2018 Summer Newsletter

Published by Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A.

June 13, 2018

LLW Opens St. Petersburg Office

Lewis, Longman & Walker is proud to announce the opening of their brand new office in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The new office is located at City Center at 100 Second Avenue South—in the heart of the downtown business center of St. Petersburg.

The office opened its doors on March 22nd and celebrated with an open house on May 30th.

Kevin Hennessy, Shareholder in Charge of the St. Petersburg office, said: “Since our creation almost twenty-five years ago, our firm has been serving communities throughout Florida. We are thrilled to be opening this new office in the dynamic core of St. Petersburg.”

Lewis, Longman & Walker is a statewide law firm with 32 attorneys, practicing in the areas of environmental, land use, real estate, transportation and infrastructure, litigation, and legislative and governmental affairs.  For more detailed information about the firm, visit www.llw-law.com.


2018 Retirement Legislation

By: Jim Linn and Glenn Thomas

The 2018 Legislative Session was scheduled to adjourn on March 9th, but the House and Senate couldn’t finalize a budget deal until March 8th.  Because the Florida Constitution requires a 72-hour “cooling off” period before the budget can be passed, the session was extended, and officially ended on March 11th.  Very few retirement bills passed.  The session ended with most retirement legislation making no significant progress.  The bills that passed, including the 2018-19 Florida Retirement System employer contribution rates, are summarized below, along with a description of the retirement legislation that did not pass this year.  Copies of any bill can be viewed at the legislature’s website: www.leg.state.fl.us.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  Click here to view the full article.


Lewis, Longman & Walker Attorneys Recognized as 2018 Florida Super Lawyers

LLW attorneys have recently been selected as 2018 Florida Super Lawyers. Terry Lewis, Stephen Walker Michelle Diffenderfer and Alfred Malefatto from the firm’s West Palm Beach office have been selected in the area of Environmental Law. Anne Longman from the Tallahassee office has been selected in the area of Administrative Law and Wayne Flowers from the Jacksonville office has been selected in the area of Environmental Litigation

These attorneys share this designation with only 5% of the attorneys in Florida. Super Lawyers are nominated by fellow attorneys who have personally observed them in action, whether as opposing counsel, co-counsel or through other firsthand observations in the courtroom. The background and professional achievement of each candidate are researched before the final decision is made to include the attorneys in this list. For more information, visit www.superlawyers.com.


 LLW Successfully Defends Challenge Against Lido Key Beach Renourishment Project

On May 8th the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Bram D.E. Canter, ruled in favor of the City of Sarasota, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Lido Key Residents Association by recommending that the 15 year Joint Coastal Permit for the Renourishment of Lido Key Beach be issued. This recommendation further illustrates that the work put into this project by the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Sarasota to address the ongoing erosion issues on Lido Key Beach was thorough and that the project will be successful.  Residents of Siesta Key challenged the project under the belief that the project will deprive their beaches of sand.  However, the ALJ noted the “Applicants extensively analyzed sediment transport pathways and the effects of alternative borrow areas on sediment transport to Siesta Key…The more persuasive evidence indicates that sediment transport to downdrift beaches would not be reduced and might even be increased….”

The attorneys at Lewis, Longman & Walker appeared on behalf of the Lido Key Residents Association, representing homeowners and business owners on Lido Key.  The ALJ notes that the project will provide “protection to Lido Key upland structures from storm damage and flooding, protect and enhance wildlife habitat, and provide beach-related recreational opportunities; and it would create these public benefits without causing adverse impacts.”  This ruling is a vindication for all who have worked so hard in finding a solution to the erosion problems on Lido Key.  The community looks forward to an end to the challenges to a project that clearly has carefully balanced the interests of all effected Sarasota communities.

For more information, please contact Kevin Hennessy or Richard Green or by calling (727) 245-0820. Click here to read the Herald Tribune article “Judge approves permit to renourish Lido Key.”


Tara Duhy and Seth Behn Part of Team Selected by the City of Fort Lauderdale for Mixed-Use Transit Zoning District Development

Tara Duhy and Seth Behn are part of a team selected by the City of Fort Lauderdale to assist with the development of a new Mixed-Use Transit Zoning District. The team will be led by Dr. John Renne, founder of The TOD Group Consulting, LLC. Dr. Renne is a global expert in Transit Oriented Development and serves as the Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions and is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University.

The City’s bid package describes the project as an opportunity to create a new mixed-use zoning district to implement their recently adopted Unified Flex Policy. This policy seeks to promote a more sustainable growth pattern by protecting and preserving existing residential neighborhoods, and by encouraging mixed-use development in specific areas that can support multimodal transportation options and amenities. Planned carefully, these areas can contribute to more connected and sustainable neighborhoods, with access to local services and uses.

For more information, please contact Tara Duhy at [email protected] or Seth Behn at [email protected]


Rachael Santana Graduates from the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute

LLW Attorney Rachael Santana graduated from the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute on April 20, 2018.  To mark her graduation from the Institute, Rachael gave a presentation detailing her practicum project with the Brevard County Sustainability Working Group.

The Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute is an eight-month professional development program hosted by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).  Each year, 20 fellows from a broad range of natural resource professions and sectors are selected to join the leadership program.  To date the program has trained over 276  environmental professionals from over 102 organizations in Florida who share a passion for working together to shape Florida’s future.  LLW attorneys Kevin Hennessy is a member of the 2008-2009 Class, and Christopher Johns is a member of the 2009-2010 Class. To learn more about Rachael Santana click here click here.


Amendment Carries Potential Administrative Litigation Change

By: John Wallace

Last month, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission concluded its agenda by approving eight revisions for placement on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election.

Of particular note to administrative practitioners, and particularly environmental attorneys, is Revision 1, which sailed mostly under the radar, overshadowed by debate over more visible, and arguably, less impactful, proposals.

Among other changes, Revision 1 adds Section 21 to Article V. It would eliminate the deference typically afforded to a state agency in interpreting the statutes such an agency is charged with implementing, along with rules promulgated in furtherance of such a charge. This is a fairly drastic change which, if adopted, will torpedo years of precedent.  Click here to view the full article.


LLW HR Manager Kim Ayers Elected President of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators

Kim Ayers, LLW’s Human Resources Manager, has been elected the 2018-2019 President of the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators.  Kim previously served as the Chapter’s Vice President from 2016-2017 and was the Treasurer from 2014-2016.

The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) is a global organization of more than 9,000 members, whose professional concern is the effective management of government, corporate and private agencies and departments devoted to the delivery of legal services.  The Palm Beach County Chapter is but one of nine ALA chapters in the State of Florida.


LLW Welcomes Summer Associate Kyla Wintter

LLW is pleased to welcome law student Kyla Wintter to the firm to participate in its 10-week Summer Associate Program.  The program, open to first-year and second-year law students, is an opportunity for participants to gain hands-on legal experience and build relationships with industry professionals.

Kyla Wintter is a law student in the Class of 2019 at the University Of Florida Levin College Of Law, where she is a Section Representative and Executive Board Member for the Environmental Law and Land Use Society and a Section Representative for the American Bar Association Law Student Division.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource and Conservation from the University of Florida.

New LLW Videos

LLW recently added more Q&A Videos to its online video gallery about the proposed infrastructure bill, stormwater management, water quality credit trading and partition action.


LLW Events and Presentations

LLW attorneys will participate in the Florida Chamber’s 32nd Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School July 17-20, 2018 in Marco Island.  LLW is proud to be a long-time supporter of the event and will also host its annual private networking event on-site.  Eight LLW attorneys will present at the conference this year:

Wayne Flowers will moderate a panel titled Beach Renourishment and Nearshore Hardbottom;

Terry Lewis will participate in a panel titled Florida’s Environment, Water Policy, the 2018 Legislature and Beyond; Michelle Diffenderfer will participate in a panel titled Lake Okeechobee and The Estuaries: A Water Management Balancing Act;

Andy Baumann will moderate a panel titled Special Permit Considerations for Sovereign Lands and Aquatic Preserves; Tara Duhy will moderate a panel titled Transportation Planning: How Do We Get There From Here?

Alfred Malefatto will participate in a panel titled Analyzing Critical State Environmental Issues: What Is Beyond the Horizon In Contaminated Site Management And Closures?

Kevin Hennessy will moderate a panel titled Permitting and Development in the Coastal Marine Environment; and

Fred Aschauer will participate in a panel titled What To Expect When Being Inspected.

For more information about the conference, click here.

LLW attorneys participated in the Florida Association of Special Districts Annual Conference June 11-14th in Orlando.  LLW is proud to be a long-time supporter of FASD and the conference.

Terry Lewis, Chris Lyon and Natalie Kato presented CDO Component, Ethics, Elections, Public Records and Sunshine Laws;

Terry Lewis participated in a Water Districts Roundtable;

Jim Linn gave a FRS & Retirement Update; and

Terry Lewis and Chris Lyon gave a Legislative Update.

LLW attorneys attended the Urban Land Institute Florida Summit June 7-8, 2018 in Naples. https://florida.uli.org/

LLW attorneys attended the Palm Beach League of Cities Installation Banquet on May 30, 2018 in West Palm Beach. LLW was a proud sponsor. https://www.palmbeachcountyleagueofcities.com/News/leaguenews/installation2018.htm …

LLW sponsored the Annual Port Manatee Propeller Club Golf Classic on May 18, 2018 in Parrish. https://www.manateepropellerclub.com/index.php

LLW hosted a Lunch & Learn on May 15, 2018 at all office locations.  LLW attorneys Kevin Hennessy, Fred Aschauer and John Wallace presented “How to Be an Effective Expert Witness.” Click here to view the presentation.

Tara Duhy was an Honorary Chairwoman of the Annual Moments Luncheon on May 11, 2018 in Palm Beach Gardens.  Proceeds from the event support Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County https://www.hmhbpbc.org/Moments 

Wayne Flowers attended the National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference May 7-11, 2018 in Louisville https://mitigationbankingconference.com

LLW sponsored the Society of American Military Engineers STEM Golf Tournament on May 2, 2018 in Panama City. https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eewm1asxa92b49e7&llr=c9qsepsab …

LLW sponsored the Tallahassee Seminole Club Celebrity Golf Tournament this Spring in Tallahassee. The event supports FSU student-athletes and scholarships.

LLW sponsored the “Pine Jog @ Night” Annual Fundraiser on April 14, 2018 in West Palm Beach. https://fauf.fau.edu/PJatNight 

LLW sponsored the Nicholas Megrath Scholarship Dinner and Awards Program on April 12, 2018 in West Palm Beach.  Proceeds from the event support the Gale Academy of Environmental Science and Technology at Forest Hill Community High School. https://galeenvironmentalacademy.org/events-3-2/

Tara Duhy moderated the panel discussion “Land Entitlement: The Risk/Reward Challenge” at IMN’s Real Estate Private Equity Forum on Land Homebuilding and Condo Development this Spring in Miami. https://www.imn.org/real-estate/conference/Land-Homebuilding-East-18/ …

LLW was a proud sponsor of the Lord’s Place SleepOut this Spring.  The annual event raises money to help break the cycle of homelessness in Palm Beach County. https://thelordsplace.org/sleepout/

LLW attorney and lobbyist Natalie Kato featured in the Spring 2018 issue of INFLUENCE Magazine, page 51. https://issuu.com/influenceflorida/docs/influence__florida_magazine_spring_ …

Fred Aschauer attended the American Association of Port Authorities Spring Conference March 20-21, 2018 in Washington DC https://my.aapa-ports.org/Public/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=18SPRING …