Monday, November 28, 2005

Open Space Requirements in a PUD are not a Taking, Even When the Plan is Amended to Designate the Property "Preservation"

In Palm Beach Polo v. Village of Wellington, here's the link, the Village had filed a dec action seeking to enforce the terms of a PUD ordinance (originally adopted by the County, pre-incorporation) and the developer counterclaimed under a takings and Bert Harris theory for placing a portion of the property designated for conservation in the PUD as "Preservation" in the FLUM.

Upshot: Village 2, Polo 0. The trial court found, and the 4th DCA affirmed, that the density (and therefore value) of the 120 acre "Big Blue" portion of the property had been transferred to the rest of the development in the PUD ordinance, and that the terms of the PUD were still valid and enforceable. It held that there was ample evidence that development of this area was not an "existing right" for Bert Harris purposes, that the PUD provisions were not unconstitutionally vague, and that because the property overall had been given use - including development rights from the preservation parcel, the fact that the preservation parcel was now "undevelopable" did not create a taking.

For takings types - the "parcel as a whole" looks backward to prior regulatory actions, like the PUD ordinance here. An unsurprising result, but I'm not sure of another Florida precedent on this point.

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