Hi folks. Let's talk some South Florida wins and losses this Tuesday.
First, Bilzen gladiator William K. Hill scored an impressive victory the other day, obtaining an order of dismissal in a case over the recalled Graco "Simplicity" cribs. I can't for the life of me follow the reasoning of the district judge but hey, maybe he was channeling my man, Death from Above, The Siberian Bull.
Second, one of our favorite local lawyers, former Miami City Attorney Jorge L. Fernandez, loses another one, this time involving the controversial Coconut Grove 300 Grove Bay Residences project:
You can read the opinion here.
The city's April 2007 approval ran afoul of state zoning laws on several fronts, the judges ruled in a 10-page opinion that was filed May 7 and began circulating Monday.
Mayor Manny Diaz had improper discussions with the developer ''away from the public earshot,'' and the project would be wildly out of character for the neighborhood, the judges found. The towers would be built on bayside property adjacent to Mercy Hospital.
The plaintiffs who filed suit to overturn the condo project included backers of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. They argued that the condos -- slated to reach as high as 308 feet -- would spoil the museum's picturesque views.
''The court got it right,'' said Stephen Darmody, an attorney representing museum supporters. ``The city here simply did not pay adequate attention to the requirements of the law.''
The decision was a jarring setback for Related, which has emerged as one of the state's most prominent builders.
Related Group attorney Elliot Scherker said it was too soon to comment on whether the company would appeal.
''We believe that this project was properly approved,'' Scherker said. ``We respect the court's opinion, and we're considering our options at this point.''
Congrats to Steve and the legal team over at SHB that pulled off this win-win, one that is actually good for our community and for those who live and practice here.