Palm Beach Post by Tony Doris
June 6, 2019
RIVIERA BEACH — His refusal to stand down from the city council podium over a property rights dispute led to the arrest Wednesday night of Fane Lozman, a resident who twice previously won favorable U.S. Supreme Court rulings against the city — once over his ouster from a meeting.
Lozman wanted to speak for three times the three minutes normally allotted members of the public — three minutes for himself and three each for two companies of which he is part-owner. The council was considering a construction moratorium on the west side of Singer Island, where Lozman and the companies own about 50 acres.
Councilwoman Julie Botel, presiding over the meeting, denied the additional time and ordered him to stand down, then called a recess when he wouldn’t. After the half-hour recess, police, unable to convince him to leave, handcuffed Lozman and led him to police headquarters in the next building.
He was charged with disturbing an assembly and resisting arrest without violence and released on his own recognizance.
Lozman and his partners own 1,650 linear feet along North Ocean Drive, starting in the south at 4601 North Ocean. They plan to build traditional luxury housing on the southern and northern sections of that strip, and “high-end stilt homes” in the middle lots. He has been in a dispute with the city most recently over a fence he wanted to build in sections along that strip — a dispute he won, with the fence being erected this week.
Lozman has frequently taken to the podium during public comment sections of council meetings, lately to lambaste the council, and Botel in particular, over the firing of Building Official Ladi March Goldwire on April 29.
Goldwire approved the fence permit, over the orders of her supervisor and against Botel’s desires. Goldwire asserted that under state law only a building official can make permit decisions and that her boss Jeff Gagnon, acting director of development services, had no standing to override her.
An interim building official subsequently agreed, refusing to rescind the fence permit.