Posted by: Patricia Salkin | June 1, 2021

FL Appeals Court Concluded Circuit Court Applied the Correct Law When It Decided That the Zoning Board’s Decision to Deny a Special Exception Was Supported by Competent and Substantial Evidence

This post was authored by Olena Botshteyn, Esq.

In 2016, Publix Supermarkets, Inc. (“Publix”) sought to open a package store selling beer, wine, and spirits in Miami-Dade County. Since another package liquor store was located within 1,500 feet of Publix’s proposed location, it had to obtain a Special Exception to operate such a store, and a Non-Use Variance, which would allow Publix to be open on Sundays. In January 2017, the Community Zoning Appeals Board (“CZAB”) held a meeting on Publix’s application, where T-Rexx, another liquor store, presented evidence against the proposed store, and CZAB subsequently denied the application.

Publix then sought first-tier certiorari review of the CZAB denial, and the court quashed denial, having found that it was not supported by competent and substantial evidence “because T-Rexx failed to meet its burden of showing Publix did not meet the requirements necessary.” The County then filed a petition for second-tier certiorari and the court of appeals remanded the case, having concluded that the circuit court applied incorrect law to the facts and instructed the court to decide simply whether CZAB decision was supported by competent and substantial evidence. On remand, the circuit court concluded that it was. Publix then filed a petition for second-tier certiorari review, asking the court to determine whether the circuit court applied the correct law. The court concluded that it did, and denied the petition.

Publix Supermarkets, Inc. v Miami-Dade County, 317 So. 3d 228 (FL App. 3/3/2021)

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