Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 16, 2008

FL Appeals Court Finds Homeowners Have Standing to Allege Permits Inconsistent with County Comprehensive Plan

Homeowners who reside on lake-front property on Corner Lake, challenged the granting of a conservation area impact permit and a boat ramp permit to the developer-applicant in conjunction with a residential development on the Lake. The homeowners alleged that the permit applications were inconsistent with the County Comprehensive Plan.  The County maintained that the homeowners could not raise this issue because they did not raise it during the public hearing, and the developer argued that the homeowners lacked standing to challenge the permit since they are only “nearby citizens.”

In finding that the homeowners did have standing to bring the declaratory action, the Court turned to the Florida statute which specific grants standing to enforce local comprehensive plans through development order (see, Section 163.3215(2) of the Florida Statutes), noting that the Courts have liberally construed this provision to ensure standing for any party with a protected interest under the comprehensive plan who will be adversely affected by the governmental entity’s actions.  The Court concluded that the homeowners, “…have met the test for standing because the interests which they allege in their amended complaint are protected by the County’s Comprehensive Plan and, as owners of property fronting the lake…which is being developed, their interests will be affected by…[the] boat ramp construction to an extent which is greater than those held by general members of the community who do not own such lake-front property.”

Dunlap v. Orange County, Florida, 2007 WL 4545897 (Fla. App. 5 Dist. 12/28/2007). 

The opinion can also be accessed at: http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2007/122407/5D06-4059.op.pdf


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