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Real estate disputes ongoing: Town officials versus developer

Most Florida developers can relate to suffering setbacks in their plans to begin construction projects. Any number of issues may prompt such delays. Often, a need to extend a start date may be sparked by financial problems. Town officials in another state are currently facing off in real estate disputes against a developer, and the two sides disagree in their interpretations of state law regarding vested rights extension.

This type of extension is granted to developers who need more time before they can start their projects. In this particular situation, the development project includes a 25-room boutique/hotel. Builders were supposed to start construction in December 2018; however, an extension was requested. 

Town planning commissioners denied the request, and the developer has filed a lawsuit stating that town officials are in violation of state laws. Town representatives say the extension was denied due to a conflict between the initial overlay plan and new zoning laws which came into effect under a new administration. An attorney representing the development company said the new policies should have no legal bearing on the hotel project.

The attorney also stated that town officials cannot disregard the Vested Rights Act any time ordinances are amended. In fact, current state law guarantees builders the right to request a two-year extension, provided their project plans have already been approved. Town officials were asked to make a public statement regarding the real estate disputes, but they declined. Any developer facing similar problems in Florida can seek support from an experienced real estate law attorney.

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