Tuesday, January 15, 2008

League of Cities to File Amicus Brief re Sunset Lawsuit

I thought you might be interested in seeing this filing made by the Palm Beach County League of Cities - which represents all 38 municipalities in Palm Beach County. If you have attended some City Commission meetings, you have certainly heard references to the group.

This amicus brief is where someone or entity with a similar interest joins in on one side of the law suit. In this case it is the League of Cities standing along side, in a manner of speaking, the City of Lake Worth as it appeals Judge Fine's original ruling. It is interesting that this document stresses (on page 2) that there is a potential to expose all municipalities to potential referenda on comprehensive plan amendments that affect five (5) or fewer parcels and that is opposite what the state law particularly mandates. Why, you ask? I am convinced the original legislation intent was only to include the SUBJECT property - not those around it. With any other interpretation (such as Judge Fine's), objectivity is impossible and those subject properties that are only made up of one "parcel", might be subject to a politically based (as opposed to one that is factually based) decision made by an elected body. That would happen if the elected body makes a "finding of fact" that the future land use change on one parcel affects six or more parcels.

It's also interesting to note that filing these amicus briefs can definitely influence the ultimate decision by the court.

(Link provided by clicking on the term which provides additional detail on what an amicus brief is and the process surrounding it. Remember, I am not an attorney)