www.mymanatee.org
Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - February 11, 2014
February 11, 2014 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #11


Subject
44th Avenue East Road Improvement Project (US 41/1st Street East to 15th Street East) Parcel 107, Citrus Grove Home Owners Association, Inc. - Approval of Settlement

Briefings
None

Contact and/or Presenter Information
Andrea A. Adibe, Assistant County Attorney / Sandi Murphy, Ext. 3750

Action Requested

FORM OF MOTION:  Approval of settlement for Parcel 107 with landowner, Citrus Grove Home Owners Association, Inc., a Florida non-profit corporation, the total settlement of $84,060.75 in the eminent domain case of Manatee County v. Citrus Grove Home Owners Association, Inc., etc., et al., Case No. 2011-CA-2442, Parcel 107.

This settlement includes full payment for the acquisition of the property:  $51,125 (less the County’s previous deposit amount of $17,600), subject to apportionment proceedings in accordance with Section 73.101, Florida Statutes, if any; all attorney’s fees and attorney litigation costs for monetary and non-monetary benefits and supplemental proceedings, if any:  $11,063.25; and all expert witness fees and costs:  $21,872.50.



Enabling/Regulating Authority
Article X, Section 6A of the Florida Constitution requires the payment of “full compensation” for the taking of private property for a public purpose.  Sections 73.091 and 73.092, Florida Statutes, also require the condemning authority to pay the owner’s reasonable and necessary expert witness fees and costs and statutory attorney’s fees to the owner’s counsel based on a percentage of the benefit obtained or on an hourly basis when not otherwise provided for by statute.

Background Discussion

Chapter 74, Florida Statutes, provides for possession and title in advance of entry of the final judgment.  Manatee County previously acquired Parcel 107 in Fee Simple from the landowner, Citrus Grove Home Owners Association, Inc., as part of the 44th Avenue East Road Improvement Project (US 41/1st Street East to 15th Street East) by Order of Taking entered July 7, 2011.

The parent tract is improved with Citrus Grove Estates, a cooperatively owned 55+ mobile home community located at 599 301 Boulevard East in Bradenton, Florida.  The community includes 135 units, an office, clubhouse, shuffleboard courts, and other amenities.  Parcel 107 is a partial taking of 2,174 sq. ft. (0.05 acres) from the parent tract (12.5 acres).  The acquisition area is located along the south property boundary and is irregular in shape.  The improvements contained within the area acquired consist of the west property sign with two sign lights, utility poles and down guys (owned by others), 32 linear feet of 6’ chain-link fencing, and sod.

Pursuant to the Order of Taking, the County deposited the required amount of $17,600 into the Registry of the Court on July 21, 2011, which is the date Manatee County acquired ownership of the property.  The amount of the deposit was based upon the Order of Taking Appraisal prepared by Manatee County’s real estate appraiser Shawn E. Wilson, MAI.  The funds were withdrawn from the Registry of the Court by the landowner in August 2011 and are held in trust by Adams and Reese, LLP.

The County’s appraiser valued the property at $17,600 as of June 3, 2011, and the landowner’s appraiser concluded to a value of $60,600 as of the date of deposit, July 21, 2011.

As a result of court-ordered Mediation held January 9, 2014, the landowner agreed to settle as full compensation for the acquisition of the property in the amount of $51,125 (less the previous Order of Taking Deposit paid in to the Registry of the Court in the amount of $17,600) for Parcel 107.  This settlement amount is subject to apportionment proceedings in accordance with Section 73.101, Florida Statutes, and is exclusive of attorney’s fees and attorney litigation costs and experts’ fees and costs.

As a part of the settlement, the landowner will implement a cure on the property that includes installing a security fence and gate along the new 44th Avenue East right-of-way, including the replacement of signage and landscaping as referenced in the appraisal report of Charles W. Haynes, Jr., GAA, of Equable Real Estate Solutions, LLC, dated February 20, 2013.

Pursuant to Section 73.092, Florida Statutes, this settlement contemplates the payment of additional funds for attorney’s fees and attorney litigation costs, inclusive of both monetary and non-monetary benefits and supplemental proceedings, if any, in the amount of $11,063.25 as full settlement of all attorney’s fees and attorney litigation costs to the landowner’s attorney in connection with the acquisition of Parcel 107.

In an eminent domain action, the County is required to pay the landowner’s reasonable and necessary fees and costs pursuant to Section 73.091, Florida Statutes.  The County received and reviewed detailed invoices from the landowner’s experts and negotiated a settlement of all remaining fees and costs, totaling $21,872.50:

EQUABLE REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS LLC, for real estate appraisal services:  Requested Fee:  $11,025; Settlement:  $9,922.50

DIAZ PEARSON & ASSOCIATES, INC., for engineering services:  Requested Fee:  $13,390; Settlement:  $11,950

This settlement takes into account the relative strengths and weaknesses in the case and the estimated costs associated with further litigation including jury trial as well as the value of the property acquired.

Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that the Board approve the proposed settlement and authorize the County Attorney or Assistant County Attorney to execute the attached Stipulated Final Judgment and other necessary forms.

It is requested (1) that a check be issued and deposited into the Registry of the Court for the sum of $33,525 representing the difference between the final settlement amount ($51,125) less the previous Order of Taking Deposit ($17,600) for the acquisition of the property from the landowner and (2) that a check be issued made payable to Adams and Reese, LLP, Trust Account, for the sum of $32,935.75 for all attorney’s fees and attorney litigation costs in accordance with Section 73.092, Florida Statutes, and for all expert fees and costs in accordance with Section 73.091, Florida Statutes, and same shall be mailed to Robert J. Gill, Esq., Adams and Reese, LLP, 1515 Ringling Boulevard, Suite 700, Sarasota, Florida 34236, for proper disbursement. 

Copies to:
Ron Schulhofer, Director, Public Works Department
Sia Mollanazar, P.E., Deputy Director, Engineering Services
Jeff Streitmatter, Manager, Project Management Division
Walter Sowa, III, Senior Engineering Specialist, Project Management Division
Charlie H. Bishop, PMP, Director, Property Management Department
Margaret Daniell, Interim Manager, Property Acquisition Division
Barbara Carter, SR/WA, Real Property Specialist, Property Acquisition Division
Denise Bellini, Administrative Assistant, Property Acquisition Division



County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
This is a County Attorney item.

Reviewing Attorney
Adibe

Instructions to Board Records
Forward one (1) approved copy of this Agenda Memo to Sandi Murphy, County Attorney’s Office, sandra.murphy@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
$66,460.75 / 323-6001060 - Transportation Bonds

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
N/A


Attachment:  107_ROW Aerial.pdf
Attachment:  StipFJ_107_CitrusGroveHOA.pdf