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City Can Condemn Property Outside of City Limits
Local Government Law Blog
Written by Becky Vose   
Tuesday, July 07 2009 12:43

Did you ever think that a city could take property, through eminent domain (condemnation), that is outside of the city and isn’t even contiguous to the city?  The 2nd DCA (located in Lakeland) recently decided a lawsuit where the City of Lakeland condemned property that was located in unincorporated Polk County to build a road that would be maintained by Polk County after it was built.  Polk County did not object to the taking, but the owner of the property did object.  The court found that the taking was for a public purpose and that it was not necessary for the city to show that it was for a city purpose – the fact that it was a public purpose was enough.  If you want to look it up, the citation is Edna L. Kirkland et al. v. City of Lakeland,3 So.3rd 398 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009).

Actually, the reason this case caught my eye was that when I was just starting to practice law in the 1970’s, I represented the City of Orlando in a condemnation case where the City of Orlando condemned the property for the construction of the Iron Bridge Road Sewage Treatment Plant.  That wouldn’t be particularly memorable since I have condemned hundreds of parcels of property for local governments over the years, but this one was different.  The land was located in Seminole County (Orlando is in Orange County), and the neighbors were not at all happy having a sewage treatment plant built in their area.  It took much work to get Seminole County to agree to the change in zoning that was necessary before the plant could be built. Eventually everything was completed, the plant built, and, as far as I know, the plant continues to treat east Orange County sewage in Seminole County! 

 
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