Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 17, 2010

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Zoning Official’s Denial of Applications Where Former Official Did Not Sign a Certificate of Compliance

Defendant zoning official was sued for alleged tortious interference because she denied various zoning permit applications.  Plaintiff submitted six zoning applications to be reviewed for compliance, and five were denied by Defendant. This followed a review by a former zoning official who had allegedly recommended approval of the permits, but never put such in writing. The Plaintiff alleged that the denials were based on a “re-review” of the applications and that such denials were the result of political opposition to the development project. Plaintiff challenged the denials in the Town’s Board of Adjustment but the Board rejected the challenge. The circuit court and Florida court of appeals also rejected the challenge.  Plaintiff eventually filed a federal lawsuit and the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendant.  The Court of Appeals determined that that the district court correctly found that Defendant was justified in reviewing the zoning applications from Plaintiff and that she was also justified in approving or denying the applications based upon her findings.  The Court noted that the earlier review was not completed and was a work in progress, as no certificates of compliance had been signed by the former zoning official. 

Forum Architects, LLC v. Jetton, 2010 WL 4358386 (C.A. 11th Cir. 11/4/2010)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/unpub/ops/200915362.pdf


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