Monroe County, Florida Environmental & Land Use Litigation

Nowhere are environmental issues more of a pressing concern than in southern Florida. The fragility of the ecosystems along the Keys is well known, and as such, often breeds environmental and land use litigation. The Silver Law Group has years of experience handling this specific type of litigation, and is ready to help you successfully navigate Florida’s environmental and land use laws.

Protecting The Environment

As a general rule, environmental law is founded on the idea of protection and preservation of the natural landscape. No one’s business interests are generally held to be above the right of the people to benefit from an unspoiled ecosystem. As such, environmental law is a field in which citizen enforcement suits are common. Citizen enforcement suits are exactly what they sound like – citizens taking the initiative to either compel a certain outcome, or to help ensure a certain ruling is enforced. For example, Chapter 120, Sec. 69 of the Florida Statutes allows a citizen to file a petition to enforce agency action. In other words, if an agency has issued a permit or a ruling – say, a ruling discontinuing construction in an area of wetlands – and has not yet followed up, a citizen may essentially force them to do so by filing a petition demanding the agency enforce the stoppage.

Other common environmental causes of action include air quality and emissions issues, endangered species and habitat disputes, climate change questions, sustainable agriculture disputes, and questions regarding resource permit issuance.

Patricia Silver

Waterfront property owners have riparian rights, or literal rights. Those rights include the right to access to the water. Building a dock is not necessarily permitted in all cases. There are regulations that prohibit the building of a dock because you don’t have adequate depth, you have hard-bottom communities, it is in the sanctuary, you are going to affect sea turtles, things of that nature.

Land Use Litigation

By far the most common issue in Florida land use laws tends to be zoning and permit-related. Zoning laws (which are made usually either by municipality or county, though some states do make them, including Florida) dictate how certain property may be used in certain areas. Their main focus is to prevent residential areas from being affected by the output of commercial and industrial businesses – for example, smoke from factories. Zoning laws can be challenged in front of an administrative law judge, or you may wish to simply apply for a variance, which is a one-time exception to the law (though good cause must be shown).

Other reasons you may require the services of a land use attorney include property tax (ad valorem) disputes, wetland permits, fighting urban sprawl and aiding in future planning and development.

Contact An Environmental & Land Use Attorney

If you are planning a new project and want to be certain you are in compliance with all appropriate laws, it is best to engage the services of an experienced legal professional. The Silver Law Group has built a reputation on successfully managing Florida’s environmental and land use matters for a host of clientele. Contact our Islamorada office today for a free initial consultation; we are happy to discuss your options with you.

Litigation Attorney Service Areas

Monroe County
Florida Keys
Key Largo
Key West
Upper Keys

Miami-Dade County
Coral Gables
Most Miami Sub-divisions/municipalities
Palmetto Bay
South Miami