Jury Finds for Landowner in Monroe County

The State of Florida took several platted, undeveloped residential lots in Key Largo to prevent development in an area that it deemed environmentally sensitive. Prior to the taking, Monroe County denied building permits under its “rate-of-growth ordinance” and prohibited mosquito spraying in the area to render the area undesirable for development. The state and its appraiser argued that the lots did not have significant value despite being platted and having water, sewage, and electricity infrastructure to support development. The jury not only agreed with the owner’s valuation of the lots but asked the judge if they could award more than the amount requested by the owners.

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