Monday, July 2, 2012

Second Quarter 2012: Recent Florida Environmental and Land Use Case Law

The Florida Bar's Environmental and Land Use Law Section has posted my column on the environmental and land use cases in Florida that you need to know about in the second quarter of 2012.
  • North Port Road and Drainage District v. West Villages Improvement District, 82 So. 3d 69 (Fla. 2012), holding that a dependent special district could not make a valid non-ad valorem special assessment on real property that was owned by an independent special district. 
  • Nader v. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, - So. 3d -, 37 Fla. L. Weekly S130, 2012 WL 572985 (Fla. Feb. 23, 2012), clarifying that on second-tier certiorari review before a District Court of Appeal, the court's standard of review is the same whether the court  is reviewing a circuit court appeal from county court or a first-tier certiorari review before a circuit court. Further, the District Court of Appeal may grant second-tier certiorari relief to quash a circuit court decision that obeyed the controlling precedent of another DCA. 
  • Donovan v. Okaloosa County, - So. 3d -, 37 Fla. L. Weekly S6, 2012 WL 16587 (Fla. Mar. 5, 2012), validating beach renourishment bonds because beach renourishment is a public purpose, and confirming that bonds may be issued before a project has obtained all necessary permits. 
  • Washington County v. Northwest Florida Water Management District, - So. 3d -, 37 Fla. Law Weekly D658, 2012 WL 879284 (Fla. 1st DCA Mar. 16, 2012), explaining that section 373.709, Florida Statutes, allows administrative challenges to water supply plans. In this particular case, however, the appellants lacked standing to challenge the plan.
  • North Palm Beach v. S&H Foster’s, Inc., 80 So. 3d 433 (Fla. 4th DCA), presenting a case where a tenant could not be grandfathered into zoning ordinance because the landowner had voluntarily annexed the subject property into the municipality. That is, once a property is annexed, it must comply with the ordinances of its new municipality. 
  • Pruitt v. Sands, - So. 3d -, 2012 WL 1317228 (Fla. 4th DCA Apr. 18, 2012), holding that it is not appropriate for a court to defer to a local government’s interpretation of its comprehensive plan. This is different from a situation  where a private party brings suit to enforce an ordinance, when a court must defer to the local government’s interpretation of its land development code
Take a look at past posts for previous cases I've summarized about Florida environmental and land use law. As usual, please get in touch with me about recent cases that others need to know about.