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Enrique Norten South Beach Zoning Questioned

Enrique Norten South Beach Zoning Questioned

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Published by davidwalters
Greenberg Traurig’s legal opinion to the Miami Beach City Attorney was specious.
Greenberg Traurig’s legal opinion to the Miami Beach City Attorney was specious.

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Published by: davidwalters on Jul 16, 2014
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07/24/2014

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FROM
 
THE
 
CITY
 
ATTORNEY’S
 
OFFICE
 
July
 
21,
 
2014
 
Dear
 
Mr.
 
Walters:
 
I
 
apologize
 
for
 
the
 
delay
 
in
 
not
 
responding
 
sooner.
 
Mr.
 
Aguila
 
asked
 
me
 
to
 
respond
 
to
 
your
 
email.
 
Please
 
be
 
advised
 
that
 
we
 
also
 
opined
 
that
 
the
 
proposal
 
was
 
not
 
spot
 
zoning.
 
Please
 
see
 
attached.
 
Further,
 
disclosure
 
of 
 
non
client
 
relationships
 
is
 
not
 
required.
 
Please
 
let
 
me
 
know
 
if 
 
you
 
need
 
anything
 
further.
 
Sincerely,
 
Gary
 
Held
 
 
 
MIAN\I
 E CH
MEMOR NDUM
TO
LandUseandDevelopmentCommittee
FROM
JoseSmith,CityAttorneyGary
M.
Held,FirstAsst.CityAttorney
 
D TE
June
6
2011
SUBJECT:
DISCUSSION
ON
THE
OCE N
BEACHHISTORICDISTRICTR PS ZONING
 MENDMENT
TheCityAttorney sOfficewasrequestedtoreviewtheproposedamendmenttodeterminewhetheritviolatedspotzoning.
In
addition,afterfurtherconsideration,weevaluatedwhethertheproposedamendmentviolatedprinciplesofequalprotection.
In
bothinstances,theconclusion
is
thatwhile
we
haveaconcernthatnotallpropertieswithinthe
zoning
districtwillbenefitfromtheproposedamendment,
no
violationofspotzoningorequalprotectionshouldresultfrom
its
adoption.
Spotzoning:
Florida sThirdDistrictCourtofAppeal( DCA )
has
citedapprovinglythefollowingexplanationofspotzoning:.
The
definitionofspotzoning
is
wellestablished:Spotzoning
is
thenamegiven
to
the
piecemealrezoningofsmallparcelsof
.Iand
toagreaterdensity,leadingtodisharmonywiththesurroundingarea.Spot
z.oningis
usuallythoughtof
as
givingpreferentialtreatmentto
one
parcelattheexpenseofthezoningscheme
as
awhole.Further,
the
Third[DCA]detailedspotzoning
as:[A]
rezoningwhichcreatesasmallislandofpropertywithrestrictions
on
its
use
differentfromthatofsurroundingproperties-solelyforthebenefitofaparticularproperty
owner.
In
characterizingtheelementsofspotzoning,aspotzoningchallengetypicallyinvolvestheexamination
o
thefollowing:
1
thesizeofthespot;
2
thecompatibilitywith
the
surrounding
area;
3
thebenefittotheowner
and4
thedetrimentto
the
immediateneighborhood.Bird-KendallHomeownersAss n
v.
Metro.
Dade
County
Bd.
ofCountyComm rs,695
So.
2d908
910
n.1
(Fla.
3d
DCA
1997)(citationsomitted).Attorneysforthepropertyownerproposingtheresidentialprojectthat
h s
resulted
in
thisproposedamendment
have
submittedalegalmemorandumthatanalyzestheamendmentunderthislast
test
suggestingthat
no
spotzoningarisesfromthis
lUDC 7
 
June6 2011
 and
UseandDevelopmentCommitteeMeetingRPS-4ZoningDistrictAmendment
-
ProposedModifications
 
CurrentHeightRestrictionsPage
 
of
proposal.Wehave
no
disputewiththeoverall
 n l~s s
and
conclusionreached
in
thatmemo.Acomprehensiveexplanationofspotzoning
is
found
in
an
articlepublished
in
the
AmericanLawReports
 ALR ,
whichdescribesthetestscourts
use
in
evaluatingspotzoning:There
is
no
preciseformulafordeterminingwhetherthezoningorrezoning
o
aparticularparcelconstitutesillegalspotzoning.Asathresholdmatter,thecourtshavegenerallynotedthataparcelcannot
betoo
largeper
se
to
precludeafindingofillegalspotzoning,norcanit
be
so
smallthatitmandatesafindingofillegalspotzoning.Onecourt,forexample,foundillegalspotzoningwherethereclassifiedparcelwas
635
acres
in
anaffectedarea
o
7,680
acres.
Although
the
courtsinvariablyevaluatethesizeoftheparcel
in
question,theyhavemadeclearthatthe
size
oftheparcel
in
question
is
notalonedeterminativeofillegalspotzoning.Nordoesthereclassificationofmorethanoneparcelnegatethepossibilityoffindingillegalspotzoning.Courtshaveinvalidatedzoningamendmentsafterfindingthatamultiple-parcelreclassificationwas
a
subterfugetoobscuretheactualpurposeofspecialtreatmentforaparticularlandowner.Themostwidelyacceptedtestsfordeterminingillegalspotzoning,sometimesstated
in
combination,sometimesseparately,arewhetherthezoningoftheparcel
in
question
is
in
accordancewithacomprehensivezoningplan;whether'thezoningofthesubjectparcel
is
compatiblewiththeuses
in
thesurroundingarea;
and
whetherthezoningofthesubjectpropertyservesthepublicwelfareormerelyconfersadiscriminatorybenefit
on
theowneroftheproperty.Thesecriteria
are
flexible
and
provideguidelinesforjUdicialbalancingofinterests.
 Determinqtionwhetherzoning
or
rezoning
o
particularparcelconstitutesillegalspotzoning
73
A.L.R.5th
223
(originallypublished1999)(Citations
and
footnotesomitted).
 
Usingthe mostwidelyaccepted testsfromtheALRarticle,
the
proposedamendmentis
in
accordancewiththeCity'scomprehensivezoningplan,
is
compatiblewiththeuses
in
thesurroundingarea,
and
servesthepublicwelfare,
as
explained
in
both
Mr.
Del
Vecchio'smemorandum,
and
thestaffreport.Baseduponthesefactors,
and
takingintoconsiderationtheanalysisbythepropertyowner'sattorneys,
we
donotbelieveitlikelythattheproposedamendmentwillbeconsideredspotzoning.
 qualprotection
Whilelikelynotspotzoning,somepropertyownerswithintheRPS-4districtwillbenefitfromthisamendment,
and
otherswillnot.
Asone
courtrecentlyexplained:
LUDC 77
 _ :

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