The Town Council was presented with the same information that we presented to the LPA Board the month before. Keep in mind that we got a 7-0 favorable decision recommending our project. The only difference in the Council meeting compared to the LPA meeting is that Florida Audubon members were present at the Council meeting.
The attorney for Florida Audubon began by explaining that the Council was not bound by the Administrative Law Judge's ruling and they could vote their own minds. They were told the ALJ had no say in the Town's ordinances and therefore, the Council was not bound by his ruling in their vote regarding our request.
The Florida Audubon attorney gave them correct information, the Council could vote as they please, but what the Audubon attorney did not explain to the Council members was, continuing forward, with regard to all lawsuits filed by Kurt and I , the Administrative Law Judge's ruling will hold up in court and the Town will be held to the Judge's ruling of law.
During the Council meeting, Florida Audubon presented pictures of birds that were not from our property and testimony from Audubon members that had nothing to do with Kurt's and my properties. Totally bogus information.
It was obvious that there were Council members who had made up their minds long before the Council meeting to vote on our project. Let me point out that Kurt and I attempted to meet with the appointed members of the LPA and the elected Council members at our homes. Six of the seven LPA members met with Kurt and I, but only three of the Council members came to our homes to physically see the site and visit with us about our project.
The two that refused to come, voted against our project, substantiating our thoughts that these two had already made up their minds regarding how they would vote prior to the meeting. We are told that one of the Council members is very good friends with the local Florida Audubon representative.
Kurt and I made multiple requests to her to come visit and look at our project with no results. I hope you can see how it appears the Florida Audubon has influenced the Town Management and some of the Council members to fight for the Florida Audubon's cause.
The result of the Council meeting was a three to two vote to DENY our Special Exception. You can view the Council meeting at the link below. Our Special Exception request starts at 1:53 and ends 5:23 minutes. You can fast forward and rewind to view any portion of the meeting.
Link to Council meeting at bottom of text at left.