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. 

Special Districts and Validated Assessments

The 2d DCA entered a decision last month in a long-contested battle between landowners within a special district and the district to force the district to repay special assessments (for maintenance and capital improvements) - Spring Lake v. Tyrell (Spring Lake II).

Here's the interesting thing about these cases: despite the fact that ALL of the parties agreed that none of the improvements made by the District would benefit the plaintiffs' properties, the DCA in Spring Lake 1 had held that the capital improvements portion of the assessment could not be refunded because it had been part of a validated bond.

SO - if a District (of any kind - or a local government) validates a bond for special improvements backed by special assessments against all of the properties in the District and then doesn't construct improvements that benefit some of the properties, the burdened but not benefitted properties can't escape the assessments. Doesn't seem right to me - assessments should be re-worked against the benefitted properties instead. But that's not the law, now.

This is the ONLY case I found that's dead on this point.

Maybe I'm over-reading the precedent and there's some specific aspect of how these bonds were validated that created the result, but I don't think so.

Love to hear any comments on this one.

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