Constitutionality of Burt J. Harris, Jr. Act

  • United States
  • 08/23/2006
  • Fowler White Boggs Banker

A Florida District Court recently recognized the constitutionality of the Burt J. Harris, Jr. Act when a property owner claimed one million dollars in diminution of property value due to a local wetlands protection ordinance. The Court recognized the ability of a local government to use its police powers to promote the public safety or public health, but in doing so also recognized that the Burt J. Harris, Jr. Act also establishes a valid cause of action for the local government to grant relief to property owners when property is inordinately burdened by a regulation. The Court went on to hold that the Burt J. Harris, Jr. Act does not : 1) allow local governments to contract away their inherent sovereign police powers; 2) violate the separation of powers doctrine; nor does it: 3) unconstitutionally delegate legislative power to the courts. The Court remanded the matter to the trial court, which failed to make findings, pursuant to the requirements of the Burt J. Harris, Jr. Act. For more information, contact Meredtih Sherman.

Source: Fowler White