Daytona Beach, FL – A non-profit group which considers itself the guardians of beach driving is taking on Volusia County again, filing a lawsuit in the hopes of removing the ban on vehicles in front of the new Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach.
“Sons of the Beach” filed that lawsuit last month, naming itself and group President Paul Zimmerman as the plaintiffs.
Zimmerman claims the 410 feet of sand which the county agreed to block off with wooden poles so vehicles can’t get through should be free for drivers again because the developer of the Hard Rock didn’t come into compliance with the criteria spelled out in an ordinance approved by the Volusia County Council in 2015.
“The ordinance, by its own wording, is revoked [if compliance wasn’t met],” Zimmerman added. “Therefore, the poles will be taken down and beach driving should be allowed back on those 410 feet.”
He claims to have photos showing that the work was not complete by February 28, 2015 – the date specified in the ordinance – and that county officials used a letter from Hard Rock as cover to enforce the ordinance.
“We believe we have evidence to prove that [in court],” Zimmerman stated.
In a previous and similar lawsuit filed by Sons of the Beach a few years ago, Volusia County mounted a successful legal challenge, claiming the group didn’t have the standing to file such a lawsuit.
That time, two judges sided with the county, including Judge Sandra Upchurch, who will be hearing this latest challenge. Zimmerman says this time is different because the previous lawsuit addressed driving on the beach while this one focuses on the ordinance.
“This current case is specific to the Hard Rock’s ordinance and whether or not they met the criteria,” Zimmerman said.
He also added himself as the plaintiff in the hopes of getting around the standing issue, saying his status as a Volusia County resident should be enough to prevent that issue from surfacing again.
Volusia County spokesperson Shelley Szafraniec says the county does not comment on pending litigation.
No hearing date has been set, according to officials with the Florida 7th Circuit Court.