Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger
August 23, 2014 10:35 a.m.
An annexation dispute between the City of Fernandina Beach and The Village Center at Gateway to Amelia Condominium Association is over. According to City Attorney Tammi Bach, representatives from Gateway to Amelia have “dismissed their annexation appeal.”
The Order of Dismissal filed with the court on August 18, 2014 stipulates that “each party will bear its own attorney’s fees and costs.” City Attorney Bach used no outside counsel and represented the City arguing as reported on May 22, 2014 , “the area in question is reasonably compact and contiguous to existing city boundaries; that its annexation does not create an enclave; the action meets all statutory requirements; and that the property owners have been the beneficiaries of city sewer service since executing the annexation agreements.”
Attorney Mollie M. Garrett represented the plaintiff, Gateway to Amelia. The “Dismissal is with Prejudice” a legal term meaning no further legal action can be taken.
Ron Flick of Compass Group was an outspoken critique of the annexation. Flick and Attorney Molly Garrett appeared before the commission on a number of occasions to argue against the City’s position despite the previous annexation agreements.
This is the second time in two months that legal actions against the City of Fernandina Beach over annexation issues have resulted in a favorable outcomes. As previously reported, Court upholds Fernandina Beach annexation of Palms at Amelia Condos, “Circuit Court Judge Suzanne Bass in a decision dated June 27, 2014, found “the City Commission of Fernandina Beach of June 4, 2013 [to annex the Palms at Amelia into the municipal limits of the city] was supported by competent substantial evidence, that the Plaintiff was accorded due process, upon stipulation, and the essential requirements of law have been observed.”
The Gateway to Amelia properties will be added to the City’s tax rolls on December 31, 2014.
To read previous articles on the Gateway annexation click on the following:
Fernandina Beach annexes Gateway complex into city
Suanne Z. Thamm, Reporter-News Analyst
Gateway to Amelia annexation – Who is suing the city?
By Adam Kaufman Legal Analyst