If a particular Florida county owns property within a particular Florida city’s limits, it’s logical to assume the two governing bodies would have to be willing to cooperate and compromise if any legal complications arise regarding their business relationship. That’s not always possible, however, as made evident by ongoing city versus county real estate disputes in another state. Many voices have weighed in on the topic. Some say it’s not so much that the county wants to allow a new business to open on its property; rather, it’s the type of business that has people upset.
The county plans to open a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center within city limits. The city has been trying to stop the county from carrying out its plans. A circuit court judge recently ruled in the county’s favor.
This lead to a city council meeting and a subsequent legal filing to appeal the circuit court’s decision. One council member said he supports the city’s zoning policies; however, just as the city does not tell public schools existing within city limits what they may or may not do, he also believes the city should stay out of the county’s business as well. The councilman said the county already owns several other properties within city limits, and it has never posed a problem in the past, so there is no reason to think it might in this particular situation.
The judge’s ruling stated that the city can’t apply zoning restrictions toward government entities that construct buildings or businesses on county-owned property within city limits. The judge cited various courthouses, jails, hospitals and other buildings as examples. Time will tell the outcome of the appeals process now underway in these real estate disputes. Anyone in Florida facing similar zoning or other real estate problems may seek support from an experienced attorney.
Source: heraldmailmedia.com, “Martinsburg council votes to appeal ruling in zoning dispute with Berkeley County“, Matthew Umstead, Feb. 20, 2018