Florida’s Bert Harris Jr. Property Rights Act of 1995 may soon become familiar to islanders.
First on the mark with a letter of intent regarding a Bert Harris Jr. property rights action June 6 were Mark McClean and wife Kathy Hayes.
On June 11, the city received a notice that Erik Abrahamson will file a Bert Harris Jr. claim for four properties he owns in the city. Attorney Scott Rudacille of Blalock Walters, P.A., of Bradenton, represents Abrahamson.
That same day, the city received a letter from attorney Sean Kelly, an associate at Najmy Thomson, P.L., of Bradenton, representing the owner of 101 Willow Ave. and 881 N. Shore Drive, that his clients will file a Bert Harris Jr. action.
Percycoe said the letters are not lawsuits, but they do put the city on notice. The city can settle the owners’ complaints without legal action, she said.
Mayor SueLynn said the deadline to file a claim against the city with regard to the June 2013 passage of Ordinance 13-754 was June 8. “The letters were just to meet the deadline,” she added.
The subject ordinance changed the living space allowance of a single-family home and established living-area ratios for each level of living space.
Although no plans to add or change the living space at 101 Willow Ave. or 881 N. Shore Drive have been filed with the building department, Kelly claims the ordinance prevents his client from future earnings on the investment in the home.
“The ordinance decreased market value, income stream, and net present value of the property, and my client is entitled to damages for the loss of its reasonable investment backed expectations in the amount of $342,000,” he wrote.
The Willow Avenue property is owned by Shawn and Jennifer Kaleta and KPI 48th Street Development LLC. The North Shore Drive property is owned by Gulf View Retreat LLC, which is registered to Louis Najmy.
Rudacille said his client wanted to work with the city “in the spirit of cooperation” to achieve “the purpose of the ordinance as envisioned by the city.”
Abrahamson’s properties are at 104 Magnolia Ave., 607 N. Bay Blvd., 857 N. Shore Drive and 508 Spring Ave.
Kelly said his clients intend to file a lawsuit “in 180 days and collect damages, if necessary, unless the city makes my client a reasonable offer to settle this claim.”
SueLynn said she referred the notices to city attorney Jim Dye and had no comment.
The notice from McClean/Hayes asks the city to review a variance for an elevator at the couple’s home at 114 Tern St.
Commissioners at their June 12 work session agreed to give the owners of the properties that gave notice until June 26 to file for a variance to the LAR.