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MARCH 6, 2015
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WATSON ISLAND COURT HEARING
RESIDENTS OF VENETIAN CAUSEWAY CONTINUE THEIR FIGHT OVER THE FLAGSTONE PROJECT
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Yesterday was a key hearing on the key issue of standing for the group of Venetian Causeway residents suing the City of Miami over the Watson Island Flagstone Project.


In the first hearing Judge Spencer Eig agreed with the City and dismissed their complaint, but gave the group leave to amend which they did. The hearing was to argue whether the amended complaint filed by the residents was strong enough to convince Judge Monica Gordo to reverse Jusge Eig’s original ruling.


While the entire hearing is important to watch, I know that many of you have short attention spans, so I urge you to at least watch the preliminary arguments over the discover of new documents allegedly withheld by the City that reveal that contrary to their claims that the Flagstone Company had a legal permit from the City prior to the June 2, 2014 deadline that required them to start construction, the truth is that a permit was not acquired in August of 2014.


Despite a consistent body of Florida cases holding that any affected citizen can challenge a violation of a city's charter. the City of Miami doesn't see it that way the City and its army of lawyers are aggressively using the issue of "standing" as their first line of defense to block any legal action by citizens challenging the City's decision.


In this case the City's lawyers are pushing even more aggressively. They have argued that no citizen, regardless how serious or unique his or her injury from the project, has standing to challenge these charter violations.


The City is taking the position that "the appropriate public official" or the "Florida attorney general" are the only people who have standing if there is no constitutional violation alleged.  Of course they cite no cases where an official actually challenged a charter violation.  


The City's absurd argument would leave cities and counties able to violate their charters at will with no citizen or court oversight and in the case of Watson Island continue the outrage of the City's pattern of blocking public participation, refusing to account for the impacts of the project, and breaking one law after another to support the developer.  


I apologize for the bad angle on the presentations, but it’s the arguments that merit attention.

For more information, and to support this fight against the City of Miami, click HERE.