Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger
On September 17, City Attorney Tammi Bach filed an amended complaint for declaratory judgment to again attempt to resolve the long standing property dispute between the City of Fernandina Beach and Patricia C. Toundas. Ownership of property located west of the Duryee Building (Marina Restaurant) at the corner of Centre and North Front Streets is considered a public access by the City, but Toundas believes otherwise.
A portion of the Declaratory Judgment follows:
Actions for Declaratory Judgment
8. This is an action for Declaratory Judgment and for supplemental legal and equitable relief pursuant to Chapter 86, Florida Statues.
9. The CITY is an interested party whose legal rights and privileges are affected by Ordinance 258 (the “Ordinance”) and its interpretation. [Click here for previous story.] The CITY retains ownership of that portion of North Front Street not vacated by the Ordinance and described as a ten foot wide strip of land immediately west of Lots 1,2,3 and 4 of Block No. 1 of said City.
10. The CITY seeks to have this Court construe the Ordinance and the precise location of that portion of North Front Street still considered a public street and not vacated by Ordinance 258 as “a ten foot wide driveway paralleling the westerly sidewalk line of Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Block No. 1 of said CITY” (hereinafter referred to as “City Right-of-Way”).
11. The CITY has an interest in improving and maintaining the City Right-of-Way for the use and benefit of the public and prays that the Court will declare that the intend of the Ordinance is to reserve the described portion of North Front Street as public right-of-way for the use and benefit of the public.
12. TOUNDAS, her tenants, guests, and others have used the City Right-of-Way for parking vehicles and otherwise obstructed the City Right-of Way over the years.
13. TOUNDAS has not paid ad valorem property taxes on the City Right-of Way.
14. The adverse legal interests of the parties are of sufficient immediacy and materiality to warrant a Declaratory Judgment.
15. TOUNDAS has frustrated and deterred the CITY in the exercise of its statutory right and privileges by using the City Right-of-Way, whereby preventing the CITY from making improvements to the City Right-of -Way to benefit the public.
16. The CITY retains ownership of that portion of North Front Street not vacated by the Ordinance described as a ten foot wide strip of land west of Lots 1,2,3, and 4 of Block 1 of said CITY.
17. The CITY asks that this Court to reserve jurisdiction to provide further relief as the Court deems necessary and property.
September 17, 2013 2:15 p.m.