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. 

It never really pays to be tooo tricky

In this opinion, the 5th overturned a Circuit Court quashal of a decision by the Orange County Board of Commissioners (sitting in a review capacity?) that upheld a BZA opinion upholding the Zoning Director's determination that a landowner's mess wasn't a grandfathered non-conforming "race car repair" operation, but a junkyard.

Bad facts. The landowners had been cited for operating a junkyard. They tried through the determination process to become a non-conforming race car facility and it was this determination that was denied. We don't know from the 5th's opinion -- but it looks like the circuit court bought the idea - that it wasn't inconsistent for there to be a junkyard (impermissible) AND a non-conforming race car repair facility.

5th bought Orange County's view that because there was CSE to support the Board in determining that there was a junkyard operation, the Board was justified in rejection the contention that there was (also?) a race car operation.

What's really interesting is that we don't know if EITHER the Circuit Court or the 5th examined Orange County's processes. The Board's decision was characterized as being quasi-judicial, but was it a de novo type process or a quasi-appellate process based on the record before the BZA? And if the latter, was there any appropriate finding that the record and decision below was truly adequate for review? I promise that we'll see more of this, because a LOT of commissions seems to be taking on quasi=appellate roles over local administrative decisions.

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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.