Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Interesting - MUST - read - transcripts received relating to 2 attorney client meetings - the insider discussion of the Palmetto Bay Village Center litigation.

Why is it that information is not easily accessible in Palmetto Bay?

Palmetto Bay once had a litigation page where concerned residents were informed as to status of ongoing litigation, The transcripts were due to be released as the litigation had ended.  The case: 17777 OLD CUTLER ROAD, LLC VS VILLAGE OF PALMETTO BAY, FLORIDA ET AL, Case number: 2022-000012-AP-01, was final, litigation was at an end, upon the denial of the pending motions for rehearing by the Third District Court of Appeal on March 15, 2024.  The Mandate was issued April 4, 2024.  see my prior related blog post of December 13, 2023, Court slaps down Palmetto Bay's zoning appeal. The Opinion denying the Petition (appeal) was released December 13, 2023 (but was not final until the motions for rehearing were resolved).

I have posted two transcripts relating to the litigation involving the Palmetto Bay Village Center.  I have transcripts for April 3, 2023, and December 18, 2023.  Please click on the links to download and read for yourself.

What Could Have Been

We could have dropped the number to as low as 389 - but that takes negotiation, and the record reflects that Mayor Cunningham and her group won't negotiate.  They have delayed this issue for many years - refusing to make decisions and instead pushing this off to the courts, which conveniently provides the current mayor and the current council with  more people to blame.  Listen to them - read the transcripts - they blame everyone but themselves.  They could have successfully defended a well managed hearing with a proper denial - but look to the July 5, 2023 opinion - it details how not to manage any zoning issue, especially one so critical to our village!

The courts will not craft a compromise deal.  Its win loss - and Mayor Cunningham, and the Village lost - big! Litigation is not cheap. There is a very good reason why so many refer to litigation as the sport of kings. But hey, this is not their money.  It is ours.  

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.  An ordinance proposed and passed by then Council Member David Singer reduced the number to below 400 units. 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.

1 comment:

  1. Not surprised, Palmetto Bay has a track record of losing litigation in recent years. Hopefully, the units built will be upscale considering the location. PBVC should offer to educate the public on the planned development, perhaps like a grand opening.