Land Use and Local Government Law and Litigation

The Law Office of Robert K. Lincoln, P.A.  provides legal services to private and public entities involved in complex land use disputes.  Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.  Before you decide, ask and I will provide free information about my experience and qualifications. 

Temporary takings - damages case

City of Tampa v Redner - bar owner denied a special permit (wet zoning) to sell liquor attacked the decision on both substantive and takings grounds and won the takings case, including damages based on lost lease income.

Second DCA reversed the takings damages, citing Wheeler for the proposition that the right measure was to take the difference in land value with and without zoning and basically give the landowner interest on that amount for the duration of the taking. Also, no attorney fees or other costs.

Bad reasoning. First, as the dissent lays out, the Wheeler case involved raw land that was zoned for apartments, but no apartments built. The court reasoned that it was speculative to try to determine not only whether willing lessors would present, but the amount of the leases. Moreover, the court reasoned that the appraised value of the land would take into account the true value of the income stream and that the "interest rate" would fairly represent the profit to be taken from it. Here, you had a building already developed and lease contracts on the table that simply required the removal of the illegal burden.

More importantly, and not discussed by the majority or the dissent, Wheeler was a US case tried under the 5th amendment. In Florida, our constitution not only give protection against temporary takings, it also provides for full compensation when a taking occurs. So the measure should have included the attorney and appraiser's fees, etc.

Beyond the damages fight, the case demonstrates that if an improper ordinance or regulation destroys all use, you can both attack the regulation as invalid AND get temporary takings damages for the time it was applied.


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Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask and I will send you free written information about my qualifications and experience. Additionally, the comments, statements and articles contained herein are general in nature and should not be relied upon as a basis for any legal opinion, action or conclusion on the part of the reader with respect to any particular set of facts or circumstances, or to establish an attorney-client relationship between us.