Judge denies county bid to void Bradenton Beach resolution

Chalk up a court win for developer Shawn Kaleta and the city of Bradenton Beach over Manatee County’s pursuit of a sewer line easement.

Twelfth Circuit Judge Lon Arend, ruling Aug. 21, denied a county motion for a partial summary judgment based on the imprecise wording of a 2001 city resolution.

The resolution was thought to have abandoned city plans for an undeveloped portion of Bay Shore Drive and increased the frontage of about 35 lots adjacent to Sarasota Bay from Fifth to 11th streets south.

The county sued in August 2017, seeking an easement to prevent damage to a 40-year-old gravity sewer pipe buried 10 feet under three Kaleta-affiliated properties — 112 11th St. S., owned by BB Bayfront LLC; 114 11th St. S., owned by 114 11th Street LLC; and 116 11th St. S.

The clay sewer main also runs under some condominium units with multiple owners, but only the three Kaleta entities were named in the suit.

At an Aug. 9 hearing, the county contended the city misidentified the street’s name and failed to meet a condition in the resolution to deed back public utility easements. The city and Kaleta attorneys argued against ruling on technicalities.

The city and Kaleta attorneys also argued for owners of other properties to be notified of the suit.

In another court move Aug. 22, the county subpoenaed Kaleta attorney Louis Najmy, seeking all documents in his possession relating to three Kaleta properties.

Najmy said Aug. 29 he plans to comply with the subpoena but is evaluating his response and what might be overly broad or burdensome.

Kathy Prucnell