Can Florida’s Legislative Standard of Review for Small-Scale Land Use Amendments Be Justified?


This article examines the legal justification and practical application of recent Florida Supreme Court decisions classifying all comprehensive plan amendments as legislative decisions and all other zoning changes as quasi-judicial. The author outlines historical trends and concerns relating to the appropriate standard of judicial review for zoning actions, followed by a review of the evolution of the statutes and case law in Florida. The article challenges the standard of deference for legislative review of zoning actions based on separation of powers and due process. It also identifies inconsistencies in Florida case law and inequities in local government processes for reviewing small-scale amendments and rezonings. The article concludes that classifying all amendments as legislative is not adequately reasoned or justified and leads to inconsistent and inequitable results. In addition, it provides recommendations for legislative reform.


Land Use Law

Date of this Version

December 2005