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Moviematic Indus. Corp. v. Board of County Comm'rs of Metro. Dade County

Citation: 8 ELR 20035
No. No. 76-983, 349 So. 2d 667/(Fla. Dist. Ct. App., 08/09/1977)

The court affirms the trial court's denial of plaintiff's petition to overturn an amendment to the county zoning regulations which rezoned plaintiff's property from heavey industrial use to single-family residential use. Plaintiff's property consists of a remote 1,200-acre tract of undeveloped land situated directly above a pure water aduifer providing a substantial portion of Dade County's drinking water. After a public hearing at which plaintiff presented evidence in opposition to the proposed zoning amendment and at which evidence was presented by the county showing the fragility of the aquifer, particularly its vulnerability to the effects of commercial development, the county zoning commission terminated the special permit under which plaintiff had operated its business. The court disagrees with plaintiff's contention that the zoning regulation is invalid because it bears no reasonable relation to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare. Zoning enactments predicated on considerations of human impact on the ecological balance of an area are a valid exercise of a municipality's delegated power to further the public welfare. Nattin Realty, Inc. v. Ludewig, 67 Misc. 2d 828, 324 N.Y.S.2d 668 (1971); Steel Hill Development, Inc. v. Town of Sanbornton, 469 F.2d 956 [3 ELR 20018] (1st Cir. 1972). The court has been presented with sufficient evidence to show that the zoning regulation in question will substantially further the dual objectives of maintaining the integrity of existing ecological systems and preserving the purity of the county's water.

The court also rejects plaintiff's argument that the zoning amendment is an unconstitutional taking without compensation because it has rendered the plaintiff's land incapable of being put to any practical use. A zoning ordinance will be struck down if it precludes all uses to which the property might be put or the only use to which it is reasonably adaptable. Forde v. City of Miami Beach, 146 Fla. 676, 1 So. 2d 642 (1941); County of Brevard v. Woodham, 223 So. 2d 344 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App.), cert. denied, 201 So. 2d 554 (Fla. 1967). The evidence introduced at trial is sufficient to show only that there has been some reduction in the market value of petitioner's property, a loss which need not be compensated. The court, however, expressly reserves the question of whether plaintiff may in the future be entitled to compensation if it can be shown that future development efforts have been stymied by the county in a manner depriving the plaintiff of the beneficial use of the land.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (7 pp. $0.75, ELR Order No. C-1145).

Counsel for Plaintiff
Gary S. Brooks
Williams, Saloman, Kanner & Damian
1003-1012 Alfred I. duPont Bldg., Miami FL 33131
(305) 379-1681

Counsel for Defendant
Stuart L. Simon, County Attorney; Stanley B. Price, Robert A. Ginsburg, Ass't County Attorneys
73 W. Flagler St., Miami FL 33130
(305) 579-5151

Featherstone, J.

[OPINION OMITTED BY PUBLISHER IN ORIGINAL SOURCE]