In a stunning victory for public access, the Flamingo Condominium has agreed to provide access to its baywalk. Miami Herald reporter Andres Viglucci said:
What does it take to open a two-block stretch of public baywalk in Miami Beach? Apparently a battalion of attorneys, a convoluted and costly court case that alleges fibbing by a well-known architect and a prominent lawyer, and a peeved federal judge.
Twelve years after the developers of the Flamingo South Beach residential complex on Biscayne Bay seemingly promised Beach residents a public baywalk in exchange for permits to build a massive tower, they have finally agreed to open it.
But it took more than a year of litigation, with at least seven lawyers on each side, after the developers balked at opening the baywalk, contending they thought the city wanted a private promenade. The Flamingo then failed to produce the documents that would have cleared up the question in court, claiming they were missing.
Only some of the records weren't really lost, prompting U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga to call the developers and their attorneys ``obstructionist and careless'' in a strongly worded order.
The case put Flamingo architect Bernard Zyscovich and lawyer Lucia Dougherty under the microscope. The city found e-mails between Zyscovich and Dougherty that its attorneys contend show the two concocting a scheme to avoid acknowledging they knew the baywalk was to be public.
We at the Urban Environment League thank the City of Miami Beach for pursuing this on behalf of the public.
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