The fight over a 1,491 foot boardwalk to the beach rages on. Earlier this week, Fort Myers Beach Town Attorney John Herin told the Local Planning Agency that the Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit homeowner Eddie Rood filed against the town was dismissed by the court. Rood says that’s a lie.
Rood has been fighting the town for a special exception to build the walkover to the beach after, he says, he lost access to the beach due to the changing beach landscape behind his home. The town has denied his request because, they claim, the walkover would negatively impact a Critical Wildlife Area behind his home. He filed the ADA lawsuit back in January.
Rood has also threatened the town with a Bert Harris lawsuit. That lawsuit would claim that through the town’s actions – denying them access to the beach – the value of his home has been devalued by a substantial amount of money.
The town filed a motion to have Rood’s ADA lawsuit dismissed based on the following three reasons:
#1) that Rood did not request an accommodation from the Town.
#2) that Rood’s request for a dune walkover for beach access is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
#3) the town asserts that Rood’s claim for declaratory relief should be dismissed.
In this case, the town is being represented by The League of Cities, as part of its annual membership. Here’s what Herin told the LPA earlier this week. “The League of Cities have initially successfully argued for a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff has re-filed the lawsuit. Would not be surprised if the league of Cities files another motion to dismiss for failure to state a causal action. And, we’ll see what happens.”
Rood says the motion to dismiss was never granted as Town Attorney John Herin told the LPA. He says he originally filed his lawsuit vaguely so he could re-file the suit after hearing the town’s response. And that’s what he’s done.
In the ADA lawsuit, Rood says “As a result of defendant’s acts and omissions, Ed Rood suffered humiliation, embarrassment, inconvenience, restraint on his liberty, harm to his reputation, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages. Plaintiff also sustained out-of-pocket expenditures.”
You can read his new filing HERE.
The town has already spent over $500,000 fighting Rood and the walkover.