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14269 BT LLC v. Village of Wellington

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

January 17, 2018

14269 BT LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Corporation, Petitioner,
v.
VILLAGE OF WELLINGTON, FLORIDA, a Florida Municipal Corporation, Respondent.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Petition for writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County; Peter D. Blanc, Joseph Marx and Jeffrey D. Gillen, Judges; L.T. Case No. 502016CA007337XXXXMB.

          Michael B. Stevens of Derrevere Stevens Black & Cozad, West Palm Beach, for petitioner.

          Laurie Stilwell Cohen and Aaron C. Dunlap, Wellington, for respondent.

          PER CURIAM.

         The operator of a horse farm, 14269 BT, LLC (the "farm"), seeks second-tier certiorari review of an administrative code enforcement order finding that the farm violated several sections of the Village of Wellington's (the "village") land development regulations ("LDR"). These violations arose from unpermitted improvements the farm made to its property including the construction of two barns, a storage building, a manure bin, a driveway, and a swale. The code enforcement order mandates several corrective actions including removing one of the barns.

         The farm argues that all of its improvements are nonresidential farm buildings and support structures, which are exempt from the village's LDRs pursuant to the plain language of section 604.50(1), Florida Statutes (2016). We agree that some of the improvements, including the two barns, the storage building, and the manure bin, are exempt under the plain language of section 604.50(1). Therefore, we grant the petition, in part, and quash the circuit court's affirmance because it contravenes the plain language of section 604.50(1).

         Factual and Procedural Background

         In March 2016, the village cited the farm with several code violations in two separate cases. In the first case, the farm was cited for violating various storm-water management regulations by failing to (i) design and build a secondary storm-water system and (ii) obtain permits for grading work done during the construction of the driveway and the swale. Notably, the driveway and the swale were partially built across a public right-of-way. The corrective actions listed for these violations included obtaining permits for the grading work and submitting plans for a secondary storm-water system.

         In the second case, the farm was cited for failing to obtain building permits for the two barns, the storage building, and the manure bin. The farm was also cited for violating LDR section 6.10.12, which limits the number of barns that can be built on lots within the farm's zoning district. The corrective actions listed for these violations included obtaining the required building permits and removing the second barn.

         These cases proceeded to an evidentiary hearing before a special magistrate, who ultimately entered an amended consolidated order in favor of the village. The farm appealed to the circuit court, and the circuit court affirmed in an unelaborated opinion.

         This petition for second-tier certiorari review follows.

         Second-tier Certiorari Review

         "Second-tier certiorari is not a second appeal; it is extraordinarily limited, and narrow in scope." Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab. Ctr. Corp. v. United Auto Ins. Co., 103 So.3d 866, 868 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012). "Review is limited to whether the circuit court failed to afford petitioner procedural due process in the appeal or departed from the essential requirements of the law, that is, committed a grievous error which results in a miscarriage of ...


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