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Property rights

City sues, but Christmas light show goes on in South Florida

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A South Florida city is suing to shut down a massive annual Christmas display in a South Florida couple’s front yard. But with the lawsuit stalled in the legal system, the light show in a Plantation suburb will go on this holiday season. The Sun Sentinel reports the city has declared the Kathy and Mark Hyatt‘s display a nuisance since it draws hundreds of people each night. A hearing was postponed during the summer and hasn’t been rescheduled. So, for…

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Jeff Brandes’ bill seeks to set higher threshold for property seizure

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Two Republican lawmakers filed bills Thursday that would require a person be arrested before law enforcement agencies seize cash or property and a conviction before they can keep it — an idea the agencies strongly oppose. The bills are designed to prevent abuses of the current law, which doesn’t require an arrest or a conviction before assets and property can be seized, but rather clear and convincing evidence that it was either the profits from criminal activity or used during…

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‘Year of water’ failed along with environmental bills, but some did pass

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Another legislative session dubbed the “year of water” failed to deliver in 2015 as the House went home early over a healthcare spending dispute with the Senate. HB 7003, a water bill that was a legislative priority of House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, passed the House by a 106-9 vote on the second day of session. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and industry groups supported the bill, which would have set milestones and timetables for cleaning up springs and other waterways. The Senate…

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House bill pits cities and counties vs. property rights supporters

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A House bill prompted by a U.S. Supreme Court case involving a Florida landowner is pitting property rights supporters against local governments. The Supreme Court in 2013 overturned a Florida Supreme Court ruling against the late Coy A. Koontz Sr., who sought to build on 3.7 of his 15 acres in Orange County. The St. Johns River Water Management District told Koontz in 1994 that he could build if he reduced the development size or paid to restore wetlands on…

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