2004 Florida Statutes
Public participation in the comprehensive planning process; intent; alternative dispute resolution.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that the public participate in the comprehensive planning process to the fullest extent possible. Towards this end, local planning agencies and local governmental units are directed to adopt procedures designed to provide effective public participation in the comprehensive planning process and to provide real property owners with notice of all official actions which will regulate the use of their property. The provisions and procedures required in this act are set out as the minimum requirements towards this end.
(2) During consideration of the proposed plan or amendments thereto by the local planning agency or by the local governing body, the procedures shall provide for broad dissemination of the proposals and alternatives, opportunity for written comments, public hearings as provided herein, provisions for open discussion, communications programs, information services, and consideration of and response to public comments.
(3) A local government considering undertaking a publicly financed capital improvement project may elect to use the procedures set forth in this subsection for the purpose of allowing public participation in the decision and resolution of disputes. For purposes of this subsection, a publicly financed capital improvement project is a physical structure or structures, the funding for construction, operation, and maintenance of which is financed entirely from public funds.
(a) Prior to the date of a public hearing on the decision on whether to proceed with the proposed project, the local government shall publish public notice of its intent to decide the issue according to the notice procedures described by s. 125.66(4)(b)2. for a county or s. 166.041(3)(c)2.b. for a municipality.
(b) If the local government chooses to use this process, an affected person may not institute or intervene in an administrative hearing objecting to the project as not consistent with the local comprehensive plan unless, and then only to the extent to which, the affected person raised, through written or oral comments, the same issues between the date of publication of the public notice and the conclusion of the public hearing. However, this limitation shall not apply to issues arising either from significant changes to the location, type, or use of the project, or to significant new information about the project site which becomes known after the public hearing as a result of subsequent site study and analysis, if required.
(c) If an affected person requests an administrative hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, that person shall file the petition no later than 30 days after the public hearing or no later than 30 days after the change or new information is made available to the public, whichever is later. Affected local governments, the state land planning agency, or other affected persons may intervene. Following the initiation of an administrative hearing, the administrative law judge shall, by order issued within 15 days after receipt of the petition, establish a schedule for the proceedings, including discovery, which provides for a final hearing within 60 days of the issuance of the order. Proposed recommended orders must be submitted to the administrative law judge, if at all, within 10 days of the filing of the hearing transcript. Recommended orders shall be submitted to the state land planning agency within 30 days of the last day for the filing of the proposed recommended order. The state land planning agency shall issue its final order within 45 days of receipt of the recommended order.
(d) The doctrine of res judicata shall apply to all matters raised and disposed of in the final order issued pursuant to this subsection.
(4) If a local government denies an owner's request for an amendment to the comprehensive plan which is applicable to the property of the owner, the local government must afford an opportunity to the owner for informal mediation or other alternative dispute resolution. The costs of the mediation or other alternative dispute resolution shall be borne equally by the local government and the owner. If the owner requests mediation, the time for bringing a judicial action is tolled until the completion of the mediation or 120 days, whichever is earlier.
History.--s. 8, ch. 75-257; s. 3, ch. 76-155; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 3, ch. 77-331; s. 9, ch. 93-206; s. 12, ch. 93-286; s. 4, ch. 95-181; s. 10, ch. 95-310; s. 25, ch. 96-410.