Golfing and high-end shopping are two major amenities most Florida residents and tourists associate with the town of Naples. As is common in cities that have been around since the 1800s, parking spots are not always easily accessible even when efforts to update city architecture have been made. This issue has sparked real estate disputes between commercial property owners and city administrators.
The parties involved appear to be headed to trial as they have been unable to resolve their disagreements regarding an administrative decision that city officials made to grant parking credits to two property owners who plan to renovate one of Naples’ oldest buildings. Another area business owner filed a lawsuit regarding the decision, saying it was made without proper public disclosure and due process. The plaintiff also said that by granting these particular property owners more than 75 parking credits, city officials have given an unfair competitive advantage to those parties as their future customers will no doubt be using spaces at other businesses for parking as the building itself has no available off-street parking space.
An attorney representing the city explained that current building development codes allow for nonconforming uses regarding parking spaces, and the city’s planning director made an administrative decision that aligns with all pertinent codes. The attorney also said the defendants are arguing whether a structure erected in the mid-1900s, before any building codes existed, can be legally bound to current day parking requirements. The situation has remained unresolved and has gone through several rounds of litigation since 2011.
The city’s attorney stressed the fact that although all business owners or Florida residents may not always be happy with administrative decisions, it does not give people the right to second guess such decisions. In the meantime, any other business owner or private resident facing real estate disputes may want to take similar steps to resolve their problems by reaching out for legal support. This is often the swiftest means for achieving a satisfactory outcome.
Source: naplesnews.com, “Dispute over parking for historic Naples building headed to trial”, Laura Layden, April 23, 2018