The Judges concluded that Yacht Club’s complaint, seeking a declaration as to the validity of two provisions of the Village’s code, states a cause of action for declaratory relief under chapter 86. The Judge of the Third District therefore, reversed the trial court’s dismissal order and remand for further proceedings. In other words - unless there is a change of heart in a motion for rehearing, this matter goes back to the trial court for more litigation.
Note that this opinion is not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing, if one is filed.
CLICK HERE to view the full eight (8) page order rendered Wednesday, June 24, 2020.
I will dive deeper into this order as time permits, but I wanted to get the information relating to this case and its immediate impact to my readers.
EDITOR’S NOTE – BOTTOM LINE – it’s the process employed –using an ordinance - and not any notice or failure to timely notice by any member of the village staff. From my review, it is my opinion that this matter should have gone to a proper zoning hearing rather than political posturing and acting though an ordinance.
While we express no opinion on the merits of Yacht Club’s claim, we have little difficulty concluding that the claim, as pled by Yacht Club, is cognizable under chapter 86. Section 86.021, in particular, provides in relevant part as follows: “Any person . . . whose rights . . . are affected by a statute, . . . or by municipal ordinance . . . may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under such statute . . . [or] municipal ordinance.” § 86.021, Fla. Stat. (2019).
The proposed ordinances – essentially initiated by an agenda notice rather than an application – would change the allowed uses of property owned by Yacht Club. If the challenged provisions of sections 30-30.7(a) and 30-30.8(a) are invalid, as alleged, because they run afoul of the requirements of section 163.3181, then presumably the Village’s proposed ordinances would need to be initiated by application. Because Yacht Club’s rights are affected by the process that the Village is currently employing to initiate land use changes to Yacht Club’s property, Yacht Club’s claim – alleging an injury sufficient to warrant redress – is ripe for adjudication ….More to come