Posted by: Patricia Salkin | June 19, 2016

FL Appeals Court Finds Court Below Failed to Apply the Correct Law in Zoning Amendment Case

Errol Alvey, Charles M. Baron, Shelly Clay, and Robert Taylor (“the petitioners”) sought to quash the decision of the circuit court appellate panel which denied their petition for writ of certiorari to quash the resolution passed by the Mayor and City Council of the City of North Miami Beach. The resolution granted the developer, Braha Dixie, LLC’s application to rezone its real property from CF, Community Facility, and RM–23, Residential Mid–Rise Multi–Family, to B–2, General Business. The developer sought this zoning change to erect a hotel with two ten-story buildings and an 87,700 square foot six-story office building with 25,600 square feet of ground floor retail space and a four-story, 600–space parking garage.

Sec. 24–174(B)(2) of the City’s Code mandated that “The proposed change would be consistent with and in scale with the established neighborhood land use pattern.” However, rather than presenting any evidence that the proposed zoning change would be “consistent with and in scale with the established neighborhood land use pattern,” the developer presented evidence and argued that the proposed zoning change would be “compatible” with the general area. The City also focused on compatibility and essentially approved the rezoning request, which was a necessary prerequisite for the proposed development project, based upon its finding that it would be an economic benefit to the City. Furthermore, the circuit court made no reference to or findings as to section 24–174(B)(2), or any section of the City’s code. Accordingly, the court found that the City failed to apply its own city code and the circuit court departed from the essential requirements of the law by finding that there was competent substantial evidence to support the City’s improper standard for review when considering a proposed zoning change. The court therefore granted the petition for a writ of certiorari to quash the circuit court’s decision affirming City Resolution.

Alvey v City of North Miami Beach, 2016 WL 3541121 (FL App. 4/27/2016)

 


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