On June 22, 2016, the seven-member Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”) voted to postpone bear hunting in Florida for 2016. The FWC made its decision in a split 4-3 vote, despite receiving recommendations from its staff and biologists to conduct a bear hunt similar to the one held in 2015.

Nick Wiley, executive director of FWC, stated that:

[a]lthough hunting has been demonstrated to be a valuable tool to control bear populations across the country, it is just one part of FWC’s latest, comprehensive bear management program.”

Last year, a total of 304 bears were killed in a two-day span, which caused an abrupt end to the planned week-long hunt in October.

Southwest Florida Local Government Takes the Hunt into its Own Hands


Continue Reading Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Votes No to 2016 Black Bear Hunt

6184015031_52bb1094fd_zExecutive Order 16-155

On June 29, 2016, the Governor issued Executive Order Number 16-155, declaring a State of Emergency throughout Martin and St. Lucie Counties due to the increased number of algae blooms from the Lake Okeechobee discharges. In this Executive Order, the Governor states:

[t]he Obama Administration unreasonably failed to budget for adequate maintenance and speedy rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, resulting in frequent discharges of harmful water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers and estuaries.”

The Governor explained that the release of these waters has caused an increase in algae blooms that have been dominated by Mycrosystis, an algae that can produce harmful toxins.

Executive Order 16-156


Continue Reading Lee County Included in a State of Emergency Declaration for Algae Blooms from Lake Okeechobee

On June 27, 2016, Lee County staff presented a series of proposed Land Development Code (LDC) amendments to the Local Planning Agency (LPA). Of significant importance, were staff’s proposed amendments to LDC Sections 2-45 through 2-46 and Sections 66-76, which specifically impact the County’s current provisions governing its “Proportionate Fair-Share” and Concurrency programs. In addition, as a companion amendment, staff has proposed a complete revision to the Administrative Code (AC) 13-16.

The Purposes for the Proposed LDC and AC Amendments

According to staff, the purposes behind the proposed changes are:
Continue Reading Lee County Local Planning Agency to Consider Proposed Amendments to its Proportionate Fair-Share Program

From left to right: Ryan Binkowski and Alexis Crespo (Waldrop Engineering) with Molly Maggiano and Austin Turner (Henderson Franklin)
From left to right: Ryan Binkowski and Alexis Crespo (Waldrop Engineering) with attorneys Molly Maggiano and Austin Turner (Henderson Franklin)

This year’s two day Urban Land Institute (ULI) Annual Florida Summit was held in Miami at the Turnberry Isle Resort and was comprised of more than 650 attendees. The theme of this year’s event was Creative Disruption: “The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be.”

The mission of ULI is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI is an independent global nonprofit supported by the top real estate professionals from throughout the state including developers, attorneys, engineers, architects, and land use planners, from both the private and public sector.

The “Creative Class”


Continue Reading “The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be”- 2016 ULI Florida Summit

The term “due diligence” gets thrown around a lot in the development world, but often with little regard for what the term entails. As with all things relating to property, this post is in no way intended to encompass all considerations in due diligence as properties are unique and present specific needs of review. However, the following list provides a brief glimpse into items to review when you are considering the purchase of real property for development in Southwest Florida:
Continue Reading 8 Practical Tips for Land Use Due Diligence in Southwest Florida

Statutory Authority for State of Emergency Extensions in Florida

As explained in our earlier blog posts, Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, provides that certain qualifying permits and authorizations can obtain extensions following a declared State of Emergency for the amount of time the declaration was in effect, plus an additional six months.

In order to obtain an extension under the statute, the applicant must submit a written request to the authorizing agency within 90 days after the State of Emergency has expired.

The State of Emergency for Heavy Rainfall Has Expired


Continue Reading Once Again, Now is the Time to Extend your Permits in Lee County

On April 21, 2016, Southwest Florida’s state legislators presented a “Legislative Wrap-Up” at the Cohen Center of Florida Gulf Coast University. This year’s event was well attended and presented for the first time as a collaborative effort between and among ULI of Southwest Florida, REIS, and the FPZA.

This Year’s Legislative Panel

Attendees had the pleasure of hearing about many of this year’s successful and unsuccessful bills from the following legislative panel:

Highlights from the 2016 Legislative Session

Following a brief introduction by moderator Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, each panelist was given several minutes to discuss their greatest accomplishments of the 2016 Legislative Session.


Continue Reading 2016 Florida Legislative Wrap-Up Presented by ULI SW Florida, REIS and FPZA

iStock_000015122897XSmall.jpgOn March 11, 2016, this year’s Legislative Session came to a conclusion. From a land use perspective, Florida’s CS/CS/HB 1361 (the “Bill”) proposes several important amendments. The Bill was approved by the Governor on Friday, March 25, 2016 and will become effective on July 1, 2016. A copy can be viewed here.

What You Need to Know


Continue Reading Governor Scott Signs HB 1361 into Law

6184015031_52bb1094fd_zFirst, as a follow up to a previous blog post regarding the Governor’s recent Executive Orders for the Zika virus and Heavy Rainfall, there are two important corrections.

A “Public Health Emergency” was Declared for the Zika Virus in Executive Order 16-29, not a “State of “Emergency”

Only a “State of Emergency” may be used to extend permits under Section 252.363, Florida Statutes.   There is no corresponding right under a “Public Health Emergency.” Therefore, no extension of permits will be issued in connection with the “Public Health Emergency” declared in connection with the Zika Virus.

The Heavy Rainfall SOE Has Been Extended 15 days (Executive Order 16-43)

On February 18, 2016, the same day that the Heavy Rainfall SOE was set to expire, the Governor issued Executive Order 16-43 extending the declaration made in Executive Order 16-30 an additional fifteen (15) days.


Continue Reading Updates on Executive Orders for Heavy Rainfall, Zika Virus and Governor Declares a New State of Emergency (“SOE”) for Lake Okeechobee Discharges

Updated:  March 2, 2016

In 2011, Florida enacted section 252.363, Florida Statutes, a law which grants certain permits and authorizations an extension for the amount of time a declared state of emergency was in effect, plus an additional six (6) months.

To qualify for the extension, a written notification of intent must be submitted to the agency that authorized the permit within ninety (90) days of the termination of the emergency declaration.

Important Executive Order

Executive Order 16-30 (Heavy Rainfall)


Continue Reading Heavy Rainfall Provides New Opportunity for Permit Extensions in Southwest Florida