GolfRock, LLC v. Lee County, Florida
GolfRock initially sought a permit to mine limerock and later develop a piece of land in Lee County, Florida, in 2005. After requiring five supplements to the application, passing a mining moratorium, and then changing the rules to forbid mining on GolfRock’s land, the County finally demanded that GolfRock withdraw its application eight years later. The County then asserted (and the lower court held) that GolfRock must file additional mining applications, under the new rules, and obtain a decision on those applications before it can claim that the County’s restrictions on mining result in a taking—even though the County’s regulations now explicitly and categorically bar GolfRock’s proposed mining activity.
On appeal, PLF argued as amicus curiae that the extent of the County’s mining restrictions became clear, and GolfRock’s claim became ripe, when the County decided to outright ban limerock mining on GolfRock’s land, thereby removing all discretion to grant the desired mining permit. The court of appeal issued a baffling decision saying that it would not decide whether the claim was ripe, because the plaintiffs’ complaint failed to sufficiently allege that GolfRock was in doubt about whether their claim was ripe. GolfRock petitioned for rehearing and PLF hopes this decision is corrected, clarified, or overturned soon, because it is as baffling as it is bad for property owners.