Have you or your community association been faced with code enforcement violations related to sea turtle lighting? Even the best intentioned can be faced with such an issue in a coastal community.
Kathleen O. Berkey, B.C.S., AICP, a Becker land use and community association attorney and certified land planner who is a Board Certified Specialist in City, County, and Local Government Law, recently represented a coastal condominium association client in defending against several code enforcement violations with hefty fines and hearing costs looming alleging that its exterior lighting violated the local turtle lighting ordinance.
Nesting season after nesting season, this client had proactively reached out to code enforcement staff to confirm compliance, was deemed to have complied, and, yet, was still receiving notices of violation. In some instances, the notice of violation came two months after the alleged violation.
Attorney Berkey worked with the client and code enforcement and building department staff on the condominium property, as well as the City Attorney before and after the on-site meeting, to discuss the mitigation measures that had already been taken by the client. The scheduled code enforcement hearing on this matter was successfully continued to allow for the review and acknowledgement of these mitigation measures. Ultimately, the matter was settled without the need for a code enforcement hearing and the client was relieved of all proposed fines and hearing costs, and with no additional (and potentially costly) mitigation measures being required.
If you or your community association are faced with a similar code enforcement violation related to turtle lighting, or related to other issues, please reach out to us. We look forward to assisting you in achieving the most desirable outcome possible.
If you have questions on why artificial coastal lighting is problematic for sea turtles, please see Attorney Berkey’s earlier blog on this topic here.
As a shareholder land use and community association attorney and certified land planner who is a Board Certified Specialist in City, County, and Local Government Law, Kathleen O. Berkey, B.C.S., AICP, guides clients through all facets of land use and zoning issues including code compliance, enforcement hearings, and negotiations with local government among other matters. Ms. Berkey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.