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Orlando, Florida Eminent Domain Blog

How can zoning impact your legal issues?

When driving through Florida, there is a reason residents see houses grouped together in one area, with restaurants and businesses in a different area. This is because zoning ordinances exist to differentiate between different types and purposes of property. Generally, property can be commercial, recreational, industrial, residential or agricultural. When land use is incompatible, then zoning laws segregate those areas. Additionally, zoning laws ensure that residential areas are planned in such a way that there is room for enough homes and infrastructure, such as school and street development. This is why someone cannot begin operating a business from their home without consulting the applicable zoning ordinance.

When it comes to residential property being rezoned into commercial property, issues such as privacy and increase in traffic make getting permission complicated. Although every municipality resident has the right to ask the zoning board for permission to rezone their property, it can be difficult to be granted. Residents often ask for variances instead, which is permission to use their property in a manner that is an exception to current zoning restrictions.

Why is property taken for eminent domain?

Florida residents usually welcome the development of new property projects in their cities for the economic opportunities they will likely create. But, if someone's property has been appropriated for the project, it can leave them feeling confused as to their legal rights in the process.

Many property owners feel that the power of eminent domain has been abused in the past, and not everyone believes a given development project will benefit the community.

Lee County Commissioners reject mine plan

One of the most disruptive battles faced by county zoning boards is a local objection to an economically beneficial use that is perceived to be disruptive and a threat to the neighborhood where it is located. Lee County Commissioners are facing such a battle involving a proposed change of use for the Old Corkscrew Plantation in east Lee County. The landowner, a unit of King Ranch, Inc., wants a permit allowing the large scale mining of lime rock, but the people who live close to the proposed mining site are convinced that the mine will destroy their neighborhood.

The bubbling dispute threatened to become a full boil after the commissioners denied the permit application. The commissioners relied largely on a report and recommendation from a hearing examiner who recommended that the proposal be denied. The examiner found that the project would not be consistent with the county's land-use policies.

Cape Coral Park plans may force land owner to sell at a loss

Most land owners in Central Florida are aware of the state's power to force them to sell their property to the state, but they are often unaware of the details of the process until their land becomes the focus of the eminent domain process. Florida's eminent domain laws say that the state or one of its political subdivisions, such as a city, can compel a landowner to sell the land for its fair market value if the state or municipality has identified a proper public purpose for the acquisition. The intersection of the Great Recession in 2008 and the decision by the City of Cape Coral to build a new park have placed one landowner in a very difficult situation.

The landowner purchased the tract at issue in 2004 for $183,000. One year prior to this purchase, the land was sold for $85,000. The owner has paid taxes on the land for the last 15 years. In July of this year, the Cape Coral city council passed what is called a "resolution of necessity," which declared that the land should be acquired for the purpose of building a public park that would enhance "the quality of life through arts and culture. . . ."

Is the government going to take my property?

Eminent domain, despite being a legal tactic used by the government, is still something that often feels a bit out of place in the United States. There is such a focus in Florida and all over the country on the idea of personal freedom, personal ownership and personal rights. Eminent domain seems to fly in the face of these American ideals.

If you're worried about the government swooping in to take your property, there are a few things you should know. Make sure you really understand eminent domain laws and all they entail.

Lee County board approves zoning change to allow 201 units

Many residents of Florida cherish their rural neighborhoods that give them freedom from urban crowding, traffic problems, flooding and water quality. The interests of these residents often run into a different trend: the desire of municipalities to provide quality housing for their residents.

An example of this land use conflict was provided by a recent vote of the Lee County Board of Commissions to rezone 216 acres to permit construction of 201 units of single family housing.

Lime mine lawsuit may be on verge of settling

The City of Bonita Springs and Oakbrook Properties, the owner of a lime rock mine on the north edge of the city, have been locked in a land use dispute since the end of 2017.

Oakbrook wants to redevelop the mining property by building 650 residential units and assorted commercial and recreational facilities. The city wants to use the mine for storm water management.

The eminent domain process in Florida

This blog recently discussed how just compensation for a government taking of property may be calculated. It can also be helpful to consider the eminent domain process in Florida when property is taken for a public use such as a roadway or other transportation project. When that is the case, there is a process the government follows.

The Florida Department of Transportation, like other government entities, has the power to take private property for general public use. The government has this power according to the federal constitution, as well as the Florida constitution. The taking must be determined to be for a public use and the fair market value of the property must be offered to the property owner.

How just compensation for eminent domain is calculated

When a property owner is having their property taken through eminent domain, it is important for them to understand what types of damages they should receive. When property is taken by the government for public use through eminent domain, the government must pay just compensation for the taking which is why it is essential for property owners to know what just compensation means.

The purpose of just compensation is to place the property owner in the same position, or as close to it as possible, that they would have been in without the taking of their property and to make them whole again. It is necessary for property owners going through the takings process to know how just compensation is calculated through the valuation of their property. The property valuation process for eminent domain damages can be a challenging process that the property owner may have to fight for which is why they need to be familiar with it.

Taking action over an inaccurate seller's disclosure

Buying real estate often involves multiple professional examinations of the property, as well as thorough disclosures provided by the seller. The purpose of appraisals and disclosures is to protect people from getting taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals.

A piece of real estate that seems appealing upon visual inspection could turn out to be a money pit due to serious issues like a sinking foundation. Anyone selling a piece of real estate with defects has an obligation under Florida law to advise the potential purchaser of any known defects in the seller's disclosure.

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Callan Law Firm
921 Bradshaw Terrace
Orlando, FL 32806

Toll Free: 877-426-9141
Phone: 407-917-4436
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