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Cross Keys Waterways v. Askew

Citation: 8 ELR 20122
No. Nos. Y-362 et al., 351 So. 2d 1062/(Fla. Dist. Ct. App., 08/20/1977)

The court declares unconstitutional certain sections of the Florida Environmental and Water Management Act which delegate to the Administration Commission, composed of the governor and the state cabinet, the discretionary power to designate parts of the state as "areas of critical concern." Pursuant to those sections the Commission had so designated the Florida Keys, thereby preempting the power of municipal governments to regulate development of these areas. The power to regulate land development, though traditionally exercised by municipalities, resides in the state and may constitutionally be transferred to a state agency if accompanied by sufficiently specific legislative guidance. The legislature's reliance within the Act upon terms such as "significant impact" is not unconstitutional per se, but as a whole the statute fails to provide specific criteria to be applied by the Commission in selecting critical areas or by the judiciary in overseeing such activities. The sections of the Act relating to administrative designation of critical areas therefore unlawfully delegate legislative power and the designation of the Keys must be voided.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Murray H. Dubbin
Dubbin, Schiff, Berkman & Dubbin
1000 Rivergate Plaza, 444 Brickell Ave., Miami FL 33131
(305) 373-3606

Charles Netter
7211 S.W. 62 Ave., Miami FL 33143
(305) 667-6453

Richard W. Ervin, Joseph C. Jacobs, Robert J. Angerer
Ervin, Varn, Jacobs, Odom & Kitchen
305 So. Gadsden St., Tallahassee FL 32302
(904) 224-9135

Tittle & Tittle
P.O. Drawer 535, Tavernier FL 33070
(305) 852-3206

Counsel for Defendant
Robert L. Shevin, Attorney General; James D. Whisenand, Richard M. Goldstein, Ass't Attorneys General
Department of Legal Affairs, The Capitol, Tallahassee FL 32304
(904) 488-2094

MILLS, Acting C.J., and MELVIN, WOODROW M., Associate Judge, concur.