August 9, 2022

Volume XII, Number 221

Advertisement
Advertisement

August 08, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Florida Growth Management Law Declared Unconstitutional

On August 26, 2010, the Leon County Circuit Court declared Senate Bill 360 unconstitutional.  The Circuit Court Judge issued an order granting the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment in the lawsuit widely known as The City of Weston.  The order found that the Bill violated Article VII, Section 18(a) of the Florida Constitution because it constituted an “unfunded mandate.”   The Court specifically cited the costs related to the “[m]andated adoption of comprehensive plan amendments and transportation strategies to support and fund mobility.”  The Court estimated it would cost a minimum of $3,690,000 for the 246 counties and municipalities that were designated as Transportation Concurrency Exception Areas to process the comprehensive plan amendments.  The Court rejected the Defendants’ argument that these costs were “insignificant.”  The Florida Legislature has defined insignificant as “an amount not greater than the average statewide population for the applicable fiscal year times ten cents,” or approximately $1,860,000.

The Court also declared the Plaintiffs’ “single subject” challenge moot “by virtue of the enactment of SB 1760 [sic].”  The correct reference should have been SB 1752 from the 2010 legislative session.

On September 21st, the Court denied the Defendant’s Motion for a Rehearing. Defendants promptly filed a Notice of Appeal to the First District Court of Appeals.

In anticipation of an unfavorable ruling with respect to SB 360, the 2010 Florida Legislature adopted “bridge language” in SB 1752 which seeks to reauthorize portions of SB 360.

Along with the growth management related items mentioned below, SB 1752 also provides more than $200 million in tax incentives.  An overview of SB 1752 provides the following:

• Reauthorizes the two-year extension for permits extended under SB 360 and authorizes an additional two-year permit extension for those permits with an expiration date from September 1, 2008 through January 1, 2012.  Such extension is in addition to the two-year permit extension already provided.

• Authorizes that the two-year extension also applies to Development of Regional Impact buildout dates, including any extension of a buildout date that was previously granted.

• Extends the commencement and completion dates for required mitigation associated with a phased project.

• Requires that the permit holder notify the authorizing agency in writing by December 31, 2010, and identify the specific authorization for the extension and anticipated timeframe for acting on the authorization.

In addition to SB 1752, several local governments have made an effort to address the slowdown in the real estate market by adopting resolutions or ordinances implementing development permit extensions. Such local governments include the City of Orlando, Orange County and the City of Ocoee.  In order to ensure that a property’s development permits are properly extended, the local jurisdiction should be contacted so that a review may be made of their local rules related to extensions.

Another recent “hot topic” of discussion is the importance of a land use needs analysis to support comprehensive plan amendments.  Essentially, the issue is whether a comprehensive plan amendment request would result in more land in a specific land use designation than is needed to accommodate anticipated population growth.  The requirement was brought to the forefront in the 2009 case ofWoods v. Marion Countyin which the Administrative Law Judge agreed with a group of citizens to find a land use change request not in compliance.  It is clear that the Department of Community Affairs considers the needs analysis as an integral part of the planning process and, accordingly, careful consideration must be given to how need is documented as part of comprehensive plan amendment requests.

©Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, PA, 2022. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume , Number 295
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Rebecca Becky Wilson, land use, development, attorney, Lowndes, law firm
Partner

Becky Furman Wilson is a partner with the firm, and her principal areas of practice are land use and development. She has experience throughout Central Florida in working with local governments in order to address the needs of her clients related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative law, Developments of Regional Impact (DRI's), procurement issues, due diligence, and property rights. A leader in her field, Becky represents property owners, developers, lenders and other participants in a wide array of projects. Over the years, such projects have included high-rise...

407-418-6250
Thomas R. Sullivan, land use, development, attorney, Lowndes, law firm
Partner

Tom Sullivan’s Land Use and Development law practice includes representing property owners and developers throughout Central Florida. He has practiced extensively in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Polk and Volusia counties, as well as the various municipalities within those counties. As lead counsel, Mr. Sullivan has effectively represented numerous developers in connection with comprehensive planning, Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs), sector planning, annexations, rezonings, variances, conditional uses, special exceptions, site selection, due diligence, as well as other land use...

407-418-6680
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement