Florida Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure Manual 10th Edition Released

The Florida Bar and LexisNexis have released the Tenth Edition of the Florida Eminent Domain Practice and Procedure Manual.  Gaylord Merlin partners Andrew Diaz, Blake Gaylord, Cary Gaylord, and Lorena Ludovici were contributing authors to the publication.  In addition, Andrew Diaz served as Chair of the manual’s steering committee.

The manual provides a comprehensive overview of current legal practice, including a detailed review of proceedings from both the condemnor’s and condemnee’s perspective.  The new edition contains the following:

  • Updated statutes, rules, and case law.
  • Newly revised Introduction by the current Chair of the Eminent Domain Committee of The Florida Bar.
  • Discussion of of hot topics, including:
    • Rights and ownership interests in funds deposited in the court registry, and any interest earned.
    • Excessive litigation by a condemning authority, and the entitlement of additional fees and costs in excess of the typical benefits-based fee.
    • Judicial split regarding severance damages valuation and the proper time to object to an inconsistent verdict.
    • The intentional imposition of, or maintaining, zoning in order to lower property values.
    • Attorney’s fees and what constitutes a “first offer” for purposes of calculating the benefit achieved.
    • The 2015 Florida Legislature’s amendments to Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act. Ch. 2015-142, Laws of Florida.

For more information or to order a copy of the manual, visit the LexisNexis website.

FDOT Updates to “Reset” TBX Plan

The FDOT recently updated Hillsborough County leaders on the “Reset” TBX plan, a $6-billion project that plans to expand the area interstates by adding express toll lanes.  One update discussed was a possible expansion to rails by adding mass transit as part of Tampa’s transportation plan.  FDOT plans to gather feedback from the public over the next two years before implementing any changes.  This is a change from when the plans were initially announced.  FDOT is now focusing on engaging the community with respect to TBX and plans moving forward.

Gaylord Merlin Sponsors 2017 Lay of the Land Conference

Gaylord Merlin Ludovici & Diaz proudly sponsored the 2017 Lay of the Land Conference hosted by Saunders Real Estate in Orlando, Florida March 17, 2017.  The conference featured informative sessions on topics related to Florida real estate, the economic outlook, and Florida land values, and included a conversation with Governor Jeb Bush.

To learn more about the annual conference, visit the Lay of the Land Conference website.

Dean Saunders conf.

dean saunders 3

Hillsborough Commissioners Approve $812 million, 10-Year Transportation Plan

Hillsborough County Commissioners recently  approved a 10 year, $812 million transportation plan. The majority of the funds are to be used for maintenance, safety and the widening and construction of new roads. In fact,  approximately $346 million is to be spent on roads to relieve traffic congestion. Critics of the plan are concerned that it does not sufficiently address transit options such as buses, street car or other transit programs.  For more information, click here.

Florida Governor Rick Scott Proposes $10.8 Billion in Recommended Budget for FDOT

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s state budget proposal for fiscal year 2017-2018 includes $10.8 billion for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).  The majority of the funds will go to road projects. About 6 percent of the budget will go to public transit development grants and less than half a percent will be spent on bike and pedestrian trails.

Governor Scott’s recommended allocations include:

  • $4.1 billion for construction of highway projects
  • $178.2 million in seaport infrastructure improvements
  • $257.8 million for aviation improvements
  • $300.8 million for scheduled repair of 61 bridges and replacement of 16 bridges
  • $978.2 million for maintenance and operation
  • $618 million for public transit development grants
  • $175.6 million for safety initiatives
  • $82.7 million for bike and pedestrian trails

For more information, click here and here.

FDOT Changes Direction on Future Howard Franklin Bridge

As a result of harsh reaction over a previous Howard Franklin Bridge design proposal, which did not call for an increase in the number of lanes, FDOT has unveiled a new plan which calls for two bridges with a total of 10 lanes, two of which are to be toll express lanes. The new bridge is designed and will be constructed  in a manner that will support future mass transit.  Construction is expected to begin in 2019. The improvements to Howard Franklin Bridge is part of the larger Tampa Bay Express project  (TBX). Other portions of the overall TBX project have been delayed and are under further review.

Gaylord Merlin represents several owners whose properties will be needed for the TBX project.

 For more information, click here and here.



Gaylord Merlin Supports Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay’s Annual Tennis Tournament

gm-teamAttorneys and staff at Gaylord Merlin participated in an annual tennis tournament to benefit the Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay, a non-profit that supports children in foster care who need additional support in finding families due to factors of age, race, and children with special needs.  Over the past three years, tennis tournament participants have donated over $60,000 to the Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay.  Congratulations to the Gaylord Merlin team, who finished first place in the tournament!

To learn more about the organization, visit the Children’s Board Heart Gallery website.

Gaylord Merlin Secures Full Compensation to Florida Property Owner

Gaylord Merlin recently secured full compensation to a property owner of more than  $1,600,000 for the taking of approximately 3,400 sf from a grocery anchored shopping center located in St. Lucie County, Florida. The major issue in the case was the loss of parking as well as the impacts to the configuration of the parking spaces caused by the taking. Before the taking, the shopping center’s parking lot was laid out with angled spaces. However, FDOT took the position that the loss of parking spaces could be mitigated by reconfiguring the parking layout to 90 degree non-angled parallel parking spaces.

Gaylord Merlin was successful in arguing the there was a loss in parking and the angled parking configuration needed to remain as they are required by the lease terms with the grocery tenant, are considered safer, and preferred by most retail users and consumers. As a result of Gaylord Merlin’s efforts the property owner was compensated for the taking and for damages related to the impacts to the remaining property.