The Real Deal Miami

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea OKs settlements of building-height lawsuits

Several property owners sued over a 4-story limit on building height that voters approved in 2006
May 27, 2017 03:00PM


Lauderdale-by-the-Sea agreed to court settlements that would allow two of the town’s property owners to develop buildings up to 15 stories tall.

In 2006, town voters approved a four-story limit on building height in an annexed section in the northern end of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, which had a 15-story limit prior to the 2006 vote.

Several owners of property in the annexed area responded to the four-story limit by filing lawsuits.

Each  lawsuit claimed that the reduced height limit violated a state law called the Bert Harris Act, which prevents governments from limiting property rights without compensating property owners.

The lawsuits claimed a total of $16 million in damages, which town commissioners said Lauderdale-by-the-Sea couldn’t afford to pay.

Under the lawsuit settlements, which are pending court approval, two property owners would be allowed to build up to 15 stories, though neither has immediate plans to do so.

The two property owners are The El Dorado Club, a 35-unit cooperative at 1470 South Ocean Boulevard, and James Edmonson, owner of a restaurant at 6002 North Ocean Boulevard called Sea Watch on the Ocean.

A third property owner, the 99-unit Palm Club at 1438 South Ocean Boulevard, would get $3 million of town-funded sewer improvements instead of the right to build up to 15 stories. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth