Skip to comments.Parkstatus could stop lawsuits, development
Posted on 08/16/2007 12:53:10 AM PDT by jsh3180
BY TIMOTHY O'HARA
Monroe County may seek national park status for some sensitive wetlands and animal habitat to thwart potential, costly property-rights lawsuits from landowners who wouldn't be able to develop under proposed growth regulations.
If the county approves the latest Tier System maps, which show where building is allowed and prohibited, it could face $1 billion in lawsuits, according to a proposal Growth Management Director Andrew Trivette presented to the County Commission on Wednesday.
National park status must be approved by a congressional act, which could take years, Trivette said. Congress either could create a new national park in the Florida Keys or expand the Everglades or Dry Tortugas national parks, County Administrator Tom Willi said.
The county has sent a copy of the proposal to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for review and sponsorship consideration, Trivette said.
The newest version of the county's controversial Tier System maps put the most environmentally sensitive land in Tier I, less sensitive land in Tier II and least sensitive land in tiers III and IV.
Under national park status, the federal government would help fund the purchase of unbuildable property, and defray legal costs. The state and county have spent nearly $200 million buying sensitive wetlands and endangered species habitat, but there still are 7,000 parcels totaling 7,490 acres that the county's Land Acquisition and Management Plan listed to buy, Trivette wrote in his proposal.
National park status, which would be limited to properties in tiers I and II, would stop or at least limit development there. The government either would buy existing homes or allow them to remain in the park, Trivette said. There are homes in some national parks, including the Everglades National Park and the Great Smokey Mountains, Trivette said.
"You would be a steward of the land," Trivette said. "You would live cooperatively with the land. You would be able to transfer land."
The plan would allow for "sustainable development" in Tier III, "with the state of Florida releasing the required allocations (rate of growth ordinance units) to Monroe County for rational distribution," the proposal states. There are 5,489 privately owned parcels in Tier III, with 3,551 zoned for one unit per lot, Trivette said. It is unclear the number of units that could be placed on the remaining properties. The county is projecting the construction of 4,000 units in Tier III, Trivette said.
The plan comes after several lawsuits and a recent judge's opinion that says the county should save as many natural areas as possible, and that the Tier System is a good concept, but the county arbitrarily chose the size of parcels to be protected. In a lawsuit filed by Last Stand and the Florida Keys Citizens Coalition, Administrative Law Judge Donald Alexander ruled in favor of the county on 23 of the 28 points the groups challenged.
Monroe County is defending eight property-rights lawsuits involving everything from single-family lots to 1,700 parcels in Tier 1 on Big Pine and No Name keys, Trivette said. The most costly "takings case" so far has been a nearly $6 million settlement the county paid a North Key Largo landowner, who successfully argued that a building moratorium in the 1980s deprived the owner of the use of a 145-acre property, which the owner sold to the state in 1990.
"When the rest of the Tier System becomes effective in the coming months, legal staff expects the county will be served by dozens, if not hundreds, of similar actions," Trivette's proposal states. "While generally successful in defending takings cases in the past, the county has not always been able to escape liability.
"As the county continues to adopt regulations designed to implement the environmental policy goals of the state and federal governments, it will be faced with a growing number of cases brought by property owners," he said.
How's about this quote from the article "You could be a steward of the land, You would live cooperatively with the land."
God help us all.
Lefty, entrenched pensioned, green govey paid hack for life.
Yes it is wrong. Very wrong...
Hasn’t the supreme court already ruled against this sort of thing?
Anyone who uses the term “sustainable development” like it is a good idea, should be shot.
In fascist Germany the government required private property owners to manage their property for the public good, as defined by the state. The definition of “public good” was defined by a huge fascist bureaucracy, and that definition of “public good” could change from week to week and even day to day. Those who didn’t please the bureaucrats were subject to fines, seizure of property and sometimes jail.
Because the rules governing how property could be used were arbitrary, contradictory and non-sensical, property owners took to studying Marxism to try to determine what the state wanted. The property owner’s stories are recounted in the book “The Vampire Economy.”
We’re not just importing junk from China, we’re also bringing into America the worst excesses of European totalitarianism. And I doubt that many Americans know that they’re dealing with a fascist form of government right in their own backyards.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Union. Don't forget to add union in there.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.