Saturday, August 13, 2011

Yankeetown Files Complaint to Declare Community Planning Act Unconstitutional

Well, that didn't take long.

Tiny Yankeetown, with a population of less than a 1,000, has challenged HB 7207, this session's landmark growth management overhaul. I've written several times about the Community Planning Act. The Second Judicial Circuit has labeled the case as high profile, which means the docket is available online. I'll be following it to provide updates to all who are interested. Yankeetown filed an expedited complaint on August 1st and an amended complaint on August 8th.

In Yankeetown v. DCA (37 2011 CA 002036), Yankeetown requests that HB 7207 (ch. 2011-139, Laws of Fla.), be declared unconstitutional because it:
  1. contains more than one subject, was adopted in violation of the single subject rule, and was read by a misleading and inaccurate title; and because it
  2. contains an unconstitutional delegation, in violation of the non-delegation doctrine, to the State Land Planning Agency to define the vague terms "important state resources and facilities" and "important regional resources and facilities."
Yankeetown also seeks a declaratory judgment that it still apply its referenda provisions, requiring voters to approve all comprensive land use changes affecting more than five parcels. because they existed before HB 7207 was passed. The amended complaint adds allegations concerning the title of the bill and whether it was enacted properly.

Because HB 7207 went into effect upon being signed by Governor Scott in early June, local governments around Florida had to learn its provisions quickly. They must continue implementing the Community Planning Act, despite this challenge. If Yankeetown is successful, Florida land use and growth management law could get very messy, very quickly.