[*] Shareholder, Hopping Green Sams & Smith, P.A., Tallahassee, Florida. B.J., 1974, University of Texas at Austin; M.S., 1975, Columbia University; J.D., 1986, Florida State University. In conjunction with the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium at Florida State University, under contract with the Florida Department of Community Affairs, Mr. Powell prepared the Model Procedural Guidelines for the Special Master Law contained in the legislation that is the subject of this Article. Return to text.

[**] Partner, Steel Hector & Davis, Tallahassee, Florida. B.A., 1964, University of California; J.D., 1968, University of California at Berkeley; M.P.A., 1973, Harvard University. Mr. Rhodes served on the working group that recommended the property rights legislation which is the subject of this Article. Return to text.

[***] Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor, Tallahassee, Florida, 1995-Present; General Counsel, Florida Department of Community Affairs, Tallahassee, Florida, 1993-1995; B.A., 1978, University of South Dakota; J.D., 1982, Florida State University. Mr. Stengle served as the principal drafter for the working group that prepared the property rights legislation which is the subject of this Article.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the research assistance of Connie C. Durrence of Hopping Green Sams & Smith, P.A. Return to text.

[1] FLA. STAT. § 70 (1995). Return to text.

[2] Id. Return to text.

[3] U.S. CONST. amend. V; FLA. CONST. art. X, § 6. Return to text.

[4] Larry Kaplow, Panel Compromise on Property Rights Bill, PALM BEACH POST, Apr. 20, 1995, at A9. Return to text.

[5] Larry Kaplow, Property Rights Bill Readied, Palm Beach Post, Apr. 20, 1995, at Al. Return to text.

[6] Kaplow, supra note 4, at A9. Return to text.

[7] Since 1991, at least 19 states have enacted property rights legislation. See ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. §§ 9-462.02, 9-500.12, 9-500.13, 11-810, 11-811, 11-830(F), 41-1311 to 41-1313 (1995); DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 29, § 605 (1995); FLA. STAT. § 70 (1995); IDAHO CODE § 67-8001 to 67-8004 (1995); IND. CODE § 4-22-2-32 (1995); KAN. STAT. ANN. § 26 (1995); LA. REV. STAT. ANN. § 19 (West 1995); MISS. CODE ANN. § 49-33-1 to 49-33-17 (1995); MO. ANN. STAT. §§ 536.017, .018 (1995); MONT. CODE ANN. §§ 75-1-102, 75-1-103, 75-1-201 (1995); N.M. STAT. ANN. § 73 (Michie 1995); N.C. GEN. STAT. §113-206(e) (1995); OR. REV. STAT. § 105 (1994); TENN. CODE ANN. §§ 12-1-201 to 12-1-204 (1995); TEX. GOVT. CODE ANN. § 2007 (1995); UTAH CODE ANN. §§ 63-90-1 to 63-90-4, 63-90a-1 to 63-90a-4 (1995); WASH. REV. CODE § 36.70A.370 (1995); W. VA. CODE § 22-1A-1 to 22-1A-6 (1995); WYO. STAT. § 9-5-301 to 9-5-305 (1995).

For an overview of state property rights measures from a public-sector perspective, see Larry Morandi, Takings for Granted, STATE LEGISLATURES, June 1995, at 22. For an overview of the nationwide property rights movement from a private-sector perspective, see Peter Samuel, The Property Rights Movement: Enviros, Regulators Meet Their Match, MINING VOICE, May/June 1995, at 22. Return to text.

[8] Fla. HB 1437 (1993). Return to text.

[9] Id. Return to text.

[10] FLA. LEGIS., HISTORY OF LEGISLATION, 1993 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF HOUSE BILLS at 268, HB 1437. Return to text.

[11] Fla. SB 1000 (1993). Return to text.

[12] Veto of Fla. SB 1000 (1993) (letter from Gov. Chiles to Sec'y of State Jim Smith, June 4, 1993) (on file with Sec'y of State, The Capitol, Tallahassee, Fla.). Return to text.

[13] Id. Return to text.

[14] Fla. Exec. Order No. 93-150 (June 4, 1993). The commission consisted of 17 members, including: four landowners; one economist familiar with property valuation; two local government officials; the secretaries of the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection; a water management district representative; four representatives of conservation organizations; two persons, respectively, recommended by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate; and one member of The Florida Bar serving as chair of the commission. Return to text.

[15] E.g., 1978, Fla. Laws ch. 78-85. See also Robert M. Rhodes, Compensating Police Power Takings: Chapter 78-85, Laws of Florida, 52 FLA. B.J. 741 (Nov. 1978). For an account of recent legislative activity in this field leading up to the 1995 Regular Session, see Kent Wetherell, Private Property Rights Legislation: The "Midnight Version" and Beyond, 22 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 525 (1994). Return to text.

[16] Fla. Exec. Order No. 93-354, § 3(b) (Dec. 28, 1993). Return to text.

[17] REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR'S PROPERTY RIGHTS STUDY COMMISSION II (1994) [hereinafter GOVERNOR'S STUDY COMMISSION II]. Return to text.

[18] Id. at 1. Return to text.

[19] Id. at 75-76. Return to text.

[20] Fla. HB 1967 (1994). Return to text.

[21] Fla. SB 630 (1994); Fla. HB 485 (1994). Return to text.

[22] Fla. SB 630 (1994); Fla. HB 485 (1994). Return to text.

[23] FLA. LEGIS., HISTORY OF LEGISLATION, 1994 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF HOUSE BILLS at 345-46, HB 1967; id. at 74, SB 630; id. at 247-48, CS for HB 485. Return to text.

[24] Advisory Opinion to the Att'y Gen. Re: Tax Limitation; Advisory Opinion to the Att'y Gen. Re: Voter Approval of New Taxes; Advisory Opinion to the Att'y Gen. Re: Property Rights; Advisory Opinion to the Att'y Gen. Re: Revenue Limits, 644 So. 2d 486, 489 (Fla. 1994). Return to text.

[25] Id. Return to text.

[26] Id. Return to text.

[27] Id. at 494. Return to text.

[28] FLA. CONST. art. XI, § 3. Return to text.

[29] Advisory Opinion, 644 So. 2d at 494. Return to text.

[30] During the 1995 Regular Session, in Washington State, lawmakers gave legislative approval to a property rights initiative.

The Washington legislation, Initiative No. 164, the Private Property Regulatory Fairness Act, required full compensation for any reduction in value caused by regulation to any parcel or portion of private property. Any regulation of private property was prohibited unless a statement analyzing the expected economic impact on regulated property was prepared by the regulator and made available to the public prior to adoption. The initiative forbid governmental entities from requiring any property owner to provide or pay for any studies, maps, plans, or reports to be used in decisions that would restrict the use of private property for public use. See Wash. C.A. 164 (1995) (subject to referendum).

On November 9, 1995, Referendum 48, previously Initiative No. 164, became the third such referendum in the nation to be voted down. While the measure was defeated by a margin of 3-to-2, proponents hope to enact a similar law in next year's legislative session. Doug Conner, Property-Right Vote Losers To Keep Fighting, L.A. TIMES, Nov. 9, 1995, at A1. Return to text.

[31] Fla. SJR 968 (1995); Fla. HJR 1847 (1995) (proposed amendment to art. X, § 6, Fla. Const.); Fla. CS for SB 1326 (1995); Fla. HB 1381 (1995). Return to text.

[32] Fla. SJR 968 (1995); Fla. HJR 1847 (1995). Return to text.

[33] Fla. SJR 968 (1995); Fla. HJR 1847 (1995). Return to text.

[34] Fla. CS for SB 1326 (1995); Fla. HB 1381 (1995). Return to text.

[35] The House bill did not specify that recovery would be available only if the diminution of value exceeded the greater of $10,000 or 25 percent. Fla. HB 1381 (1995). Return to text.

[36] Fla. CS for SB 1326 (1995); Fla. HB 1381 (1995). Return to text.

[37] Fla. CS for SB 1326 (1995); Fla. HB 1381 (1995). Return to text.

[38] Lucy Morgan, Chiles Seeks Law To Repay Small Landowners, ST. PETE. TIMES, Mar. 30, 1995, at B5. Return to text.

[39] The working group included representatives from state agencies, including the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Eminent Domain Section of the Department of Transportation; regional entities, including regional planning councils and water management districts; local governments, including the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida League of Cities; environmental organizations, including the Florida Audubon Society, 1000 Friends of Florida, the Florida Wildlife Federation, and the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association; development interests, including the Florida Home Builders Association and the Association of Florida Community Developers; and landowning interests, such as the Florida Farm Bureau, the Florida Land Council, and the Property Rights Coalition (an alliance of agricultural and landowner interests). Return to text.

[40] Morgan, supra note,37. Return to text.

[41] For a discussion on the drawbacks of the formulaic approach, see GOVERNOR'S STUDY COMMISSION II, supra note 16, at 71-75. Return to text.

[42] For a discussion of the settlement procedure, see infra part IV. Return to text.

[43] FLA. H.R. JOUR. 1050 (Reg. Sess. 1995); See Elizabeth Willson, Lobbyist Takes a Big Leap—and Lands on Some Toes, ST. PETE. TIMES, July 5, 1995, at B5. For the text of the amendment, see infra text accompanying note 7. Return to text.

[44] FLA. H.R. JOUR. 1050 (Reg. Sess. 1995). Return to text.

[45] FLA. LEGIS., HISTORY OF LEGISLATION, 1995 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF SENATE BILLS at 266, SB 2912. Return to text.

[46] FLA. S. JOUR. 551 (Reg. Sess. 1995). Return to text.

[47] FLA. LEGIS., HISTORY OF LEGISLATION, 1995 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF HOUSE BILLS at 141, HB 1335. This bill was placed on the agenda for the House Judiciary Committee, but the committee meeting was canceled for unrelated reasons, and the House Judiciary Committee did not meet again during the 1995 Regular Session. Return to text.

[48] Id. at 101, HB 863; FLA. H.R. JOUR. 1050 (Reg. Sess. 1995). Return to text.

[49] FLA. H.R. JOUR. 1050 (Reg. Sess. 1995). Return to text.

[50] FLA. STAT. § 70.001 (1995). Return to text.

[51] Id. Return to text.

[52] Id. § 70.001(9). The Harris Act filled a void in then-existing Florida law because, prior to its enactment, there was no means by which an owner could receive compensation for the adverse financial effects of governmental regulation of his land without satisfying the constitutional standards for a taking, namely, physical invasion or the loss of all economically viable use. See Dep't of Comm'y Aff., CS for HB 863 (1995) Staff Analysis 1 (May 15, 1995) (on file with Dept.). Return to text.

[53] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3) (1995). The Legislature did not appropriate funds for implementation of the Harris Act. See 1995, Fla. Laws ch. 95-181. To avoid running afoul of the constitutional prohibition against unfunded mandates, article VII, section 18, of the Florida Constitution, the Legislature expressly determined in the Harris Act that there was an important state interest in protecting private property owners from inordinate burdens on their property. Fla. Stat. § 70.001(1) (1995).

The Legislature also met two of the listed alternatives which remove an enactment from this constitutional bar: 1) that any expenditure necessary under the Act would apply to all persons similarly situated, including state and local governments, section 70.001(3), Florida Statutes; and 2) the Act was approved by a two-thirds vote of the membership in each chamber of the Legislature. The vote was 111-0 in the House of Representatives, and 38-1 in the Senate. FLA. LEGIS., HISTORY OF LEGISLATION, 1995 REGULAR SESSION, HISTORY OF HOUSE BILLS at 101, HB 863; See also Dep't of Comm'y Aff., CS for HB 863 (1995) Staff Analysis 6 (May 15, 1995) (on file with Dept.). Return to text.

[54] For a discussion of the limitations and exclusions, see part III.C. Return to text.

[55] Penn Cent. Transp. Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104, 124 (1978). Return to text.

[56] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3)(b) (1995). Return to text.

[57] Id. Return to text.

[58] Id. Return to text.

[59] Elizabeth Willson, Property Act Fences Out the Government, ST. PETE. TIMES, July 5, 1995, at B1. Return to text.

[60] See, e.g.,Bass v. General Dev. Corp., 374 So. 2d 479 (Fla. 1979); Board of Comm'rs of State Insts. v. Tallahassee Bank & Trust Co., 100 So. 2d 67 (Fla. 1st DCA 1958), cert. denied, 101 So. 2d 817 (Fla. 1958). Return to text.

[61] Fla. S. Comm. on Judiciary, tape recording of proceedings (Apr. 19, 1995) (on file with comm.) (discussion of SB 2912); Fla. S. Comm. on Comm'y Aff., tape recording of proceedings (Apr. 24, 1995) (on file with comm.) (discussion of SB 2912). Return to text.

[62] Id. Return to text.

[63] Id. Return to text.

[64] FLORIDA EMINENT DOMAIN PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE § 9.32 (4th ed., Fla. Bar C.L.E. 1988)[herinafter Florida Eminent Domain]. Return to text.

[65] State Road Dep't Co. v. Chicone, 158 So. 2d 753 (Fla. 1963); Cameron Dev. Co. v. United States, 145 F.2d 209 (5th Cir. 1994). Return to text.

[66] Florida Eminent Domain supra note 63 at, § 9.33. Return to text.

[67] See, e.g., Board of Comm'rs of State Insts. v. Tallahassee Bank & Trust Co., 100 So. 2d 67 (Fla. 1st DCA 1958), cert. denied, 101 So. 2d 817 (Fla. 1958). Return to text.

[68] Florida Eminent Domain, supra note 4 In a con, § 9.32. Return to text.

[69] Yoder v. Sarasota County, 81 So. 2d 219 (Fla. 1955). Return to text.

[70] See generally WILLIAM HOLDSWORTH, HISTORY OF ENGLISH LAW 34-73, 171-85 (5th ed. 1942). Return to text.

[71] Florida Eminent Domain, supra note 4 In a con, § 9.32. It would go too far, however, for a local government to utilize its comprehensive plan to purport to define the term "reasonably foreseeable, nonspeculative land uses" for Harris Act purposes in a way other than it has been defined by the Legislature—any more than a local government could adopt its own definitions for the terms "equitable estoppel" or "substantive due process" as utilized in the Harris Act. Return to text.

[72] Id. Return to text.

[73] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3)(a) (1995). Return to text.

[74] E.g., Sakolsky v. City of Coral Gables, 151 So. 2d 433 (Fla. 1963) (estoppel applied against city to forbid rescission of a building permit); see also Robert M. Rhodes & Cathy M. Sellers, Vested Rights: Establishing Predictability in a Changing Regulatory System, 20 STETSON L. REV. 475, 476 (1991). Return to text.

[75] Town of Largo v. Imperial Homes Corp., 309 So. 2d 571, 573 (Fla. 2d DCA 1975) (quoting trial court). Return to text.

[76] Id; see also City of Hollywood v. Hollywood Beach Hotel Co., 283 So. 2d 867 (Fla. 4th DCA 1973), rev'd in part, 329 So. 2d 10 (Fla. 1976). Return to text.

[77] Rhodes & Sellers, supra note 73, at 478-89. Return to text.

[78] FLA. STAT. § 70.80(a) (1995). Return to text.

[79] Rhodes & Sellers, supra note 73, at 475; see also City of Lauderdale Lakes v. Corn, 427 So. 2d 939 (Fla. 4th DCA 1983). Return to text.

[80] Rhodes & Sellers, supra note 74, at 475. Return to text.

[81] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3) (1995); see also Regents of Univ. of Michigan v. Ewing, 474 U.S. 214, 229 (1985) (Powell, J., concurring). Return to text.

[82] Regarding the recognized but muddled distinction between equitable estoppel and constitutionally-based vested rights, see David G. Heeter, Zoning Estoppel: Application of the Principles of Equitable Estoppel and Vested Rights to Zoning Disputes, 1971 URB. L. ANN. 63-65; see also City of Key West v. R.L.J.S. Corp., 537 So. 2d 641, 643 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989). Return to text.

[83] Perry v. Sinderman, 408 U.S. 593, 601 (1972); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 577 (1972). Return to text.

[84] Perry, 408 U.S. at 601; Roth, 408 U.S. at 577. Return to text.

[85] For a comprehensive discussion of investment-backed expectations, see Daniel Mandelker, Investment-Backed Expectations in Takings Law, 27 URB. LAW. 215 (1995). Return to text.

[86] Penn Cent. Transp. Co. v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104, 123 (1978). Return to text.

[87] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3)(e) (1995). Return to text.

[88] Id. Return to text.

[89] Id. Return to text.

[90] For an example of partial vesting by application of statutory criteria, see Compass Lake Hills Dev. Corp. v. Department of Comm'y Aff., Div. of State Planning, 379 So. 2d 376 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979) (partial vesting under section 380.06(12), now codified at section 380.06(20), Florida Statutes (1995)). Return to text.

[91] FLA. STAT. § 163.3167(8) (1995). Return to text.

[92] Id. § 380.05(18) (areas of critical state concern); id. § 380.06(20) (developments of regional impact). Return to text.

[93] Id. § 373.414(11)-(16). Return to text.

[94] Id. § 161.052. Return to text.

[95] See id. § 163.3167(8). Return to text.

[96] Id. § 70.001(3)(c). Return to text.

[97] This provision encompasses the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission. FLA. CONST. art. IV, § 9. It also precludes any argument that certain local governmental entities addressed in the Florida Constitution are not within the ambit of the Harris Act. E.g., id. art. VIII, § 6(e), (f) (Metropolitan Dade County). Return to text.

[98] FLA. STAT. §70.001(3)(d) (1995). Return to text.

[99] Id. Return to text.

[100] Id. Return to text.

[101] Id. § 70.001(3)(e). Although technically part of the definition of an inordinate burden, this phrase is important primarily for delineating the type of governmental action which is subject to a Harris Act claim. Return to text.

[102] BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 414 (6th ed. 1990). Return to text.

[103] Op. Att'y Gen. Fla. 95-78 (1995). A cause of action must be commenced no more than one year "after a law or regulation is first applied by the governmental entity to the property at issue." FLA. STAT. §70.001(11) (1995) (emphasis added). Return to text.

[104] Id. § 70.001(1). Return to text.

[105] Id. § 70.001(3)(e). Return to text.

[106] Id. Return to text.

[107] Id. Return to text.

[108] Id. Return to text.

[109] Id. Return to text.

[110] Id. Return to text.

[111] See infra part III.C. Return to text.

[112] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3)(e) (1995). Return to text.

[113] Id. § 70.001(3)(f). Return to text.

[114] Id. § 1.01. Return to text.

[115] See id. Return to text.

[116] Id. § 70.001(3)(g). Return to text.

[117] Id. The use of the term "relevant interest" in the definition of real property is unfortunate. It should be read as meaning a legal interest in land; to read the statute otherwise would be inconsistent with the use of the term "legal title" in the definition of property owner. Return to text.

[118] Id. § 70.001(3)(e). Return to text.

[119] Id. Return to text.

[120] Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Comm'n v. Flotilla, Inc., 636 So. 2d 761 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994); Department of Envtl. Reg. v. Schindler, 604 So. 2d 565 (Fla. 2d DCA 1992); Department of Transp. v. Jirik, 471 So. 2d 549 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985), approved, 498 So. 2d 1253 (Fla. 1986); Fox v. Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, 442 So. 2d 221 (Fla. 1st DCA 1983).

In determining whether portions of an owner's property should be considered as a whole or treated separately, courts have considered such factors as parcel contiguity, unity of use, unity of ownership, intent of the owner, and particular factual circumstances. City of Riviera Beach v. Shillingburg, 659 So. 2d 1174 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995). Return to text.

[121] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3)(g) (1995). Return to text.

[122] Id. § 380.031(7) (" 'land' includes any improvements or structures customarily regarded as land"). Return to text.

[123] For example, billboards would fall within the ambit of this definition even though they might not be considered a customary appurtenance or improvement to the land. Return to text.

[124] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(4)(a) (1995). Return to text.

[125] Id. Return to text.

[126] Id. The Harris Act does not require that the appraiser preparing the appraisal be certified, licensed, or registered. Id. Section 475.612, Florida Statutes, prohibits persons from using the titles "certified real estate appraiser," "licensed real estate appraiser," "registered real estate appraiser," or other words to that effect, without being certified, registered, or licensed in accordance with chapter 475, Florida Statutes. Generally, such certification, registration, or licensure by the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board is required for persons who hold themselves out as certified, registered, or licensed, or who issue appraisal reports in connection with federally related transactions. See id. §§ 475.610, .612, .613. The requirements that the appraisal be "bona fide" and "valid" allow the governmental entity to whom the appraisal is submitted to exercise some judgment as to the quality of the appraisal. Id. § 70.001(4)(a). Since the appraisal requirement is intended to support the claim of the owner, the greater the validity of the appraisal, the greater the likelihood that the governmental entity would rely on the appraisal in evaluating the owner's claim. Return to text.

[127] E.g., id. § 403.412. Return to text.

[128] Id. § 70.001(4)(a). The Harris Act thus gives the governmental entity the opportunity, in effect, to implead another governmental entity prior to a complaint being filed in circuit court. Unfortunately, the statute does not prescribe the procedural mechanisms for accomplishing this intention. Apparently, the governmental entity receiving the initial claim may require the landowner to serve a copy of the claim on another governmental entity. Id. Return to text.

[129] Id. Return to text.

[130] Id. § 70.001(4)(c). This list of potential remedies is almost identical to the remedies proposed for consideration in the nonjudicial settlement procedure established in section 2 of the legislation. Id. § 70.50(19)(b); see infra text accompanying note 360. Return to text.

[131] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(4)(d)1 (1995). Return to text.

[132] Id. § 70.001(4)(d)2. Return to text.

[133] Id. § 70.001(4)(d)2. For a thorough discussion of issues related to utilizing consent decrees as settlement vehicles, see David L. Callies, The Use of Consent Decrees in Settling Land Use and Environmental Disputes, 21 STETSON L. REV. 871 (1992). Return to text.

[134] 634 So. 2d 610 (Fla. 1994), reversing, 610 So. 2d 447 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992). Return to text.

[135] Id. It was not clear whether the settlement was the subject of a consent decree entered by the court, but the original litigation continued with other plaintiffs after the two psychologists settled and withdrew from the original litigation. Id. It was a subsequent challenge to implementation of the settlement which led to the decision by the Florida Supreme Court. Return to text.

[136] Id. at 612 (citations omitted). Return to text.

[137] Id. Return to text.

[138] Id. Return to text.

[139] The decision has been criticized for containing "no real discussion of the critical issue regarding the source of legal authority for an agency to enter into a settlement agreement which contravenes the agency's enabling act." Scott Boyd, How the Exception Makes the Rule: Agency Waiver of Statutes, Rules, and Precedent in Florida, 7 ST. THOMAS L. REV. 287, 298 (1995).

In another recent case, a divided court affirmed without discussion a consent decree which was tantamount to an exception to statutory dredge-and-fill permitting requirements. Eastpointe Condominium Ass'n I, Inc. v. Palm Beach Isles Assocs., 636 So. 2d 721 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993) (per curiam affirmance). In his dissenting opinion, Chief Judge Glickstein objected to the court's affirmance of the consent decree partially because existing law did not authorize the permit exception. Id. at 723. In a companion case that may presage issues arising from implementation of the pre-suit settlement provision of the Harris Act, the same court affirmed the agency's denial of a petition by a third party requesting a formal administrative hearing on the agency's decision to enter into the settlement agreement which resulted in the consent decree. The court grounded the latter decision solely on its affirmance of the consent decree. Singer Island Civic Ass'n, Inc. v. State Dept. of Envt'l Reg., 636 So. 2d 723 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993), rev. granted, 649 So. 2d 234 (Fla. 1994), rev. denied sub nom., 652 So. 2d 817 (Fla. 1995). Return to text.

[140] Abramson v. Florida Psychological Association, 634 So. 2d 610, 612 (Fla. 1994), reversing, 610 So. 2d 447 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992). Return to text.

[141] Id. Return to text.

[142] Id. Return to text.

[143] Id. Return to text.

[144] Id. Return to text.

[145] FLA. CONST. art. II, § 3. Like its predecessors, this provision incorporates the nondelegation doctrine into the state's organic law. See, e.g., State v. Atlantic Coast Line Ry. Co., 47 So. 969, 976 (Fla. 1908) (The Legislature "may not delegate the power to enact a law or to declare what the law shall be, or to exercise an unrestricted discretion in applying a law.") (emphasis added). Return to text.

[146] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(4)(d)1-2 (1995). Return to text.

[147] Askew v. Cross Key Waterways, 372 So. 2d 913, 925 (Fla. 1978). Return to text.

[148] In re Advisory Opinion to the Gov., 509 So. 2d 292, 311 (Fla. 1987). Return to text.

[149] Id. Return to text.

[150] Bigler v. Department of Banking & Fin., 368 So. 2d 449, 450-51 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979), aff'd, 394 So. 2d 989 (Fla. 1981). Return to text.

[151] Safer v. City of Jacksonville, 237 So. 2d 8, 12 (Fla. 1st DCA 1970). Return to text.

[152] Apalachee Regional Planning Council v. Brown, 546 So. 2d 451, 452 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989), aff'd, 560 So. 2d 782 (Fla. 1990). Return to text.

[153] Department of Bus. Reg. v. Jones, 474 So. 2d 359, 362 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985), rev. denied, 484 So. 2d 8 (Fla. 1986). Return to text.

[154] 546 So. 2d 451, 452 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989), aff'd, 560 So. 2d 782 (Fla. 1990). Return to text.

[155] Id. at 453. Return to text.

[156] Id. Return to text.

[157] Id. Return to text.

[158] Id. Return to text.

[159] See Robert M. Rhodes, Terry E. Lewis & James C. Hauser, Contract and Conditional Zoning: The Not So Dubious Distinction, 56 FLA. B.J. 263 (Mar. 1982). Return to text.

[160] See Callies, supra note 132, at 879-95. Return to text.

[161] See Conner v. Joe Hatton, Inc., 216 So. 2d 209, 214 (Fla. 1968). Return to text.

[162] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(4)(d)1 (1995). Return to text.

[163] Id. § 70.001(5)(a). Return to text.

[164] Id. Return to text.

[165] Id. Significantly, the Harris Act provides that "the matter shall be deemed ripe or final for the purposes of the judicial proceeding created by this section." Id. (emphasis added). Thus, a ripeness decision in response to a Harris Act claim will not necessarily satisfy the ripeness requirements for other types of actions, specifically for a civil action alleging a taking without just compensation. Return to text.

[166] E.g., Greenbriar, Ltd. v. City of Alabaster, 881 F.2d 1570, 1573 (11th Cir. 1989). Return to text.

[167] Eide v. Sarasota County, 908 F.2d 716, 721 (11th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1120 (1991); see also Williamson County Regional Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172 (1985).

Florida courts have adopted federal doctrine on ripeness. E.g., Glisson v. Alachua County, 558 So. 2d 1030, 1034 (Fla. 1st DCA), rev. denied, 570 So. 2d 1304 (Fla. 1990). For a comprehensive review of federal and state ripeness cases in a regulatory taking context, see Taylor v. Village of North Palm Beach, 20 Fla. L. Weekly D1831 (Fla. 4th DCA Aug. 16, 1995). Return to text.

[168] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(5)(a) (1995). Return to text.

[169] This provision is intended to preclude Kafkaesque situations such as the ping-pong judicial proceedings involving Richard and Anne Reahard of Lee County, Florida. Reahard v. Lee County, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, No. 89-227-CIV-FTM-10C. In the period leading up to enactment of the Harris Act, the Reahard case had a profound effect on Florida landowners' perceptions about the efficacy of existing judicial remedies for their grievances. Id.

In 1989, the Reahards sued Lee County for taking their property by designating it a Resource Protection Area under the Lee County Comprehensive Plan. Id. The lawsuit was filed in state circuit court. Id. It was removed to United States District Court on the motion of Lee County. Id. A federal magistrate determined that the Reahards had exhausted their state administrative remedies and concluded that the claim was ripe for federal court disposition. Id. A jury awarded the Reahards $700,000 plus accrued interest. Id.

Lee County appealed. Reahard v. Lee County, 968 F.2d 1131 (11th Cir. 1992). Reversing the trial court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the magistrate had misapplied the test for regulatory takings. Id. at 1134. The Eleventh Circuit then issued an addendum opinion, instructing the magistrate to address the issue of ripeness. Reahard v. Lee County, 978 F.2d 1212, 1213 (11th Cir. 1992).

On remand, the magistrate again held that all state remedies had been exhausted and reinstated the jury verdict. Reahard v. Lee County, 30 F.3d 1412, 1414 (11th Cir. 1994). Again, Lee County appealed. Id. Again, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the trial court, holding that state administrative remedies had not been exhausted. Id. at 1418. Again, the Eleventh Circuit remanded the case, this time with directions to remand the case to the state circuit court from which it had been originally removed. Id.

The Reahards' petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court was denied. Reahard v. Lee County, 115 S. Ct. 1693 (1995). Return to text.

[170] The Harris Act ripeness process fulfills at least one of the functions of the judicial ripeness policy by recognizing that regulatory decisions are subject to change based on input from various and competing interests, and thus provides for administrative or political resolution of disputes. See Tinnerman v. Palm Beach County, 641 So. 2d 523, 525 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994). Return to text.

[171] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(5)(a), (b) (1995). Return to text.

[172] Id. § 70.001(6)(a). Return to text.

[173] Id. § 70.001(6)(b). Return to text.

[174] Id. § 70.001(5)(b). Return to text.

[175] Id. Return to text.

[176] Id. Return to text.

[177] See supra text accompanying notes 5 The clai-29. Return to text.

[178] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(6)(a) (1995). Return to text.

[179] Id. In determining whether there has been an inordinate burden, only the final settlement offer and ripeness decision are admissible; proposed settlement offers, ripeness decisions, and negotiations are inadmissible for these purposes. Id. § 70.001(6)(c)3. Return to text.

[180] Id. § 70.001(6)(a). Return to text.

[181] Id. Return to text.

[182] Id. Return to text.

[183] Id. Return to text.

[184] But see Fla. R. App. P. 9.310(b)(2) (providing for automatic stay upon appeal by a government agency).

The Harris Act contains language that arguably contradicts the authority of the court to proceed with the compensation phase of the proceeding notwithstanding an interlocutory appeal. It states that the court is to impanel a jury to determine compensation "following the resolution of any interlocutory appeal." FLA. STAT. § 70.001(6)(b) (1995). This phrase should be read as meaning the circuit court must proceed with the compensation phase following an interlocutory appeal in favor of the landowner, unless that phase has otherwise been commenced during the pendency of the appeal. Return to text.

[185] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(6)(c)2 (1995). Return to text.

[186] Id. § 70.001(6)(c)1. Return to text.

[187] Id. § 70.001(6)(b) (providing that the landowner will receive "prejudgment interest from the date the claim was presented to the governmental entity or entities") (emphasis added). Return to text.

[188] Id. § 70.001(6)(c)1. Return to text.

[189] Id. Return to text.

[190] Id. Return to text.

[191] The Harris Act does not address an award of attorney's fees and costs to a prevailing landowner where one of two or more governmental entities responsible for the inordinate burden made a settlement offer in good faith but another did not. In that circumstance, one solution would be to award the landowner the proportion of her attorney's fees and costs attributable to the governmental entity which did not act in good faith, based on the percentage of its responsibility for the burden. See id. § 70.001(6)(a), (b). Return to text.

[192] See id. § 70.001(6)(c). Return to text.

[193] Id. § 70.001(6)(c)2. Return to text.

[194] Id. Return to text.

[195] Id. Return to text.

[196] Id. Return to text.

[197] Id. Any proposed settlement offer or proposed ripeness decision and any negotiations or rejections with respect to the formulation of the settlement offer and ripeness decision are admissible in the proceeding only for the purpose of determining attorney's fees and costs. Id. § 70.001(6)(c)3. Return to text.

[198] Id. § 70.001(6)(c)2. Return to text.

[199] Id. § 70.001(6)(b). Return to text.

[200] Id. Return to text.

[201] Id. Return to text.

[202] Id. Return to text.

[203] Id. Return to text.

[204] Id. Return to text.

[205] Id. § 70.001(6)(c)3. Return to text.

[206] Id. § 70.001(7)(a). Return to text.

[207] Id. Return to text.

[208] Id. § 70.001(7)(b). Return to text.

[209] Id. Return to text.

[210] Id. Return to text.

[211] Id. 70.001(1), (9), (11), (12). Return to text.

[212] Id. § 70.001(1) (emphasis added). Return to text.

[213] Id. § 70.001(3)(c). Return to text.

[214] Id. § 403.0885; id. § 403.08851. Return to text.

[215] 33 U.S.C. § 1251 (1988); see also Martin R. Dix & Scott Denson, Florida's Assumption of Federal Dredge and Fill Jurisdiction: Clearing the Permitting Stream Bed or Muddying Administrative Waters, 67 FLA. B.J. 56 (Apr. 1993). Return to text.

[216] But see First English Evangelical Lutheran Church v. of Los Angeles, 482 U.S. 304 (1987) (holding compensable under the Fifth Amendment temporary regulatory takings which deny a landowner all use of his property). Return to text.

[217] Id. Return to text.

[218] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(3)(e) (1995). Return to text.

[219] Orr v. State, 176 So. 510, 513 (Fla. 1937). Return to text.

[220] State v. Egan, 287 So. 2d 1, 7 (Fla. 1973). Return to text.

[221] The Legislature has statutorily declared numerous uses or activities to be a public nuisances. Return to text.

[222] BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 1230 (6th ed. 1990). Return to text.

[223] Orlando Sports Stadium, Inc. v. State ex rel. Powell, 262 So. 2d 881, 884 (Fla. 1972). Return to text.

[224] Page v. Niagara Chem. Div. of Food Mach. & Chem. Corp., 68 So. 2d 382, 384 (Fla. 1953). Return to text.

[225] The Legislature has supplemented judicial determinations of public nuisances with statutory declarations of public nuisances. FLA. STAT. § 125.563(2) (1995) (altering lake shores and levels by dumping and similar activities); id. § 161.052 (coastal construction without permit); id. § 316.077(4) (signage in certain locations); id. § 327.53(7) (discharging raw sewage from vessels); id. § 335.092(3)(a) (signage within 500 feet of Everglades Parkway); id. § 339.241(3) (maintaining junkyards within 1,000 feet of federal-aid highway); id. § 370.15(5)(e) (unattended shrimp traps in public areas); id. § 372.98(4) (possessing or selling nutria without license); id. § 373.433 (stormwater management system in violation of rules); id. § 386.041(1) (listed conditions injurious to health); id. §§ 388.011(9), .291(3) (conditions which breed mosquitoes and flies in annoying numbers); id. § 479.105(1) (unpermitted signs adjacent to state or federal highway); id. § 514.06 (operation of swimming pool in violation of law); id. § 550.255 (horse and dog racing for prizes without pari-mutuel license); id. § 585.15 (pest or disease of animals under state rules); id. § 593.116(3) (cotton plants not destroyed after notice of assessment); id. § 823 (bonfires, diseased animals, houses of ill repute, improperly discarded white goods, smoke in elevators, derelict vessels, sale of controlled substances or obscene materials, releasing unsterilized cats and dogs from shelters).

Thus, one issue in construing this Harris Act exception is whether it includes statutory public nuisances. At least one state court has opined that a legislature by statute may "change the common law as to nuisances, and may move the line either way, as to make things nuisances which were not so, or to make things lawful that were nuisances." Commonwealth v. Parks, 30 N.E. 174, 175 (1892) (emphasis added). Under this theory, statutorily declared public nuisances become part of the common law of nuisance. Conversely, an argument can be made that the reference to a "public nuisance at common law" excludes statutorily defined nuisances under principles of statutory construction. Ultimately, the issue may be academic because this exception also reaches "noxious uses of private property." Return to text.

[226] E.g., Farrugia v. Frederick, 344 So. 2d 921, 922-23 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977) (upholding denial of permit to construct canal because waters would become stagnant and noxious); Lee v. Florida Pub. Utils. Co., 145 So. 2d 299, 300 (Fla. 1st DCA 1962) (calling fumes expelled by diesel-powered electrical generating units noxious). Return to text.

[227] E.g., Jones v. Trawick, 75 So. 2d 785 (Fla. 1954) (cemeteries and funeral homes located in residential areas); Mercer v. Brown, 190 So. 2d 610 (Fla. 1st DCA 1966) (maintaining animal reduction plants); Bunyak v. Clyde J. Yancey & Sons Dairy, Inc., 438 So. 2d 891 (Fla. 2d DCA 1983) (maintaining cesspools); Town of Surfside v. County Line Land Co., 340 So. 2d 1287 (Fla. 3d DCA 1977), cert. denied, 352 So. 2d 175 (Fla. 1977) (failing to control garbage dump). Return to text.

[228] In early takings cases, the terms nuisance and noxious use were often used interchangeably. E.g., Reinman v. Little Rock, 237 U.S. 171, 172 (1915) (livery stable); Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 669 (1887) (brewery). However, takings cases should not necessarily be relied upon to determine the scope of this exception to the Harris Act, section 70.001(9), Florida Statutes, so this authority is of limited value in determining the scope of this exception. Return to text.

[229] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(9) (1995). Return to text.

[230] Id. § 70.001(8). Return to text.

[231] Id. Return to text.

[232] Id. § 70.001(10). Return to text.

[233] Id. Return to text.

[234] Id. § 334.03(31). This definition is applicable to the Florida Transportation Code. Id. § 334.03. Return to text.

[235] Id. § 163.566(11). The accompanying definition of "public transportation" refers to common carriers such as trains and buses. Id. § 163.566(8). Return to text.

[236] Id. §§ 335.18-.188. Return to text.

[237] Id. § 70.001(11). Return to text.

[238] Id. Return to text.

[239] Arundel Corp. v. Griffin, 103 So. 422, 424 (Fla. 1925); McWhorter v. Pensacola & A.R. Co., 5 So. 129 (Fla. 1888). Return to text.

[240] Manatee County v. Town of Longboat Key, 365 So. 2d 143 (Fla. 1978). Return to text.

[241] See FLA. CONST. art. X, § 13. Although the Harris Act does not use the phrase "waives its sovereign immunity" or similar language, it expressly authorizes an owner who has met certain conditions precedent to "fil[e] an action under this section against a governmental entity." FLA. STAT. § 70.001(4)(a) (1995). Return to text.

[242] Id. § 70.001(13). Return to text.

[243] The statement of legislative intent expressly provides that it addresses only situations involving "a new law, rule, regulation, or ordinance." Id. § 70.001(1) (emphasis added). Return to text.

[244] Id. § 6. Even before it became legally effective, the Harris Act was the subject of great interest in the legal community, including the courts. Taylor v. Village of North Palm Beach, 659 So. 2d 1167, 1173 n.4 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995); City of Riviera Beach v. Shillingburg, 659 So. 2d 1174, 1182 n.2 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995). Return to text.

[245] The term "enact" as employed in the Harris Act means final passage by both houses of the Legislature in the identical form. Thus, the final act in a bill becoming a law—signature by the Governor or the expiration of the requisite time period without veto—is not necessary in order for an enactment to be excluded from the purview of the Harris Act under this exception.

In the legislative process, when a bill is ordered enrolled following final passage by both houses, the first line of the title, "A bill to be entitled," is removed, leaving the measure to read, "An act relating to ... ." See FLA. STAT. § 11.07 (1995). The measure is then transmitted to the Governor, whose role is to determine whether the act should become a law.

Several references in the Florida Constitution to the process of enactment support this conclusion. See, e.g., FLA. CONST. art. III, § 9 (laws shall take effect 60 days after final adjournment "of the session of the legislature in which enacted"); id. art. V, § 2(a) (court rules "may be repealed by general law enacted by two-thirds vote" of both chambers).

References in the Florida Statutes also support this conclusion. See, e.g., FLA. STAT. § 1.04 (1995) ("[a]mendments enacted during the same session"); id. § 11.075 ("[p]rior to the enactment of any general or special law"); id. § 11.076(1) ("[a]ny general law, enacted by the Legislature"); id. § 11.242(5)(c) (general laws "enacted by any current session of the Legislature"); id. § 11.242(5)(i) (expired, obsolete, invalid and other laws omitted by reviser's bills "enacted by the Legislature"). Return to text.

[246] FLA. STAT. § 70.001(12) (1995). Return to text.

[247] Id. Return to text.

[248] Id. Return to text.

[249] Id. Return to text.

[250] Id. § 70.001(9). Return to text.

[251] For a discussion on the non-judicial settlement and expedited hearing procedure, see infra part IV. Return to text.

[252] FLA. STAT. § 70.80 (1995). Return to text.

[253] James Martinez, New Law Will Let Property Owners Sue State Over Regulatory Losses, TALL. DEM., May 19, 1995, at B1, B2 (quoting Rep. Dean Saunders, D., Lakeland, as saying: "I think folks are ready for government to think twice before they just adopt a regulation. That's part of the intention here—to think about the impact you could potentially have on a property owner."). Return to text.

[254] The Department of Environmental Protection delayed plans, at least temporarily, to declare certain waters in Collier County as Outstanding Florida Waters (OFW) with a heightened degree of regulatory protection. Emma Ross, State Stills Wiggins Water Protections, NAPLES DAILY NEWS, Aug. 7, 1995, at D1. It cited a need to consider the implications of the Harris Act on the OFW designation, even though the new law was not in effect. Id. Return to text.

[255] In Palm Beach County, for example, local officials scaled down an ambitious plan to utilize regulatory measures to prevent development of certain farmlands in western Palm Beach County. George Bennett, Ag Reserve Buyout Plan Cut in Half, PALM BEACH POST, June 14, 1995, at B1. They blamed the Harris Act in part for forcing their retreat, even though the new law was not yet in effect. Id. Return to text.

[256] FLA. STAT. § 70.51 (1995). Return to text.

[257] Id. For a critique of the "colonization" of ADR by the legal profession, see Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Pursuing Settlement in an Adversary Culture: A Tale of Innovation Co-opted or "The Law of ADR," 19 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 1 (1991). For an alternative view, see James J. Alfini, Trashing, Bashing, and Hashing It Out: Is This the End of "Good Mediation"?, 19 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 47 (1991). Return to text.

[258] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(3) (1995). Return to text.

[259] For a discussion of some of the practice issues raised by this hybrid process, see Michael K. Lewis, The Special Master as Mediator, 12 SETON HALL LEGIS. J. 75 (1988); Lawrence E. Susskind, Court-Appointed Masters as Mediators, 1 NEGOTIATION J. 295 (1985). Return to text.

[260] Fla. Exec. Order No. 93-150 (June 4, 1993). Return to text.

[261] For a discussion of the ADR procedures adopted for the local comprehensive planning program, see infra text accompanying notes 382-96. Return to text.

[262] See FLA. STAT. § 70.51 (1995). Return to text.

[263] Id. § 70.80. This statement of legislative intent may prove problematic when it comes to a term which receives an identical definition in both statutes. Compare id. § 70.001(3)(g) with id. § 70.51(2)(g) (definition of "land"). Return to text.

[264] Id. § 70.51(2)(a). Return to text.

[265] Id. Return to text.

[266] Id. § 70.51(2)(b). Return to text.

[267] See id. § 163.3164(8) (defining development as "the carrying out of any building activity or mining operation, the making of any material change in the use or appearance of any structure or land, or the dividing of land into three or more parcels"). Return to text.

[268] See id. § 380.04. Return to text.

[269] Id. § 380.04(3). Return to text.

[270] Id. Return to text.

[271] Id. § 70.51(29). Return to text.

[272] Id. § 70.51(2)(d). Return to text.

[273] Id. Return to text.

[274] Id. § 1.01. Return to text.

[275] Compare id. § 70.51(2)(d) with id. § 70.001(3)(f). Return to text.

[276] Id. § 70.51(2)(f). Return to text.

[277] See id. § 70.001(3)(c). Return to text.

[278] Id. § 70.51(2)(g). Return to text.

[279] See supra text accompanying notes 116-123. Return to text.

[280] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(2)(d) (1995). Return to text.

[281] Id. § 70.51(2)(f). Return to text.

[282] Id. § 70.001(3)(e). Return to text.

[283] Id. § 70.51(2). Return to text.

[284] Id. § 70.51(18). Return to text.

[285] Id. § 70.51(18)(a)-(g). This list is not inclusive. Return to text.

[286] Id. § 70.51(17)(b). Return to text.

[287] Id. § 70.51(3). Return to text.

[288] Id. § 70.51(10)(a). Return to text.

[289] Id. Return to text.

[290] Id. § 70.51(4). Return to text.

[291] Id. Return to text.

[292] Id. § 70.51(3). Return to text.

[293] Id. § 70.51(4), (11). Return to text.

[294] Id. § 70.51(6)(a)-(d). Return to text.

[295] Id. Return to text.

[296] Id. § 70.51(10)(a). Return to text.

[297] Id. § 70.51(10)(b); id. § 120.57. Return to text.

[298] Id. § 70.51(10)(a). Return to text.

[299] Id. § 70.51(10)(b). Return to text.

[300] Id. Return to text.

[301] Id. § 70.51. Return to text.

[302] Id. § 70.51(11). Return to text.

[303] Id. § 70.51(3). Return to text.

[304] Id. § 70.51(11). Return to text.

[305] Id. ("requiring that those governmental entities so joined shall actively participate in the procedure"). Return to text.

[306] Id. § 70.51(16)(b). Return to text.

[307] Id. § 70.51(12). Return to text.

[308] Id. § 70.51(5). Return to text.

[309] Id. § 70.51(12). Return to text.

[310] Id. Return to text.

[311] A body of case law has developed around this standard as it is utilized in Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, for determining access to rule challenge proceedings under the Administrative Procedure Act. See id. §§ 120.54(4), .56. For an in-depth discussion on access to rule challenge proceedings, see Patricia A. Dore, Access to Florida Administrative Proceedings, 13 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 967 (1986). Return to text.

[312] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(12) (1995). Return to text.

[313] Id. Return to text.

[314] Id. § 70.51(2)(c). Return to text.

[315] Id. § 70.51(4). Return to text.

[316] After failure to agree, one alternative to be considered is agreement on criteria for selection of a special master, with the selection performed by a neutral organization, such as the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium at Florida State University, using those criteria. Return to text.

[317] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(2)(c) (1995). Return to text.

[318] Id. Return to text.

[319] Id. Under a grant from the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium has initiated a training program for persons seeking to serve as special masters. The Consortium will maintain a directory of persons who have completed its training program. Return to text.

[320] Id. § 70.51(16)(a). Return to text.

[321] Id. § 70.51(16)(c). Return to text.

[322] Id. Return to text.

[323] Id. § 70.51(8). Return to text.

[324] Id. Return to text.

[325] Id. § 70.51(17)(a), (b). Return to text.

[326] Id. § 70.51(17)(a). Return to text.

[327] Id. § 70.51(17)(b). Return to text.

[328] Id. Return to text.

[329] Id. § 70.51(20). Return to text.

[330] Id.; see also id. § 90.408. Return to text.

[331] Id. § 70.51(28). The Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium, under its contract with the Department of Community Affairs, has produced Model Procedural Guidelines for use by governmental entities in implementing the Special Master Law. Return to text.

[332] Id. § 70.51(17)(a). For the statutory definition of "mediation," see id. § 44.1011(2). Return to text.

[333] In authorizing mediation in various judicial proceedings, the Legislature set forth important statutory policies regarding the conduct of court-ordered mediation. See id. § 44.102. The law expressly confers judicial immunity on mediators. Id. § 44.107. The Florida Supreme Court has also established important procedural requirements. See FLA. R. CIV. P. 1.700-.750. Return to text.

[334] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(17)(a) (1995). The authority of the governmental entity's representative is an important factor in determining procedural constraints in the mediation phase. See News-Press Pub. Co. v. Lee County, 570 So. 2d 1325, 1326 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990). Return to text.

[335] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(17) (1995). Return to text.

[336] Id. § 70.51(15)(a). Return to text.

[337] Id. § 70.51(15)(b). Return to text.

[338] Id. § 70.51(15)(a). Return to text.

[339] Id. § 70.51(17). Return to text.

[340] Id. § 70.51(17). Return to text.

[341] Id. § 70.51(13). Return to text.

[342] Id. § 70.51(17). Return to text.

[343] Id. Return to text.

[344] Id. § 70.51(7). Return to text.

[345] Id. § 70.51(14). The provision granting subpoena power to a special master is vague compared to the grant to hearing officers of the Division of Administrative Hearings. Compare id. § 120.58(1) with id. § 70.51(14). That provision sets forth prerequisites for issuance of a subpoena and provides for payment of fees to certain subpoenaed experts. Id. § 120.58(1)(a), (c). The Special Master Law would be improved by the addition of such provisions. Return to text.

[346] Id. § 70.51(9). Return to text.

[347] Id. § 70.51(19). The statute does not expressly require that a copy of the written recommendation be provided to participants, but sound practice and fundamental fairness strongly suggest that they also receive a copy.

The statute does require that the special master provide a copy of his recommendation to the Florida Department of Legal Affairs. Id. § 70.51(27). Return to text.

[348] Id. § 70.51(20); see id. § 119.07. Return to text.

[349] Id. § 70.51(19)(c). In a circuit court mediation in Florida, by contrast, the settlement agreement is not necessarily submitted to the court and made public. FLA. R. CIV. P. 1.730(b). In a family mediation in Florida, a settlement must be filed with the court. FLA. R. CIV. P. 1.740(f). Return to text.

[350] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(19)(a) (1995). This provision is an important difference from that concerning court-ordered mediation in Florida. See FLA. R. CIV. P. 1.730(a) ("The mediator shall report the lack of agreement to the court without comment or recommendation."). Return to text.

[351] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(19)(a) (1995). This provision does not confine the special master to considering only formal development orders or enforcement actions of other governmental entities when assessing the combined effect of multiple governmental actions. It is consistent with the liberal standard for joinder of additional governmental entities. Id. § 70.51(11) ("when a complete resolution of all relevant issues would require the active participation of more than one governmental entity").

However, the other governmental actions or regulations must be those of governmental entities that are parties to the special master proceeding. Id. § 70.51(18) (special master is to consider the development order or enforcement action "in conjunction with regulatory efforts of other governmental parties.") (emphasis added). Return to text.

[352] Id. § 70.51(17)(b). Return to text.

[353] Id. § 70.51(18)(h). Return to text.

[354] Id. § 70.51(17)(c). Return to text.

[355] Id. § 70.51(18)(h). Return to text.

[356] Id. § 70.51(17). Return to text.

[357] Id. § 70.51(19)(a). Return to text.

[358] Id. § 70.51(19)(b). Return to text.

[359] Id. § 70.51(19)(b). In light of the short time periods allowed by the statute, the special master should ask the landowner to make this election at hearing in the event that a settlement is not reached. Return to text.

[360] Id. Return to text.

[361] Id. § 70.001(4)(c). This list of potential remedies is almost identical to the remedies proposed for consideration by the governmental entity and the landowner under the Harris Act during the 180-day notice period. Id. § 70.001(4)(c). See supra note 130 and accompanying text.

The special master's recommendation must be consistent with existing statutes, rules, regulations, and ordinances. See Dep't of Comm'y Aff., CS for HB 863 (1995) Staff Analysis 4 (May 15, 1995) (on file with Dept.). Return to text.

[362] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(25) (1995). Return to text.

[363] Id. § 70.51(26); see id. § 163.3184(1)(b). Return to text.

[364] Id. § 70.51(26). Return to text.

[365] See id. § 163.3184(16). Return to text.

[366] Id. § 70.51(21). Return to text.

[367] Compare id. § 70.001(4)(d) with id. § 70.51(21). Return to text.

[368] Id. § 70.51(21)(a)-(b). Thus, the governmental entity's ordinary procedural requirements would apply to implementation of a settlement. For example, if the dispute involved a rezoning by a local government and the settlement called for an alteration of the rezoning action by addition or deletion of a condition, a new development order would have to be adopted to implement the settlement. That new development order would be subject to normal procedural requirements. See, e.g., Board of County Comm'rs v. Snyder, 627 So. 2d 469 (Fla. 1993).

This aspect of the Special Master Law ensures that, prior to implementation of a settlement, the general public as well as affected persons will have access to governmental decisionmakers, and that the matter will receive appropriate scrutiny. Specifically, it assures the same amount of due process that neighboring landowners or citizens' groups otherwise would receive and cures any concerns regarding the flexibility or informality of either the mediation or information-gathering phases of the proceeding. Return to text.

[369] However, an owner need not "duplicate previous processes in which the owner has participated in order to effectuate" a decision by the local government to grant a modification, variance, or special exception as recommended by a special master. FLA. STAT. § 70.51(21)(a) (1995). Return to text.

[370] Id. § 70.51(21). Within 15 days of its decision ofo its diposition of the recommendation, the governmental entity must notify the Florida Department of Legal Affairs in writing. Id. § 70.51(27). Return to text.

[371] See Florida Local Government Development Agreement Act, id. §§ 163.3220-.3243. Return to text.

[372] Id. § 70.51(21)(c). Return to text.

[373] Id. § 70.51(22). Return to text.

[374] Id. § 70.51(23). It is described as "the last prerequisite to judicial action" unless the owner initiates a proceeding under section 120.57, Florida Statutes, for agencies subject to the Administrative Procedure Act. Id. Return to text.

[375] Id. § 70.51(24). Return to text.

[376] Id. § 70.51(3). Return to text.

[377] Id. § 70.51(2)(a); See infra notes 382-96 and accompanying text. Return to text.

[378] FLA. STAT. § 70.51(3) (1995). However, subject to approval of all parties and the court, the statute allows parties to pending judicial proceedings to utilize the special master procedure to address their dispute, although it does not provide a procedure for doing so. Id. § 70.51(30). Return to text.

[379] Id. § 70.51(29). Return to text.

[380] Id. § 70.51(23). Return to text.

[381] Id. § 70.51(24). Return to text.

[382] Id. § 70.51(2)(a). Return to text.

[383] Id. § 163.3181(4), .3184(10)(c). Return to text.

[384] Id. Ch. 163, pt. II. Return to text.

[385] Id. § 163.3181. Return to text.

[386] Id. § 163.3181(4). Return to text.

[387] Id. Return to text.

[388] Id. Return to text.

[389] Id. § 5. Return to text.

[390] Id. § 163.3184(10)(a). Return to text.

[391] Id. Return to text.

[392] Id. § 163.3184(10)(c). Return to text.

[393] Id. Return to text.

[394] Id. Return to text.

[395] Id. Return to text.

[396] Id. § 70.001, 70.51, 70.80, 163.3181(4), 163.3184(10)(c). Return to text.


Back to the Law Review home page | Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format