Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Has the Tide Turned?

Since 1986, the Florida Keys' confiscatory land use regulations have been imposed only on owners of undeveloped land. Two-thirds of those landowners reside outside the Florida Keys. They have no right to vote on the "got-miners" choices for the County Commission. Since the got-miners' "rate-of-growth" ordinance was imposed on the Keys in 1992, vacant landowners have been selling their property to the government at rock-bottom prices that rarely reached 15% of Fair Market Value.

In 1996, Andy Tobin and I sent Voice of Reason newsletters to just over 10,000 owners of undeveloped Keys' properties. Today there are only 4,000 such owners. The Keys' rate-of-growth ordinances have limited development to under 250 building permits/year since 1992 -- or less than 3,750 dwelling units in 17 years. This suggests about 2,250 parcels have been sold to government at unfair prices.

Now that the Florida DEP v. West, et al., decision has been released by the 3d District Court of Appeal, perhaps the remaining 4,000 owners of undeveloped Keys' land will realize that the State has been acquiring Keys' property -- for 17 years -- for about 10% of Fair Market Value. The 3d District Court of Appeal will issue its "mandate" on the West decision in two days (November 5th), and we assume the State is not dumb enough to lose another half-million dollars in interest on a high-risk petition for "discretionary review" by the Florida Supreme Court (only 11% are accepted for "review;" substantially fewer actually result in a reversal).

[This post replaces an earlier post.]

No comments: