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. 

Filtering by Tag: annexation

A Totally Useless Annexation Decision

While the participants surely understand the impact of the followign opinion, I'm sure that the rest of us don't.

Presumably, Hernando County lost before the circuit court and then won before the Fifth on the basis of the McBride case - which dealt with "compactness" as a criterion for annexation (not "pockets"), but without much explanation.

Here's the entire opinion:

Petitioner is challenging two annexation ordinances on the basis that they
create an impermissible “pocket” of unincorporated area within the municipal
boundaries. Concluding that the lower court departed from the essential
requirements of the law, we grant the petition and quash the lower court’s
order. See City of Center Hill v. McBryde, 952 So. 2d 599, 603 (Fla. 5th DCA

The Fifth keeps behaving in very unpredictable ways in these cases. Compare its treatment in the City of Cocoa case. One can only conclude that the treatment one of these cases gets in this District is totally dependant on the panel you pull rather than the facts of the case.

Second District Affirms Fourth on Annexation in Charter Counties

In City of Largo et al v. Pinellas County, the Second District held that a provision in the county charter could not authorize a county ordinance governing voluntary (or other) annexation, citing the Wellington case issued by the Fourth DCA last year. To comply with the applicable statute, any alteration to the annexation provisions must be included in, not merely authorized by, the charter.

Read the opinion to get a feel for the kind of turf wars that are springing up all over the statee over annexation issues. I think there have been more reported cases involving counties suing to stop city annexations in the last four years than in the previous twenty, not to mention all the variations on county charter amendments intended to restrict municipal growth.

5th DCA - It's Illegal, But Who Cares?

In Board of County Commissioners v. City ov Cocoa, over a strong dissent by Judge Evander, the 5th District let the City get away with what appears from the dissent to be a clearly illegal involuntary annexation of undeveloped lands because there was no "miscarriage of justice."

In effect, the District Court used this oft-abused 2d tier certiorari standard, which is intended to prevent simple complaining from reaching the districts as a "second appeal." as a basis for turning a blind eye to a flat out abuse. The legislature or the Supreme Court MUST fix this situation. Certiorari review is simply insufficient where there are no meaningful procedures, requirements for written opinions, and too little meaningful guidance on what consitutes "departure from the essential requirements of law."

Annexation not Compact, but What About Standing?

In City of Center Hill v McBride, et al, the 5th District upheld a circuit court's quashal of an annexation ordiance on certioriari review (I know, should be illegal but it isn't), based on agreeing with the city that the annexed lands (to be used for a limerock mine) were not sufficiently compact (described by the challengers as a "ballooon on a string").

My question is how these unincorporated residents met the requirement of the statute that requires a demonstration of material injury.

Charter Control over Annexation- Provisions Must Be in Charter Itself

In Village of Wellington, et al, v Palm Beach County, here's the opinion, the 4th DCA upheld a circuit court's findings on the powers of charter counties to control and limit annexation. There's a good discussion of the interaction of the various constitutional and statutory provisions, but the bottom line is that the Charter provision itself must provide the actual annexation rules if they are to supersede the statutory provisions or municipal charters. The Charter can't just empower the County Commission to adopt later ordinances to govern annexation.

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