BB-HB-Sandpiper 27th Street dispute is finally over

It’s officially over.

According to Bradenton Beach Mayor John Shaughnessy, the documents with a judge’s signature dismissing the long-standing 27th Street dispute between Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach were delivered July 2 to the two city attorneys.

“I have been in contact with our city attorney Ricinda Perry,” said Shaughnessy at a July 3 special meeting. “The dismissal regarding the fence dispute with Holmes Beach has been signed, so it’s over.”

Promises that the lawsuit would be concluded “soon” have been plentiful for many months but, according to Shaughnessy, that day has come.

The dispute began in 2008 when a prior Bradenton Beach city commission granted a quitclaim deed on the city’s northern border with Holmes Beach to Sandpiper Resort mobile home park.

Holmes Beach disputed Bradenton Beach’s right to do so, but took no action until 2011, when a now-former Holmes Beach commissioner with property on the Holmes Beach side of the fence led a charge for litigation after Sandpiper installed fences, a locked gate and private property signs to prevent access to the mobile home park.

The two cities were required to attempt to mediate the dispute themselves before filing a lawsuit. A resolution was never reached and Holmes Beach filed a lawsuit about a year ago to nullify the 27th Street quitclaim.

Initial hearings over the matter didn’t go in favor of Holmes Beach, represented by city attorney Patty Petruff, but the city was afforded the opportunity to amend its complaint.

Between a rough start in court and the November elections that swept in two new commissioners and a mayor, all who pledged to end the dispute during the campaign, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach began a new round of talks to resolve the matter.

The two cities came to terms, but Sandpiper also was named as a codefendant in the lawsuit. Garnering a three-way agreement lengthened the settlement process.

Ultimately, Holmes Beach agreed to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning the city cannot file a similar action in the future.

Four years of dispute and two years of legal action have left the quitclaim in place, cost taxpayers in both cities thousands of dollars and Sandpiper residents maintain the right to preserve the integrity of their property.

The 27th Street border is used by the mobile home park for overflow parking and it remains a utility easement.

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