In the 1980s, the television show The Equalizer told the story of a trouble-shooter who assisted people in over their heads, with long odds. Denzel Washington brought the role to the big screen in 2014. If you’re a property owner, you might need to have things equalized, too, by using a law written to assist property owners.
Think about it. You’ve put, maybe, your life savings, or retirement money, into a piece of vacant land. You’ve done your homework. You’ve found out the comprehensive plan and the zoning will allow you to open a restaurant, your own neighborhood bar and grill. You buy the land, submit a development plan, apply for and obtain the necessary permits, and break ground on construction. Half-way through your project, you get the news that local government has changed its comprehensive plan and re-zoned your property, mentioning it specifically in the new ordinance. No commercial uses. No grandfather clause.
It if happens to you, Florida has a law that may be able to help you: The Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act. In subsection (1) of the Act, the Florida Legislature stated: “Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that, as a separate and distinct cause of action from the law of takings, the Legislature herein provides for relief, or payment of compensation, when a new law, rule, regulation, or ordinance of the state or a political entity in the state, as applied, unfairly affects real property.”
If a new law, rule, regulation, or ordinance of state or local government has unfairly affected your property, be sure to ask your lawyer if he or she has considered a Bert Harris claim. Equalize your odds.
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