florida Bar Continuing Law Education Treatise
  • Impact Fees: National Perspectives to Florida Practice, 4 Nova L.J. 137 (1980)
  • Lack of Annexation Threatens County Areas, Florida Today, May 23, 2000
  • Guest Column, Census:  Brevard Residents Older, Poorer, Florida Today, September 24, 2001
Reported Decisions
  • Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County v. Snyder, 627 So. 2d 469 (Fla. 1993) (amicus curiae counsel for City of Melbourne, Town of Indialantic, and Space Coast League of Cities).
  • State v. City of Port Orange, 650 So. 2d 1 (Fla. 1994) (amicus curiae counsel for Florida Bar/Florida Bar Local Government Law Section)
  • City of Melbourne v. Puma, 630 So. 2d 1097 (Fla. 1994)
  • City of Melbourne v. Puma, 635 So. 2d 159 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994)
  • City of Melbourne v. Puma, 616 So. 2d 190 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993)
  • Battaglia Fruit Co. v. City of Maitland, 520 So .2d 940 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988)

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