Palm Beach County Commission to tackle pet rules today

091316-met-pet-store-02A contentious set of tough new rules for pet stores goes to a second and final vote at today’s Palm Beach County Commission meeting.

The county’s Department of Animal Care and Control says the rules are designed to reduce the flow of animals from so-called “puppy mills.”

Also on Tuesday’s agenda:

Lifeguards: will again visit pleas by county ocean rescue lifeguards that they be classified as “special risk” in order to get additional benefits.

Child Care: Will consider tough new guidelines for the county’s hundreds of child care centers.

Incentives: Expected to approve $357,000 in incentives to “Project Emblem,” now revealed as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, for its corporate headquarters in Boca Raton; and offer $89,000, as part of a state match, to “Project Cranium,” an as-yet undisclosed company wanting to more its regional headquarters to the county.

Vehicles for Hire: Set to take the second of two votes on new “reciprocity” rules for taxis, limos, and app-based rides such as Uber and Lyft, for five southeast Florida counties.

Palm Beach County Commission Meeting

When: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Public comment at 2 p.m. Where: Sixth-floor chambers, Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach

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Federal judge tosses most of taxi firms’ suit against Palm Beach County over Uber rules

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Rosenberg (Post/Lannis Waters)
Rosenberg (Post/Lannis Waters)

Taxi and limousine drivers who’ve already lost once in their class-action suit against Palm Beach County have been dealt another, nearly fatal blow.

The outfits had sued in federal court in May 2015, arguing the county gave special treatment to the app-based ride service Uber.

Fort Pierce-based U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg had thrown out the suit in February, but had permitted the firms to file an amended complaint.

This week, she tossed the third of three counts, and part of the second count, agreeing with the county’s argument that the suit was been made moot when county commissioners, on April 19, set rules for Uber and Lyft and similar app-based ride operations that those firms have said guarantee they will operate safely.

Taxi and limo firms have said the rules give the app-based ride services an unfair advantage and don’t go far enough to protect the public.

Rosenberg wrote Wednesday that the firms may continue to pursue damages for the year and a half that the county had a temporary operating agreement with San Francisco-based Uber parent Rasier LLC. The judge also suggested to county lawyers that they convert their motion to dismiss the remaining claims, instead filing a motion for summary judgment.

Read The Post’s complete Uber coverage


Palm Beach County Commissioners tackle Uber today — again

palm-beach-county-logo020115-UBER-3Grab your app. Uber’s back.

The Palm Beach County Commission once again will tackle the issue of how the app-based ride service and similar ones are regulated, and whether they are getting an unfair advantage over traditional taxis and limos.


The biggest aspect of the Uber package commissioners will consider: both Uber-style outfits and taxis would be responsible to either conduct their own background checks or hire the county to do the more comprehensive and costly fingerprint-based “Level II” checks for them. That, and what insurance would be required of drivers in both endeavors, have been sticking points in the debate for going on two years.

The commission might also talk some more about last week’s charge by the county’s inspector general that officials of the Palm Tran Connection cooked their books to improve the on-time record for the bus service for the disabled, elderly and ill.

Other items on the agenda:

Trespass: Would approve new rules that allow for banning people from county parks and recreational areas for a year or more for various violations.Diamond

Donations: Would give Animal Care and Control autonomy to make donation deals with businesses for items in “goodie bags” given to pet adopters.

Sportsman’s Park: Would let Lantana build just two docks instead of three at its waterfront Sportsman’s Park and spend the extra money on seawall and parking lot improvements.

Palm Beach County Commission Meeting:

When: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Where: Sixth-floor chambers, Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach

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Taxi, limo firms refile tossed Uber lawsuit

020115-UBER-3As Palm Beach County lawyers had expected, a group of taxi and limousine drivers have resubmitted their Uber-related lawsuit, which a federal judge had thrown out on Feb. 4.

County Attorney Denise Marie Nieman told county commissioners and staff Thursday in an email that she’d received the new, amended complaint in the class-action suit, which claimed Palm Beach County gives special treatment to the Uber app-based ride program.

“I will keep you posted as this matter progresses,” Nieman wrote.

In their lawsuit, originally filed in May 2015, the plaintiffs — Boyce Transportation, which operates A1A Airport and Limousine Service; Prestige Limousine; North County Transportation; Apollo Transportation Services; and Metro Premier Car Service — demanded monetary damages, a declaration that Uber is a vehicle-for-hire firm, and an order barring the county from “selectively enforcing the laws of the state and county applicable to plaintiffs’ business for the benefit of any (vehicle for hire) company willing to pay PBC to do so.”

But U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg wrote in a ruling from Fort Pierce that the firms’ “broad allegation” that they were the same animal as Uber and similar firms “is not supported by sufficient factual allegations.”

A plan to create statewide rules for app-based ride programs is working its way through the Legislature.