• Report: #460955

Complaint Review: Bradford County Florida Courthouse Building & Zoning Department

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  • Submitted: Thu, June 11, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, June 17, 2009

  • Reported By:Los Angeles California
Bradford County Florida Courthouse Building & Zoning Department
945 North Temple Ave. Starke, Florida U.S.A.

Building Official Wilson Whidden - Zoning Director Nora Thompson - Edith Ellen Estates Subdivision - Wayne E. Douglas, Sr. & Stephen F. Smith - Edith Ellen Smith - Frederick D. Smith - Peter K. Sieg Dissemination of false land-use information to public designed to entice purchasers into buying undevelopable government Jurisdictional Wetlands. Starke Florida

*Author of original report: Bradford County Courthouse, Starke Florida - Building and Zoning Department

*Author of original report: Bradford County Courthouse, Starke Florida - Building and Zoning Department

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Complaint:

Dissemination of false land-use information to public designed to entice purchasers into buying undevelopable government Jurisdictional Wetlands.

The public is being warned this agency's above named employees have falsely disseminated fraudulent land use and development information on Friday December 16, 2005, regarding this subdivision resulting in unsuspecting buyers Daniel Arthur and Florence Gata purchasing undevelopable land advertised as Single Family Residential home sites in the Edith Ellen Estates subdivision. Additionally, an elaborate cover-up ensued to hide the illegally sold home site in conjunction with developers Stephen F. Smith and Edith Ellen Smith, subdivision marketer and promoter Wayne E. Douglas, Sr. of Douglas Realty in Starke, and their attorney James J. Taylor, Jr. of Keystone Heights, Florida. This agency has no permitting authority or jurisdiction over this subdivision since it is regulated and controlled at the state level. Additionally these building officials have committed perjury in official sworn documents to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court, Bradford County Florida - Case No.: 04-2007-CA-308.

Whidden and Thompson fraudulently verified the land purchased by Arthur and Gata could be developed and did not disclose and concealed the fact the property was actually restricted. The following are only several exact quotations verbatim:
Whidden: That's good property! That's a good piece of land! No swamps here! No flooding here! It's permitted! Yep, it's all legal!
Thompson: I know exactly where this lot is, that's Edith Ellen Estates, it's nice over there! That's a good price! I'd but it myself for that! That's a good deal! And so on

Background:

The Edith Ellen Estates is a 100 acre subdivision along the west edge of the beautiful 823 acre spring fed Lake Hampton in Bradford County Florida. This subdivision is advertised as 2-acre Lake Front building sites, and was permitted by the State of Florida agency Suwannee River Water Management District SRWMD on January 24, 2002 for 34 lots. Since then an additional four (4) lots have been added to the subdivision and issued parcel numbers by the county. Three (3) of these added lots however were previously permitted as the subdivision's drainage easement in order to prevent the legally permitted lots from flooding during periods of rain. Three (3) of the added home sites DO NOT comply or conform to state statutes, state administrative codes, or federal law, and ILLEGALLY offered for sale. SRWMD also required these three (3) areas of land to be owned by the subdivision's homeowner's association, and not offered for public sale. Although the majority of lots in this subdivision do contain between 50% to 80% percent restricted wetlands, the land sold to Arthur and Gata is 98% percent restricted from development and specifically illustrated as a drainage easement not to ever be sold as a condition prior to the issuance of the developer's final building permit.

Note: Of the four (4) added lots, one (1) lot is completely legal and does not contain any restricted land area (Wetlands). Originally this tract was intended to be subdivided into three (3) additional home sites for a total of thirty-seven (37) lots in the subdivision per the homeowner's association CC&R's, however it was accidentally sold as one (1) home site by developer Stephen F. Smith according to the purchaser of this land.

Subdivision permitting:
The local county courthouse building departments around the county are normally the proper authority when issuing new building permits for single family residential subdivisions by developers. However this is not necessarily the case in Florida, and never the case should a potential subdivision contain Jurisdictional Wetlands. Wetlands are environmentally protected nature preserves set aside for nature; bugs, bushes, animals, etc. and are owned and controlled by the State of Florida by virtue of sovereignty. There are five (5) water districts throughout Florida regulating land use where wetlands are located, and SRWMD has jurisdiction over this subdivision in Bradford County. Although it is legal to own a wetland, it is not legal to offer them for sale as property which can be developed. It is illegal to step foot on, or cut a blade of grass in a jurisdictional wetland. The only exceptions are above ground walkways that would normally lead to a dock on the water's edge, and must be permitted by the state prior to construction so to not impact the surface area below.

Purpose of law:
The intention of the law is to protect the general public from purchasing land unsuitable for development offered for sale by unscrupulous developers. The State of Florida was synonymous for selling undevelopable swampland to unsuspecting buyers back in the 1960's and 70's, which led to further federal regulation with the establishment of the Interstate Land Sales Act to remedy the problem last modified in December 1979. Since wetlands can be legally owned by the public, the temptation of quick and easy money can be irresistible to greedy landowners. Many acres of land be purchased for as little as $100 and sold for literally tens-of-thousands of dollars in profit. Unfortunately lax enforcement of the law essentially allows the problem to continue and persist to this day. Regulation at the state and federal level is nonexistent and merely an illusion nowadays since permits are not enforced once they are issued by the state according to Water Engineer Clay Coarsey of the SRWMD. Most buyers caught up in such swindles merely put up For Sale signs and the problem silently perpetuates like a cancer, while generating substantial property tax revenues to the county they are situated in.

The law in Florida:
In rural areas of Florida no more than four (4) homes are allowed per one (1) acre of land ONLY if utilities, a water source and sewage waste lines are provided at the street. (43,560' sq. ft. equal 1-acre).

There are no water or sewer lines in the Edith Ellen Estates Subdivision, so water wells and septic systems know as Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems OSTDS are mandatory for the issuance of permits by the Florida Department of Health. Proper distance between the well, septic, drainage ditches, setbacks must be adhered to, AS WELL AS a drain field replacement area of equal size just in case of septic failure. Compliance of the law will lead to a certificate of occupancy, in addition to preventing future problems thereafter for the new single family residence.

The minimum area of land to LEGALLY BUILD in this subdivision is one-half (1/2) acre or 21,780' sq. ft. UNRESTRICTED!!! You cannot borrow your neighbors land or anyone else! RESTRICTED LAND DOES NOT COUNT. This land area is measured as THE GREATEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO (2) PARALLEL LINES that are PARALLEL TO THE STREET. NO DIMENSION CAN BE LESS THAN ONE-HUNDRED (100) FEET.

The problem:
The lot sold to Arthur and Gata was NOT permitted by the SRWMD as a residential home site since it is ONLY SIXTEEN-HUNDRED (1600) SQUARE FEET in total unrestricted land area. The maximum dimension is ONLY forty (40') feet along the street by forty (40') feet in depth. Note: This lot is SIX-HUNDRED-and-SIXTY FEET long, and was marketed by WAYNE E. DOUGLAS, SR. as NOT RESTRICTED, The nicest lot in the entire subdivision to make just like a park.

Wilson Whidden and Nora Thompson submitted to the Court in sworn affidavits a minimum TWO-THOUSAND (2000) square foot ONE (1) STORY home, PLUS GARAGES, CARPORTS, etc. up to a Five-Thousand-Square-Foot-Home can be built on this lot. This is not only physically, mathematically, or logically impossible, it is an outright fabrication since the lot sold would need to be over FOURTEEN TIMES (14x) its current size to LEGALLY be accomplished.

The crime:
Bradford County Florida Courthouse Building & Zoning Officials Whidden and Thompson have now escalated the violations of law from possible INCOMPETENCE to outright blatant Corruption, Collusion, and Conspiracy. Their false testimony has been made in CONTEMPT OF THE COURT, and collectively the crimes committed are now eligible to be prosecuted under Federal Racketeering and Civil Rights law.

The preeminent victim here is an 83-year old great grandmother, who is paralyzed in a wheelchair from a stroke, and living with Arthur and Gata under their care since 1996 . All she ever wanted was somewhere all her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren could happily come together to visit her, so she could see her family together once again before departing this earthly world, and rest in peace eternally.

For more information see:
www.fllsv.com Welcome To the Edith Ellen Estates Florida Land Scam Victims or http://floridacourts.angelfire.com/


Fla. Stat. 381.0065(4)(a) and F.A.C. 64E-6.005(7)(a)-(b).
Fla. Stat. 501.203 Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, 15 U.S.C 1703(a)(2), and 24 C.F.R. 1710.4(b) and (c).
15 U.S.C 1702(a) or 24 C.F.R. 1710.6.
15 U.S.C 1703(a)(2)(A) (C), and 24 C.F.R. 1715.25(c) and (h).
24 C.F.R. 1715.20(i)(1) - (2), and (4).

Florence & Salvacion
Los Angeles, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/11/2009 10:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bradford-County-Florida-Courthouse-Building-Zoning-Department/Starke-Florida-32091/Building-Official-Wilson-Whidden-Zoning-Director-Nora-Thompson-Edith-Ellen-Estates-Sub-460955. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Bradford County Courthouse, Starke Florida - Building and Zoning Department

AUTHOR: Fl_landscam.victims - (U.S.A.)

Do not accept any verbal information pertaining to any land development from this department without a written copy that includes an official stamped "Court Seal". Especially if this information is pertinent to a property purchase in Bradford County Florida. If this department tells you they cannot accommodate this request, WALK AWAY FROM THE DEAL!!!
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#2 Author of original report

Bradford County Courthouse, Starke Florida - Building and Zoning Department

AUTHOR: Fl_landscam.victims - (U.S.A.)

Do not accept any verbal information pertaining to any land development from this department without a written copy that includes an official stamped "Court Seal". Especially if this information is pertinent to a property purchase in Bradford County Florida. If this department tells you they cannot accommodate this request, WALK AWAY FROM THE DEAL!!!
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