Land-grabbing Florida town must pay $1.5 million for tiny beach easement

Cities and towns across America typically promote their top attractions, whether a beach or a trail, by posting signs.

However, St. Pete Beach, Florida, ran into a problem because the beach it promoted with signs and used for public events didn’t belong to the city.

It was private property.

And now a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals means the family will retain ownership of the parcel, about 300 feet by 50 feet, and receive $1.5 million from the city in exchange for a tiny easement.

The Pacific Legal Foundation argued in court on behalf of the Chmielewski family in their lawsuit against St. Pete Beach.

PLF said the “trouble started several years ago, when the city opened a public arts center inside of a private subdivision, landward and across the street from the Chmielewski’s home.”

“The Chmielewski family lived in the modest beachfront home since the 1970s. They owned the land from their

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