Wednesday, November 22, 2017
News Roundup

Federal judge strikes down Pasco ordinance requiring land donations for future roads

RECOMMENDED READING


A federal judge has struck down a Pasco County ordinance that requires landowners developing their property to hand over part of the land for future roads — or be denied a permit.

U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday said in a harshly worded 52-page ruling that he finds the ordinance "both coercive and confiscatory … and constitutionally offensive in both content and operation."

He noted that landowners who do not develop their property are justly compensated through the eminent domain process.

The ruling echoes a 2010 recommendation from magistrate Thomas McCoun, who said the ordinance was "a calculated measure … to avoid the burdens and costs of eminent domain and take private property without just compensation."

Pasco's ordinance, approved in 2005, drew a court challenge from Hillcrest Properties, which owns 16 acres west of Interstate 75 off Old Pasco Road. Hillcrest argued it unfairly forces owners to surrender land if they want to develop their property.

The ordinance says property owners must dedicate part of their land to the county if part of it falls on a map of future road expansions. Owners who think that's unfair can argue their project won't generate enough traffic to justify the dedication or apply for a variance. The county's goal was to plan for road expansions and save taxpayers millions of dollars by acquiring right of way before costs balloon.

Assistant County Attorney David Goldstein said requiring right of way as a condition of approval has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and is "common practice" in Florida.

As for the county's next move, he said a judgment hasn't been entered yet, "so any discussion of an appeal or continued enforcement would be premature."

Attorney David Smolker, who represented Hillcrest, said he wasn't sure whether those who already donated land would be able to seek recourse. "All you can really say is it depends on the circumstance of each situation."

Comments
U.S. Navy plane with 11 aboard crashes into Pacific; 8 rescued

U.S. Navy plane with 11 aboard crashes into Pacific; 8 rescued

TOKYO — Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a U.S. Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the Navy said. The C-2 "Greyhound" transport aircraft came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump speaks up for Moore, warns against his ‘liberal’ rival

Trump speaks up for Moore, warns against his ‘liberal’ rival

WASHINGTON — Silent for more than a week, President Donald Trump all but endorsed embattled Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, discounting the sexual assault allegations against him and insisting repeatedly that voters must not support Moor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fire sends smoke through roof of Brass Flamingo adult club in Port Richey

Fire sends smoke through roof of Brass Flamingo adult club in Port Richey

PORT RICHEY — Crews from Pasco County fire rescue were battling a fire Wednesday morning that sent smoke pouring through the roof at the Brass Flamingo adult club, 9034 U.S. 19.The fire forced the closing of U.S. 19 but traffic was flowing again by 6...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Charities see greater need, donations during holidays after Irma

Charities see greater need, donations during holidays after Irma

Charities that feed the poor around Tampa Bay say they’ve seen a bump in demand since Hurricane Irma that is continuing into the holidays.But they also are reporting a spike in donations they are attributing to a neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit in t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Mountains beckon, but family sticks with beleaguered Seminole Heights for Thanksgiving this year

Mountains beckon, but family sticks with beleaguered Seminole Heights for Thanksgiving this year

TAMPA — Before the killings began, Bob and Vivian Fiallo envisioned having Thanksgiving at their North Carolina mountain getaway.Most years, the couple spends the holiday at their tidy, brick-faced home on North Olney Avenue, in the heart of Southeas...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Foggy, then partly cloudy Thanksgiving Eve before holiday rain takes hold across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Foggy, then partly cloudy Thanksgiving Eve before holiday rain takes hold across Tampa Bay

A foggy, then partly cloudy day precedes what potentially could be a wet and dreary Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay.Deep moisture in the region has produced thick fog early Wednesday morning, with visibility reduced to a quarter-mile in some areas — in...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What would drive a man to shoot someone 17 times?

What would drive a man to shoot someone 17 times?

Anthony Roy and his wife retired to Clearwater to escape the violence in Washington, D.C. They moved into a house owned by his mother, and they loved it there. Then uninvited guests started loitering in their back yard and dealing drugs. They couldn&...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Daystarter: Seminole Heights family shows strength over Thanksgiving; How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born; Amazon’s crushing retail this holiday season; remembering David Cassidy

The Daystarter: Seminole Heights family shows strength over Thanksgiving; How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born; Amazon’s crushing retail this holiday season; remembering David Cassidy

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• Increased moisture will produce thick morning fog, then give way to warm temperatures, partly cloudy skies and a small chance of rain. Com...
Updated: 3 hours ago
USF psychologist weighs in on Girl Scouts ‘she doesn’t owe anyone a hug’ advice

USF psychologist weighs in on Girl Scouts ‘she doesn’t owe anyone a hug’ advice

Jillian Childres isn’t just a pediatrics psychologist, she’s a mother to a 3-year-old son. The little boy recently didn’t want to give the wife of one of her husband’s coworkers a goodbye hug. After the woman asked, Childres — also an associate profe...
Updated: 3 hours ago
How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born

How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born

Charles Dickens’ best-known and most beloved book almost didn’t happen. In 1843, Dickens, then 31, was already dealing with the downside of international success. He had followed bestsellers like Oliver Twist with several flops and was s...
Updated: 4 hours ago