LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT K. LINCOLN, P.A.

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. 

Fourth DCA overturns mining permit as inconsistent with Plan

In 1000 Friends of Fla. v. Palm Beach County et al, the Fourth District adopted a strict interpretation of the term "only" in a plan policy and overturned the circuit court's decision that a mining permit was consistent with the policy.

The policy permits mining in a certain areas "only" for public road building, agricultural and water management purposes.  While the FDOT was the primary intended customer, the development order did not restrict the sale of mined aggregate for the stated uses, but only required annual reporting of sales and customers.  There was deposition and trial testimony that the company could not track the use to which sold aggregate was put.   Based on that, the 4th District held that the permit was inconsistent with the plain language of the policy and also reaffirmed that reviewing courts do not have to give deference to local government interpretations of their plans.

I am sure that this is not the last we'll hear of this matter.  These mines have significant strategic importance because they would produce high-quality aggregate needed for highway construction and the nearest alternative sources (in the Dade County lakes belt) may be shut down on federal permitting issues.  The other major south Florida source is in Lee County - but there the County Commission is waging war on aggregate producers and trying to prevent any new aggregate mines through aggressive comp plan policies and land development regulations.

So, the policy will be rewritten and adopted without the restrictive provisions, we'll have another fight, and if the lack of permitting will affect major road construction, I predict we'll get legislation next year that preempts local comprehensive plans and regulations of strategic aggregate mining operations.

46 N. Washington Blvd, Suite 7, Sarasota, FL 34236      Phone (941) 681-8700

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.