The Estero Boulevard residents were pursuing the Bert Harris claim after being denied a special exception to build a dune walkover behind their homes to give them access to the beach.
Eddie Rood and Kurt Kroemer claimed that by denying their request for a special exception their homes were worth less than they are with direct access to the beach. They say they had beach access and lost it as the Critical Wildlife Area moved and grew over time.
In 1995 the State of Florida enacted the Bert J. Harris Jr. Private Property Protection Act that created a new cause of action for aggrieved property owners. If property owners could demonstrate that a governmental action “inordinately burdens” their property, they would be entitled to some form of compensation.
Rood and Kroemer released a joint statement after ending the lawsuits. “After a long standing disagreement with the past leadership of the Town of FMB, Kurt and I made the decision to move forward in an attempt to repair our relationship with the new leadership. I made the decision to dismiss the ADA claim against the Town, and Kurt and I both are dropping our Burt J Harris claim against the Town. With the devastating situation both the town and the community are working through, it is Kurt’s and my wishes that we can all join together in a common and productive direction and move forward as partners with the new Town of FMB.”
Town attorney John Herin, in a letter to the Fort Myers Beach Town Council, stated that that the Bert Harris withdrawal coupled with the Voluntary Notice of Dismissal with Prejudice of Rood’s ADA appeal, “effectively concludes all adversarial proceedings between Mr. Kroemer and Mr. Rood and the Town.”
The current town council recently voted to approve the special exception for Rood and Kroemer to build their walkover. Florida Audubon then filed a lawsuit against the town and the homeowners to try to block the structure from being built. Now, the town and Rood and Kroemer are working together in the fight with the Audubon.
Glad to hear this. Peaceful resolution are often better than confrontation. Well done.
This is a good thing. Property owners and the town should work together for common goals through compromise rather than force a legal battle. It is refreshing to see the new leadership of the town working to achieve this balance rather than the previous leaderships adversarial treatment of its residents.