110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Joe Crews
posted Sep 24, 2013 - 9:40:20am
At its meeting Tuesday night, Sept. 24, the Pierson Town Council is scheduled to discuss whether longtime Town Council Chairman Samuel G.S. Bennett voted illegally on changes to the future land use of property he owns.
Bennett is accused of voting with the Town Council on a number of properties whose land uses for the most part were being changed from county designations to equivalent municipal designations.
Some of the properties are owned by Bennett, and the Florida Commission on Ethics has determined in other cases that such ownership was a conflict prohibited by state law, according to a letter from attorney Darren Elkind.
Elkind, who is also the city attorney for DeLand, is representing owners of property near one of Bennett's that was changed to allow a mobile-home development.
"I can tell you that my clients, as well as other property owners in the area, were completely unaware that future land-use designation of this particular parcel of property was being changed to accommodate a mobile-home development," Elkind wrote in a letter to Town Clerk Debbie Bass and Town Attorney Noah McKinnon.
Elkind said his clients are hoping the council will "revisit" the land-use amendment on the property and allow public comment from interested parties.
They're also hoping Bennett will abstain from voting on any action the council takes regarding the property.
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