Mosquito Control District's Motion to Dismiss Granted - The Airport is Still an Airport

The complaint in Lee County Circuit Court against Lee County Mosquito Control District's use and purchase of the Woodstock airport in St. James City by plaintiffs; Williams. Peratino, Jamie M.Saunders, Debbie Memoli, Claudia Bringe And Joseph T. Scaccio, was dismissed May 24th, 2018.

Excerpts from the Judgment as follows, ". . .claims raised by Plaintiffs fail for the following reasons:

A. The Zoning Verification Letter does not change the agricultural status of any property;

B. The Zoning Verification Letter applies only to the Lee County Mosquito Control District and is not subject to notice and a public hearing;

C. The issuance of the Zoning Verification Letter is an administrative action/decision and is not a quasi-judicial decision subject to judicial review; the concept of separation of power prevents this Court from overturning or injecting its views on the Zoning Verification Letter; and Lee County's discretionary interpretation of its zoning ordinances is an executive function that cannot be supervised by the Courts;

D. The Court finds that Plaintiffs lack standing to seek an injunction against the alleged violation of a municipal zoning ordinance as it pertains to the Zoning Verification Letter;

E. This Court cannot enter a permanent injunction forever preventing a party from seeking a change to the use of property in the future;

F. The Court further finds that the interpretation of the zoning regulations and the zoning code as contained in the Zoning Verification Letter is neither unreasonable nor clearly erroneous because the use of the existing airstrip at the subject property, "Woodstock Airport", is a permitted use under the definition of "aircraft landing facility, private" as contained within the Lee County Zoning Code and Regulations; The Court finds that Lee County's interpretation of its zoning laws is neither arbitrary nor capricious;

G. The Court finds that nowhere in the Land Development Code of Lee County is there a separate use category for "government aircraft landing facilities" as suggested by the Plaintiffs;

H. The 1975 Special Permit to operate a private airstrip at the "Woodstock Airport" was not a personal license given to Crystal River Corporation and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Travers, but, rather, a use that ran with the land. As such, the proposed usage sought by the Lee County Mosquito Control District is consistent with the special permit obtained in 1975.

I. The alleged harm to the Plaintiffs is not a special harm different from the public at large. As such, the Plaintiffs do not have standing to sue.

It is therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that the Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED with prejudice."

(editors note: "with prejudice" means that the subject can not/will not be revisited by the court.)