In a case challenging a charter amendment that
would put specific restrictions on the use of certain publicly owned upland and
submerged land, the circuit court found the proposed ballot language was not
ambiguous, the amendment was not placed on the ballot in violation of the
governing statute, and the ballot did not violate the “anti-referendum”
provision of § 163.3167(12), Fla. Stat.
The District Court upheld the circuit court on all points.
With respect to the final matter, the City and
the Redevelopment Agency that owned the land argued that the prohibitions
eliminated uses permitted under the comprehensive plan and zoning, and
therefore would require amendments to the plan and zoning. The circuit court and district court
disagreed, and the district court found there were still uses for the affected
property, that were consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
Given the findings, the result was not
surprising. For whatever reason, the
City did not challenge the amendment as an LDR that required hearings under §
163.3194. This points out a problematic
hole in § 163.3167(12), even after
recent amendments - while plan amendments and development orders are not
subject to referenda, land development code changes are subject to referenda. We’ll see if the statute is expanded to
include LDRs after some decisions like this which still leave the development
of specific sites subject to referenda.