Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 6, 2018

FL Appeals Court Upholds Name and Address Requirement for People Speaking at Zoning Hearings

This posting was authored by Amy Lavine, Esq.

A Florida court upheld a city policy that required anyone speaking at a zoning hearing to provide their names and addresses. The trial court had ordered the city to allow members of the public to testify anonymously at a public hearing regarding zoning restrictions on short-term vacation rentals, based on concerns that enforcement actions would be taken against property owners who supported short-term vacation rentals, and thus chilling their rights to free speech. On appeal, however, the court ruled that the injunction went too far in banning the city from requiring public speakers to provide their names and addresses at all public hearings, including hearings not related to vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. The court also noted that the city’s policy was supported by a variety of legitimate reasons that do not chill the First Amendment rights of public speakers, such as calling speakers to the podium by name so as to provide an orderly process to conduct public meetings and ensuring that they reside within the city and so have legitimate interests in the matters at hand.

City of Miami v. Airbnb, Inc., 2018 WL 6332240 (12/5/18).

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