Is it State or Privately Owned property? The State does not know for sure. They admitted this in different meetings that have taken place with our attorneys over the past few years.
There is a procedure called "discovery" when you are involved in a lawsuit. Our attorneys have come across some documents that indicate the State is at best, unsure of their position of ownership of the upland property. And an additional document stating the Critical Wildlife Area may have been organized illegally. Kurt and I have these documents.
The State made it pretty clear to our attorneys that they would like to avoid an ownership battle. Kurt and I were asked by the Florida DEP what we wanted. Did we want to own the property or did we want access to the beach? We already owned enough sand and didn't need more, we agreed that our primary interest was and is access to the beach.
So now it starts to become a little more clear why the State and the FDEP have been our allies through this process. We don't think the State really cares who owns the property, but the State would like to keep the CWA intact, and that can only happen if the State retains ownership of the property.
The Town doesn't seem to realize that if they continue to push against our walkover and continue to ignore all the findings of fact from the Administrative Law Judge's ruling, they are going to force a battle over the ownership of the land and very possibly destroy the CWA.
The State and FDEP and Corps of Engineers probably know what is in the best interest of the area, but the Town continues to ignore their recommendations.
The Florida Audubon Society appears to be pushing the Town management and Council members to block our project simply because they just don't like it.
It appears the Town is being manipulated by a select few members of a special interest group living in the community and could end up having disastrous results for the CWA's future.
The Upland Property owners were never compensated for their property taken by the State for the CWA