In Florida, a major battle is occurring between a 17-year-old seafood restaurant called Flash Beach Grille and county officials. The seafood diner, which is also a catering business, is owned by a couple that claims their dream restaurant has recently become a nightmare because of a real estate dispute. They said they are facing daily fines of $1,000 for reportedly violating a land easement; however, this easement was never recorded by the county, the couple said.
The dispute revolves around a relatively small area located behind the eatery; the land is about 40 feet by 70 feet in size. However, the fight is far from being a small one. The outcome of this dispute may put an end to the couple's business, might affect areas that are environmentally protected and possibly even impact property values.
The couple moved to their present location back in 2011. However, they were later told that a particular conservation easement had been placed on the property in 1990. This was never recorded, and nobody told the couple about it, they claimed. They were told that they had to remove several units from the property to comply with the law, including a refrigeration unit, trailers and a Dumpster.
The couple said they would eventually have to shut the business down if they keep getting charged fines in connection with the alleged land easement violation. When this type of real estate dispute happens, both sides can try to resolve the issue through the mediation process; otherwise, litigation may be necessary. An applied knowledge of real estate law may help both parties to pursue their best interests in Florida.
Source: watchdog.org, "FL county's unrecorded land restriction may put couple out of business", William Patrick, Sept. 5, 2014