Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Some disappointed with punishments for Clearwater Beach dune destruction

CLEARWATER — A homeowner and a contractor who illegally bulldozed sand dunes earlier this year on Clearwater Beach have completed the punishments meted out by various environmental regulators.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will follow up in December on the survival rate of sea oats homeowner Rosemary DeJoy replanted behind her home at 780 El Dorado Ave. as part of an agency-ordered restoration plan. She also paid a $1,000 fine.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had charged contractor John Woodhull, owner of Nice Services Inc. in Safety Harbor, with failing to obtain a permit to modify a dune, a misdemeanor. Court records show he pleaded no contest and paid $450 in fines and court costs.

A Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board investigator said that agency also fined Woodhull $300 for violating his contracting license. In addition, Woodhull received a warning letter from the DEP.

However, the sanctions don't satisfy at least one member of the Clearwater Beach Association, which has pleaded for years with developers and Clearwater Beach residents to protect the dunes that buffer coastal properties from high tide and storm surge damage.

Dunes also provide sheltered habitat for shorebirds and other creatures. State law protects them from destruction.

Association members who captured DeJoy's Jan. 12 violation with pictures and video turned the evidence over to police, just as city officials have advised.

President Wendy Hutkin fears the "lenient" punishments will do little to deter other potential offenders. "Why wouldn't anybody just go do it?" she said.

According to state investigative documents, DeJoy said she was in the process of getting a permit when her ex-husband hired Woodhull to flatten dunes that blow sand onto her patio and attract snakes and rodents.

Woodhull told investigators he was led to believe permits had already been obtained, but he accepted responsibility for failing to check.

The citations for both could have resulted in fines of up to $10,000 or, for Woodhull, a license suspension.

Clearwater environmental manager Ed Chesney said DeJoy's case is the only one the city has encountered since officials in spring 2011 sent certified letters to beach residents reminding them of the rules. Violations had centered mainly in the 700 and 800 blocks of El Dorado Avenue, and occasionally north of that, he said.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at (727) 445-4153 or ksummers@tampabay.com. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Some disappointed with punishments for Clearwater Beach dune destruction 07/16/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]

  2. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.
  3. CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise amid 'worship' of leakers

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — CIA director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the "worship" of leakers like Edward Snowden.

    CIA director Mike Pompeo said the U.S. must redouble its efforts to stop information from leaking.
  4. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  5. Why Grenfell tower burned: Regulators put cost before safety

    World

    The doorbell woke Yassin Adam just before 1 a.m. A neighbor was frantically alerting others on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower about a fire in his apartment. "My fridge blew up," the man shouted.

    At least 79 people were killed in the fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment building in London, and the toll is expected to rise.