City, Laird reach litigation settlement agreement

Matt Algarin
This structure at 718 Beach Drive was at the center of litigation between the city of Destin and Alan Laird, who owns the neighboring property. The suit has now been settled.

After filing a lawsuit against the city of Destin in November, a settlement agreement has been reached between Alan Laird and the city.

A message left for Laird was not returned before press time.

Laird filed the lawsuit against the city after he was denied the ability to file an administrative appeal to the city's Board of Adjustments, challenging a building permit issued for the construction of a house next to his Beach Drive residence.

The building in question is a large structure located at 718 Beach Drive. From the outside, the building appears to be nothing more than a storage shed, but according to city officials the building is actually a residential dwelling and meets all city codes and criteria.

The lawsuit alleged that Laird was denied due process and a "gross miscarriage of justice occurred" when the appeal was denied.

Under city codes, an appeal to the issuance of any building permit must be filed 30 days after the original building permit was issued. In this case, the permit was issued on May 21.

Based on the lawsuit, Laird filed his application for appeal Oct. 18. His application was rejected and returned to him Oct. 25.

As part of the settlement agreement, the city will allow him to file his administrative appeal. Laird must file the appeal no later than 10 days after the settlement agreement is finalized.

The city is currently working with Laird to set a date for his meeting with the Board of Adjustments.