Friday, January 18, 2019

Attorneys make their case in Embassy Suites water park decision (SAR)

"Multicolored monstrosity" on trial. Dodgy AKERMAN lawyers bill Miami developer KEY INTERNATIONAL and the DIEGO ARDID FAMILY to beat up on the City of St. Augustine Beach's rational decision, which was based on the evidence. Another case of corporate lawyers run wild. THOMAS INGRAM (PICTURED BELOW with CINDY LAQUIDARA, former Jacksonville City Attorney) was one of the arrogant AKERMAN lawyers who billed the City of St. Augustine some $200,000 to help City Manager WILLIAM BARRY HARRISS avoid and evade arrest for dumping a landfill in a lake. AKERMAN AND HARRISS then argued that the City should be permitted to take 40,000 cubic yards of contaminated solid waste in 2000 truckloads to the south end of Lincolnville, plop dirt on top of it, and call it a "park."

The contaminated solid waste is now in a landfill, and the south end of Lincolnville is Dr. Robert S. Hayling, D.D.S. Freedom Park. Why? Because We, the People stood up to the City of St. Augustine and pompous privileged lawyers from AKERMAN SENTERFITT. Photos below from City of St. Augustine Beach hearing last year, unanimously rejecting "multicolored monstrosity."

Attorneys make their case in Embassy Suites water park decision

The new Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort opened in 2018, but officials (sic) are still trying to add a water slide and play area to the development. [PETER WILLOTT/THE RECORD]

By Sheldon Gardner
Posted at 2:01 AM
January 17, 2019
St. Augustine Record

The city of St. Augustine Beach’s efforts to keep a children’s water park to be built in the Embassy Suites went to the courtroom on Thursday morning.

Attorneys for the city and Key Beach North, the developer, made their cases before Judge Lee Smith in St. Johns County court. It’s not clear when Smith will decide the matter, but he asked attorneys to file proposed orders by Feb. 1.

Embassy Suites opened in late 2018 on the beachfront at the north end of A1A Beach Boulevard, and it caused controversy in the community over its size.

In June, the City Commission rejected a proposal to change the development agreement to allow for a water park. Among other factors, city officials said the structure was out of character for the beach and out of character for the original development agreement, which proposed a “peaceful resort environment.”

Concerns about the water park included its height because land at the site is elevated. Though the equipment is 28 feet tall, it would reach more than 40 feet into the air, planning board Chair Jane West said in 2018.

Key Beach North appealed the Commission’s denial to Circuit Court and is seeking a decision by the judge to force the city to allow the water park. If Smith decides against the city, the matter could also be sent back to the city for another review.

The arguments focused on whether the Commission appropriately applied City Code in rejecting the park.

Attorney Cindy Laquidara, who represented Key Beach North, said water slides are allowed in commercial areas and the water slide meets requirements of code such as height and setbacks. She said the city applied rules that weren’t objective, and that the city can’t apply arbitrary findings to turn down a development feature allowed by City Code.

“The criteria isn’t that people show up and they don’t like it,” she said. “That can’t be the criteria.”

Mulligan said City Code backs the Commission’s decision to turn down the water park in part because it doesn’t fit the character of the area, which he described as “pristine.” As Mulligan spoke, renderings of the water slide were shown.

“This multicolored monstrosity is proposed to be put on the northeast corner of their property. ... (A provision in city regulations allows) the city of St. Augustine Beach to prevent something that doesn’t fit in,” he said.

No comments: