January 5, 2024 The Sun Bay Paper Page 6 current fl ood regulations. For Persaud, this rule presented a unique dilemma. Although he purchased the property for $3.5 million, the existing structures were valued at only $800K. This valuation meant his budget for improvements was eff ectively capped at $1.2 million. The Fire Department’s mandated improvements cost $100K more than the amount required to make the site operational. Faced with these constraints, Persaud sought relief from the Town Council in October 2014, but his appeals were met with no reassessment or relief. This denial set the stage for a prolonged battle between Persaud and the town authorities. Legal Struggles and Permitting Issues Persaud received relief from Lee County, which reduced the scope of needed work. The primary issue Persaud faced was obtaining the necessary permits for development. He initially secured a DEP Field Permit to begin work in February 2015. However, this progress was abruptly halted when the Town issued a “Stop Work Order” in May 2015, demanding a more comprehensive “Full” DEP Permit. Refl ecting on this setback, Persaud stated, “The Full Permit takes much longer. I lost another four months.” This requirement signifi cantly delayed his plans, as the Full Permit process was considerably more time-consuming than the Field Permit. Moreover, Persaud had a legal battle concerning revoking his liquor license for beach service. The Town’s decision, based on a code that labeled his property as “abandoned,” was fi rmly contested by Persaud. He argued that his property was not abandoned but “Under Construction.” This dispute escalated into a lawsuit against the Town, which initially did not rule in his favor. However, in a turn of events, Persaud stated, “Initially, we lost in Lee County in 2018. But the Second Circuit District Court of Appeals reversed the decision in 2019,” marking a signifi cant victory for him in asserting his property rights. Allegations of Discriminatory Treatment and Fines Persaud’s challenges escalated into allegations of discriminatory treatment and unfair imposition of fi nes by Fort Myers Beach authorities. These issues, emerging alongside the permitting and legal struggles, added another layer of complexity. Persaud alleged he faced signifi cant fi nancial penalties, which he argued were imposed in a retaliatory and discriminatory manner. Persaud’s frustration with the town’s approach was evident in his statement, “I was receiving fi nes of $250 to $500 per day based on the dumpster, parking charges, and beach chair and umbrella rentals.” Many of the imposed fi nes are related to the parking lot. Persaud claimed that the requirements imposed on him were more stringent than those for other property owners. “The parking lot has been there since the 1970s. All they need is a Use Permit per the Town Code for any other restaurant. For me, they required a Full Order, which is much more time-consuming and expensive and would have reduced the lot capacity by 30 percent,” Persaud explained, highlighting the discrepancies in treatment. Persaud sued the town for lost revenue, claiming that the town’s actions amounted to discrimination and a violation of his equal protection rights. However, this case was ultimately dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge John Badalamenti in February 2023. Recent Developments: ASweetheart Deal? In December, the Town Council off ered Persaud what has been termed a “sweetheart deal,” substantially reducing the fi nes he was required to pay. Initially facing a staggering $2.7 million in penalties, the Council proposed to lower this amount to $250,000. A“good faith” bond of $500,000 was included in the deal, which Persaud would be eligible to release if he maintained compliance with the town’s regulations for one year. Persaud said he told the town attorney the original fi nes, if pressed, would face court challenges. “They would be challenged, and they don’t have the backup” the developer stated, suggesting potential issues with the legality or enforceability of the penalties. Expressing his dissatisfaction with the prolonged dispute and the nature of the agreement, Persaud said, “This has been going on way too long. I have gone above and beyond to create an agreement I don’t agree with.” This sentiment was met with concern fromMayor Dan Allers, who responded, “That was a little concerning. You’ve done this before. For 4-5 years, we’ve been dealing with this. It’s been a matter of compliance. It’s the simple things that you agreed to do.” As part of the agreement, Persaud must remove a large tree stump from the property, a point of contention for years. The Council mandated a strict timeline for this task, giving him 60 days to apply for the permit and 30 days following receipt to remove the stump. Code Compliance and Property Inspections Persaud’s battle with the town over the use of his property was central to the compliance issue. Initially, Persaud faced allegations from the town for renting beach chairs behind his restaurant and operating an “unauthorized” parking lot adjacent to the Sunset Grill Restaurant. Town employees were even sent in “undercover” to rent beach chairs and pay for parking, a move aimed at proving his violations. Persaud objects to the legality of this practice. “Town employees are not authorized to do undercover investigations. That is a job for law enforcement, and all fi nes based on that practice were invalid,” he said. Addressing these concerns, Fort Myers Beach Operations Manager Frankie Kropacek confi rmed a positive change in Persaud’s compliance status. Kropacek stated, “Persaud is now 100 percent in compliance.” Furthermore, the town revised its stance on the legality of Persaud’s parking lot. Previously declared illegal and restricted only for restaurant customer parking, the lot has since been opened to the general public. This change aligns with the varied usage of the lot, which has historically catered to the beach-going public with seasonal rate changes. As part of the settlement agreement with the town, Persaud’s properties will undergo regular inspections to ensure continued compliance. If Persaud fails to adhere to the regulations, he will be issued a courtesy warning notice to rectify the violation. FromMillions to Mere Thousands The Right Side Cont on pg 11 Cont. from pg 5 the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD Center and it was reopened when Trump realized that if we are hit by an EMP attack, we will lose all communications with most of our military, so the NORAD complex was updated and repurposed to be able to contact our fl eet no matter what happens. I hope our Trident Sub Fleet has orders that if we are hit by ANY EMP Strike to make China and Russia disappear, as no matter who hits us with an EMP, Russia and China will nish us off , my opinion! I hope I have your attention. There has never been a Global Warming threat...NEVER...did ANY of those predictions, threats, that the Gore-ites put out there, come true? No and they never will. The same is true about climate, climate change, CO₂, methane gas.... it’s all Bullshit to scare you into allowing them to take over America by force, violence and intimidation...all while they burn more fossil fuel fl ying to fossil fuel summits to stop you from using God’s gift to us, FOSSIL FUEL. God intended Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness for all of us...not just Gore, Obama, Obiden, Kerry and on and on! They burn more fossil fuel than small cities with their mansions and 747 private jets. Do you really believe that any of these scoundrels will stop using natural gas, oil, diesel fuel, electricity produced by fossil fuels including the fi replaces in those mansions? Listen...there is no other way, no other fuel that ANYBODY has, reliable enough to power a single light bulb reliably and indefinitely...except fossil fuel Even our nuclear power plants have backup ELECTRIC generators, from other fossil fuel sources to pump cooling water to the reactor room, just in case the plant is fl ooded by a huge the Japan tsunami. Their backup diesel generators were on the ground fl oor...fl ooded. Our diesel backup generators are not on the ground fl oor! I am not just talking “through my hat”; I know what I am telling you to be very real. The earth has been the victim of climate change for 4-5 billion years...use your head! What can we do to have any eff ect on the climate...? The sun controls almost 100% of what happens to planet Earth...not CO₂ or green gases, or Governor Cuomo’s “cow farts” ...for real...he wanted to do something about cow methane! Cont from pg 1 J Gary Dilaura, FBI RET