Golf Course Litigation
January 25, 2005, 2:04 AM
Filed under: Development, Golf Courses

January 24, 2005

Hollywood resident Brion Blackwelder has filed a lawsuit against the City of Hollywood and the City’s CRA that if successful could bring a halt to the fast-tracked highly incentivized downtown development being pushed by the City Commission and CRA.

The City filed a motion to dismiss the Blackwelder suit. A hearing was held before Judge Fleet on April 7, 2005, with the result that Mr. Blackwelder has 20 days to amend his complaint and the city then has 20 days to respond.

Meanwhile, the City has not received the permits and grant funds it needs for adding the water features to the golf course and has now added another year to its timetable for constructing the drainage and pumping facilities it wants to place on the course.

The complaint as originally filed alleges that the City’s plan to use 16 acres of the Hollywood Beach Golf and Country Club golf course as a storm water retention and drainage area for the planned downtown development is unlawful on a number of counts.

The plaintiffs are Blackwelder as an individual, and all Hollywood residents as a class, claiming that we would lose not only legally protected public outdoor recreation uses of significant golf course acreage but also the public right to referendum that the City Charter mandates before the City may “sell or otherwise dispose” of various kinds of real property including recreational facilities.

With the City rushing ahead to begin constructing the storm water, drainage, and pumping facilities in the golf course as early as March 2005, in order to accommodate runoff from the condo towers and related downtown development, this legal challenge comes none too soon.

All of us who question the massive Young Circle high-rises the City is proposing to surround and intrude on our historic downtown, with almost no planning to accommodate this level of growth, are indebted to our neighbor Brion Blackwelder for undertaking this legal challenge to the city’s intention to place 16 acres of public recreational space in servitude to downtown development.

The case has been assigned to Broward Circuit Court Judge Leonard Fleet. Read the original complaint for additional information. Any questions should be directed to Mr. Blackwelder’s attorney, Rebecca Taylor, 954-461-6202

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