From Bruce Ritchie of the Florida Current:
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is appealing a development permit in Lake County in what is the first challenge or appeal to a local land use decision since the department was created.
DEO was created in 2011 when the Legislature eliminated the Department of Community Affairs and shifted its planning division to the new economic development agency. The Legislature that year also rolled back most state oversight of local growth management decisions.
The new department still has not challenged any of the more than 29,000 comprehensive plans or amendments that have been proposed since 2011, according to DEO data. But the department is appealing to the governor and Cabinet a Lake County decision to approve 490 homes on 24 acres along with the removal of 3 million cubic yards of sand and soil from the property.
"The agency is near death but it's good to know there is still an ounce of breath in the body," said Tom Pelham, a land use attorney who twice served as secretary of the Department of Community Affairs. "They have finally challenged a local permit." Story here.