Martin County v. Yusem

690 So. 2d 1288 (1997)

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Martin County v. Yusem

Florida Supreme Court
690 So. 2d 1288 (1997)

Facts

Melvyn Yusem (defendant) owned 54 acres of land in Martin County (plaintiff). Under Martin County’s comprehensive land-use plan, Yusem’s land was located on a 900-acre tract zoned for rural-density development, meaning that Yusem was only allowed to build one residential unit for every two-acre plot. Yusem petitioned the Martin County Board of County Commissioners (board) to amend the land-use plan and reclassify his plot for estate-density development, which would allow him to build two residential units on a one-acre plot. The board denied Yusem’s amendment proposal. Yusem appealed to the circuit court. The circuit court reversed the denial following a strict-scrutiny review, holding that a land-use plan amendment affecting only a limited number of identifiable individuals or properties was a quasi-judicial decision subject to strict-scrutiny review, rather than a legislative zoning decision subject only to deferential review under the fairly debatable standard. On appeal, the appellate court reversed the circuit court’s decision on jurisdictional grounds but affirmed the circuit court’s ruling that strict scrutiny was the correct standard of review. Martin County appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, arguing that amendments to comprehensive land-use plans are legislative decisions that should only be subject to deferential review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wells, J.)

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