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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Third lawsuit filed against Grove Bay project

A third lawsuit has been filed by activist Grace Solares regarding the Grove Bay waterfront project.  Two lawsuits have been filed by local businessman Steve Kneapler, who claims the City of Miami violated open meeting laws and bidding rules in awarding the job to the Grove Bay developers.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/19/3698956_p2/grove-waterfront-plan-goes-to.html#storylink=cpy

This third suit claims that there were not the usual proper three bids received by the City of Miami for the project. 

The suit also claims that the City-owned waterfront property may be leased only if all of
the following conditions are satisfied:

A) the terms of the lease allows reasonable public access to the water and reasonable public use of the property, and complies with other Charter waterfront setback and view-corridor requirements; and
B) the terms of the lease result in a fair return to the City based on two independent appraisals; and
C) the use is authorized under the existing comprehensive plan of the City; and
D) the procurement methods prescribed by ordinances are observed; and
E) the contract does not exceed five years and does not contain an automatic renewal or termination penalty.

Also, there were no discussions or references during a July 25, 2013 City Commission
Meeting that the proposed lease includes a contractual provision that allows Grove Bay to use this City-owned waterfront property for Casino Gambling as an “other contemplated use” if and when gambling becomes legal in the City of Miami solely upon receiving a favorable vote by the City Commission.

The state requires a municipal referendum ballot summary to be “printed in clear and unambiguous language” and to be “an explanatory statement, not exceeding 75 words in length, of the chief purpose” of the enabling resolution or ordinance. This does not, the ballot question is non-descript.

Here is the ballot question:

"Proposed lease of city-owned waterfront and submerged lands in Coconut Grove 


"Shall the City be authorized to lease approximately 7 acres of waterfront and submerged lands in Coconut Grove to Grove Bay Investment Group, LLC, providing for 1) a minimum of $1.4 million in guaranteed annual rent and 2) approximately $17.9 million of privately funded improvements to redevelop an existing marina and public baywalk, construct restaurants and, partially fund a public parking garage for a 50 year term with two 15 year renewal options? "

The suit states that "The November 5, 2013 Referendum ballot title and ballot summary are misleading, fraudulent and deliberately deceptive because they do not reflect the chief purpose of the enabling resolution, Resolution R-13-0305, which was adopted only for the stated purpose of seeking voter approval pursuant to Charter Section 29-B."

In other words, the City wants the votes, tricking the voters in the process, thereby misleading the voters.

Here is the full lawsuit.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does she have three lawsuits against the city and why does it appear she lost her 2009 lawsuit ?

October 25, 2013 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Do a search on her and a lot more than 3 lawsuits come up. She is definitely the litigious type. Doesn't seem to have won any though. I assume this is some sort of tactic to bring awareness to the stop grove bay effort. Frivolous lawsuits is right in line with the actions of this group. Kind of sad really.

October 25, 2013 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But in fairness to her only 3 in last 18 years, Marlins beat her in 2009 lawsuit, 2010 lawsuit against Science Museum is ???? And now this in 2013.

October 25, 2013 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more than a 5 year lease with no automatic renewal? Are you kidding me? Who in their right mind would spend copious amounts of money to DESIGN AND BUILD and only be allowed to have the property for 5 years?

5 years is even short for a commercial lease on a building build-out. It wouldn't be worth anyone's time with those terms.

October 25, 2013 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think that five years is too short, then change the rules, don't ignore them!!!

October 25, 2013 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our community is better thanks to citizen activists like Grace Solares. Unfortunately, the courts are the last recourse for citizens who watch our elected officials and municipal employees disregard the existing laws governing our city. This is done at considerable time and expense for individuals who receive nothing in return except perhaps some small satisfaction that they did their best to correct a wrong. I hope she is successful and our elected officials realize that next time they want to lease public land they will need to do a better job negotiating a "fair market" deal for the City and follow the law.

October 25, 2013 10:33 PM  

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