Monday, August 30, 2004

Charters trump ordinances and must be implemented to achieve their intent.

It's always an interesting dance to see how local governments try to manage pesky constitutional, statutory or charter provisions that limit their discretion.

Last week, the 4th DCA released this opinion , which held that the City of Pompano Beach couldn't get around a charter requirement to hold a referendum before selling lands with certain uses simply by reclassifying the land via an ordinance. The Charter required a referendum, but provided that the initial classification of property would be by ordinance. The City wanted to sell a beach parking lot that had been classified as recreational (and covered by the referendum requirement) to the redevelopment authority. It didn't want to hold the referendum. So it adopted an ordianance redesignating the beach parking lot out of the recreational designation. The court took the common sense approach that the City's action would have completely negated the purpose of the Charter provision and held that the once designated (even if by ordinance), the Charter prohibitted redesignation for the purpose of avoiding the Charter.

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