Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Court slaps down Palmetto Bay's zoning appeal -- more units for Old Cutler Road

DENIED.  The Third District Court of Appeals ruled against the Village of Palmetto Bay.  Having lost - badly - in the efforts on appeal (review via Petitions for Cert for those who want to be sticklers for technicalities) - does the Village have any bargaining power left to negotiate?  

Read the Order released Wednesday, December 13, 2023.

What Could Have Been

The PBVC issue predates the incorporation of Palmetto Bay.  I was in negotiation prior to December 5, 2018.  At that time, the owners of Palmetto Bay Village Center had agreed to preserve the environmentally sensitive land at the front of the property and construct a number that would have been not "the 485,"but rather, a representative for the PBVC offered a compromise number of 450 - 470. I contend that this was their starting point in these negotiations and the unit numbers would have dropped lower.  The representative for the PBVC also mentioned in 2018 that negotiations had been ongoing for 200 -- half of the units -- to be Senior housing units. That's a HUGE offer in regard to traffic reduction.

See: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, About last night (Mon. 10/15/2018) - I continue to work for you to reduce development. The council votes best tell the story.

What Is Now?

Now, after years of expensive litigation, the Palmetto Bay Village Center has won the right to construct a much larger project -- with commercial units in addition to a larger number of residential units. The Village's refusal to negotiate (because, presumably, they wanted to be seen as taking a tough stance against development) has led to massive increases in development. 

What was being contested (a lengthy tortured history):

Palmetto Bay held three different hearings to get to an inartfully crafted resolution denying the zoning application of the Palmetto Bay Village Center. These hearings were held October 18, 2021, November 15, 2021 and January 24, 2022.  The Village spent months preparing the final order (it was not rushed).  The order denying the zoning application was not signed until March 2, 2022.

The applicants (the owners of the Palmetto Bay Village Center - referred to in the litigation as 17777 Old Cutler Road, LLC.  Filed two actions on April 1, 2022 to contest the denial. :

Case number: 2022-006141-CA-01
Case number: 2022-000012-AP-01  (the case discussed in this post)


Things did not go well for the Village of Palmetto Bay before the Appellate Division of the 11th Circuit Court.

The Appellate Division ruled against Palmetto Bay in a strongly worded 31 page opinion that reversed the denial of the PBVC zoning decision.

Palmetto Bay officials sought a rehearing of the opinion, but fared no better in a revised, but just as lengthy 31 page opinion released July 5, 2023.

Feel free to download and review these two opinions.  The opinions in these appeals should be required reading to learn how to follow the law versus denial for the sake of political gain.

The Palmetto Bay Village Center won rounds 2 A & B [the first level "appeal, original opinion (2 A) and rehearing (2 B)].

Palmetto Bay now was tasked with appealing. Its Petition for Writ of Certiorari was filed before the 3rd DCA contesting the Opinion of the Appellate Division of July 5, 2023, which reversed the Village Resolution 2022-05 denying the application. 

The legal grandstanding has floundered. The legal efforts have served only as an expensive waste of tax payer dollars meant more for political grandstanding than actually impacting the Palmetto Bay Village Center application.  It is time to get back to negotiation.

Why did this current mayor - and the current council - refuse to negotiate? Are they scared or simply unskilled?

The representative for the PBVC also mentioned in 2018 that negotiations had been ongoing for 200 half of the units -- to be Senior housing units. That's a HUGE offer in regard to traffic reduction.

See: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, About last night (Mon. 10/15/2018) - I continue to work for you to reduce development. The council votes best tell the story.

More ready about the facts, accurate history and exposing the outright lies relating the the current fix that the current mayor and counsel find themselves in (to be rescued by taxpayer dollars) -See January 27, 2020, Fact Checking the Palmetto Bay Village Center issue. Facts, not conjured up rumors and outright lies. The facts about the Palmetto Bay Village Center. Its not 485, its never been 485.

Final thoughts (a bit silly, but it makes the point):   My advice to the current Mayor, Council Members and Staff: ‘when in a hole (and mayor, you are deep in this hole) STOP DIGGING!’ See the Law of Holes.

From Wikipedia:

When it is said, "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging," it is because digging a hole makes it deeper and therefore harder to get out of. More generally, the adage advises how one should solve problems of their own making.

The second law of holes is commonly known as: "when you stop digging, you are still in a hole."

I am here to help.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Updates on duck trapper gone wild - confrontation leads to violence in Plantation, Broward County FL.

As reported on the WSVN Newscast: The City of Plantation said they would not authorize trappers to go onto somebody’s private property to remove ducks. 

What about Palmetto Bay, when are we going to hear such a statement from the Palmetto Bay officials? Will continued silence from officials lead to self-help by residents or even violence? 

There have been plenty of complaints posted on social media in Palmetto Bay, complaints of trappers going onto private property and even comments regarding threats and aggression from the trappers made to those who try to intervene or complain.  

The trappers in these news reports appear bold when armed with a weapon and against the elderly, but it won’t be long before they trespass onto property where the owner will be better prepared or a younger neighbor or family member rushes to their aid. The trappers (or the resident) will be sorry when one or the other stands their ground. 

Both news report aired on Monday evening, May 15, 2023:

News presentation 1 - Channel 10, Miami, Rosh Lowe reporting (Click link to view the both the video and text reports): Man, 71, left bloody, battered after trying to stop beloved ducks from being removed from property

PLANTATION, Fla. – An elderly Broward County resident said he was punched in the face when he tried to stop people from removing ducks from his neighborhood.

Art Cosgrove told Local 10 News he and his wife have been feeding the ducks for years, but others in the Plantation neighborhood feel the animals are a nuisance and want them gone.

Cosgrove said he was beat up by the people removing the ducks.

“I was on the ground when they were kicking and hitting me with a stick,” he said.

The 71-year-old said he also took a right cross to the face. In video of the incident, he can be heard yelling for them to give him the ducks.

Cosgrove was hospitalized, left a bloody mess and needing staples in his head for one of his wounds. ... 

Follow the headline link to read the complete Local 10 news report or CLICK HERE


News presentation 2 - WSVN 7, Joe Roetz reporting, 2 men attempting to capture ducks from Plantation home accused of beating homeowner when told to leave property


Eventually, one of the men grabbed a net and went after Cosgrove, striking him over and over.

“I am trying to wrestle the other guy off me to get up, and that’s when I got racked in the head a few times with the stick,” Cosgrove said.

The end result was a lacerated head and an apparent black eye.

Cosgrove now has two staples in his skull.

“They tried putting in seven but they kept hitting the skull,” Cosgrove said.

Those men took off.

Cosgrove said he filed a report with Plantation Police with a video from a neighbor after he found out the men told officers down the street they were the victims.

“I wanna file charges against these SOBs,” Cosgrove said. “They assaulted me. I didn’t touch them, and they’re saying I assaulted him? BS.”

The City of Plantation said they would not authorize trappers to go onto somebody’s private property to remove ducks.

Cosgrove claimed that his HOA also did not authorize the man to do this. (Bold emphasis added)

Follow the headline link to read the complete WSVN 7 report or CLICK HERE

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Statement of Eugene Flinn regarding management of wildlife in Coral Reef Park: The truth about the CRP wildlife removal

No Muscovy ducks or Egyptian geese were harmed during any of my three terms as Mayor of Palmetto Bay. This is readily apparent from the receipts for animal removal, which I received from the Village, and which I am attaching. The Village and its council members are well aware that they did not occur during my tenure as mayor, assuming they can read a calendar. 

 For reference, I served on the Palmetto Bay Council from its creation in 2002 until shortly prior to Election Day, 2010. I then took office again in December, 2014 and served until December 4, 2018. I was not in office from November 8, 2010 to December, 2014 or after December 4, 2018. This is when the geese removals took place. 

Removal Receipts During the Stanczyk Administration 

The current Palmetto Manager presented some police and injury reports at the April 17 Council meeting, alleging that the Egyptian Geese (not Muscovy Ducks) were responsible for aggressive behavior. Apparently there were also attorneys who wrote at least one demand letter (I do not know if any suit was filed or it was settled pre-suit, if at all). The receipts for removals that were discussed Monday, April 17, which appeared to cover the following dates: 11-17-2010, 1-03-2011, 4-11-2011, 11-1-2013, 12-5-2013, 1-3-2014 and 4-15-2014 (for service dates of 1-24-14 & 4-16-2014). 

I have undertaken additional research; trying to find the receipts for these alleged trappers. I have itemized the receipts below. The earliest was 11-17-2010 - that removal occurred after my last meeting as Mayor of Palmetto Bay (Second Term). Shelley Stanczyk was sworn in as mayor at the following meeting. She also sat on the council next to me from 2006 – 2010 and served as mayor from 2010 to December 2014. The next receipt was dated April 11, 2011, followed by 11/1/13, 12/5/13, 1/3/2014 and 4/15/2014. 

None of these removals were for Muscovy Ducks. All were for the Egyptian Geese. All but one were during times when I was not in office. I will explain further about removals during my time in office. 

The Only Removals During the Flinn Administration Were Humane Removals/Relocations 

As stated previously, I was not in office from November 2010 through December 2014. 

Back to my first two terms, I was involved in one wildlife re-location with Todd Hardwick; but that was removing Wally the gator from the Perrine Wayside Park (Current Dog Park). I was assured that the gator was to be relocated (and he did qualify for relocation due to his or her size). That capture was featured on Animal Planet, the episode airing in January 2005. It was interesting that I was not made aware of the capture in advance. I was advised by a Miami Herald reporter (pictured above left) who advised me just before it happened. As you can see, I was dressed for court, not gator capture. But I did end up with a story for the hearing which was delayed so I could ensure that the gator was not harmed! 

 I did find a reference of an opossum removal at Coral Reef Park dated 12-11-2009. I was mayor at that time. I do not ever recall being advised of any opossum removal. I would love to hear what it did wrong. Possums are good guys. Perhaps the removal was more to remove a sick or an injured possum or to get it out of a vent or closet rather than a vicious possum running amuck in the park. Regardless, it was not part of an ongoing mission to eradicate opossums. 

I returned to office (Term 3) in December of 2014. Geese were removed at CRP park, but it ended in 2015. Again, I am looking for the reports/documentation relating to parks. Please note the difference in removal that occurred during my Third Term as noted in email of 4-14-2015 from Todd Hardwick of Pesky Critters to CRP Manager Luis Tejeda: 
Pesky Critters can remove geese at Coral Reef Park at a cost of $175 per animal removed. Animals will be placed in captivity
Thank you, 
Todd Hardwick 
(Bold emphasis added) 

I take Todd Hardwick at his word. These animals were not slaughtered. To the contrary, they were placed in captivity. 

The removals stopped cold in 2015 – that is until July 29, 2021, as indicated on the village supplied receipts. The Village has not documented any Muscovy duck removals occurring until recently, at least 3 years after my third term ended. 

But there is more. What concerns me is an 11-19-2021 removal of a fox at Coral Reef Park. What did the fox do? It was probably trying to make a go of it in the 5 acre nature preserve at the park - a place where native animals (such as foxes) should have sanctuary. And, by the way, foxes are predators of Muscovy ducks. Both the ducks and the eggs. Perhaps removal of the fox upset a natural balance going on at the park, keeping the duck population manageable - I cannot recall any complaints from 2015 to November 2018 when I last held office. 

Receipts (provided through the Village of Palmetto Bay) (attached): 
11-17-2010     $ 750.00     10 Geese         Pesky Critters 
04-11-2011     $ 675.00     12 Geese         Pesky Critters 
11-01-2013     $ 572.00      7 Geese         Miami Animal Removal 
12-05-2013     $ 218.00     Swan Goose       Miami Animal Removal 
01-03-2014     $ 236.00     10 Geese         Miami Animal Removal 
04-15-2014     $ 413.00      7 Geese         Miami Animal Removal 
04-15-2015     $ 525.00      3 Geese         Pesky Critters 
04-24-2015     $2,275.00    13 Geese         Pesky Critters – 
                                             SPECIAL NOTE see email 
                                             of 4-14-2015 

SPECIAL NOTE email of 4-14-2015 from Todd Hardwick of Pesky Critters to CRP Manager Luis Tejeda: 
Pesky Critters can remove geese at Coral Reef Park at a cost of $175 per animal removed. Animals will be placed in captivity. 
Thank you, 
Todd Hardwick
(Bold emphasis added) 
Don't leave out this 2021 removal:

07-21-2021     $ 350.00      2 Geese         Pesky Critters 

Please note the difference through price and ultimate resolution regarding the wildlife: 

$ 175.00 for Pesky Critters – the geese were humanely removed and placed into captivity 
$   45.00 for current trappers of Muscovy Ducks – slaughtered and photos of dead ducks circulated. 

Also see the records I pulled from the Palmetto Bay check register. (pictured below)
I am available to answer any follow-up questions regarding this at (305) 302-3713. However, my blanket statement is that any statement that ducks or geese were removed and killed during my terms of office is a slanderous falsehood, as the receipts clearly show this was not the case. 

This is not a political issue. The issue is how our wildlife is treated in Palmetto Bay.