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Monday, August 19, 2013

SSN: Martin County Taxpayers Are Being Told NOT to Want Their Money Back

Martin County Taxpayers Are Being Told NOT to Want Their Money Back

By: NANCY SMITH | Posted: August 18, 2013

Richard Grosso, the environmental attorney ordered by the 1st District Court of Appeal to repay court costs because he filed a frivolous appeal may not have to pay back the taxpayers of Martin County after all.

You heard right. Tough as times are, Martin County commissioners are being asked to waive the court's sanctions -- that is, forgive repayment of a bill that falls somewhere between $11,000 and $35,000. Numbers vary widely. The point is, they might do it.

The case it involves was a commission vote in 2009 to reduce the minimum lot size on 191,000 agricultural acres in western Martin County from 20 to 2 acres. The idea was to pave the way for clustered development, an avenue for saving green space and allowing rural property owners to trade large parcels for development credits.

Grosso and his clients, 1000 Friends of Florida and Martin County Conservation Alliance, didn't like it and, even though it's almost universally considered a good and ecological thing and sound policy to help the damaged Everglades, they sued Martin County, the Florida Department of Community Affairs and various development interests. They lost. And they were sanctioned for wasting everybody's time and money.


It might not have been a landmark case, but it was close, striking a knockout blow to all who would raise "meritless appellate arguments on the chance they will 'stick.'"

Read the column at Sunshine State News...


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