The Koontz Decision; Back to Florida
In the recent landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Mgmt. Dist., 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court majority held that exactions sought by local governments, which are not rationally related to the impact caused by a proposed development permit, constitutes a taking of property under the unreasonable conditions doctrine pursuant to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Florida Courts to determine whether under Florida law the actions of the Water Management District constitute a taking under Florida law.
On April 30, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal readopted the decision of the Supreme Court and stated that the actions of the Water Management District constituted unlawful conditions which ripened into a taking under Florida law. In a strongly worded dissent, Judge Griffen reiterated the dissent by Justice Kagan and chastised the majority for abdicating their responsibility to review the implications of state law, in light of the relevant facts that no permit was ever issued and therefore, no taking could occur. The case will clearly be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which has previously held that under Florida law, the actions of the governmental agency did not ripen into a taking.
The final chapter of Koontz has not been written.