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December 17, 2017
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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title VI
CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 70
RELIEF FROM BURDENS ON REAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
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F.S. 70.20
70.20 Balancing of interests.It is a policy of this state to encourage municipalities, counties, and other governmental entities and sign owners to enter into relocation and reconstruction agreements that allow governmental entities to undertake public projects and accomplish public goals without the expenditure of public funds while allowing the continued maintenance of private investment in signage as a medium of commercial and noncommercial communication.
(1) Municipalities, counties, and all other governmental entities are specifically empowered to enter into relocation and reconstruction agreements on whatever terms are agreeable to the sign owner and the municipality, county, or other governmental entity involved and to provide for relocation and reconstruction of signs by agreement, ordinance, or resolution. As used in this section, a “relocation and reconstruction agreement” means a consensual, contractual agreement between a sign owner and a municipality, county, or other governmental entity for either the reconstruction of an existing sign or the removal of a sign and construction of a new sign to substitute for the sign removed.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no municipality, county, or other governmental entity may remove, or cause to be removed, any lawfully erected sign located along any portion of the interstate, federal-aid primary or other highway system, or any other road without first paying just compensation for such removal as determined by agreement between the parties or through eminent domain proceedings. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no municipality, county, or other governmental entity may cause in any way the alteration of any lawfully erected sign located along any portion of the interstate, federal-aid primary or other highway system, or any other road without first paying just compensation for such alteration as determined by agreement between the parties or through eminent domain proceedings. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any ordinance the validity, constitutionality, and enforceability of which the owner has by written agreement waived all right to challenge.
(3) In the event that a municipality, county, or other governmental entity undertakes a public project or public goal requiring alteration or removal of any lawfully erected sign, the municipality, county, or other governmental entity shall notify the owner of the affected sign in writing of the public project or goal and of the intention of the municipality, county, or other governmental entity to seek such alteration or removal. Within 30 days after receipt of the notice, the owner of the sign and the municipality, county, or other governmental entity shall attempt to meet for purposes of negotiating and executing a relocation and reconstruction agreement as provided for in subsection (1).
(4) If the parties fail to enter into a relocation and reconstruction agreement within 120 days after the initial notification by the municipality, county, or other governmental entity, either party may request mandatory nonbinding arbitration to resolve the disagreements between the parties. Each party shall select an arbitrator, and the individuals so selected shall choose a third arbitrator. The three arbitrators shall constitute the panel that shall arbitrate the dispute between the parties and, at the conclusion of the proceedings, shall present to the parties a proposed relocation and reconstruction agreement that the panel believes equitably balances the rights, interests, obligations, and reasonable expectations of the parties. If the municipality, county, or other governmental entity and the sign owner accept the proposed relocation and reconstruction agreement, the municipality, county, or other governmental entity and the sign owner shall each pay its respective costs of arbitration and shall pay one-half of the costs of the arbitration panel, unless the parties otherwise agree.
(5) If the parties do not enter into a relocation and reconstruction agreement, the municipality, county, or other governmental entity may proceed with the public project or purpose and the alteration or removal of the sign only after first paying just compensation for such alteration or removal as determined by agreement between the parties or through eminent domain proceedings.
(6) The requirement by a municipality, county, or other governmental entity that a lawfully erected sign be removed or altered as a condition precedent to the issuance or continued effectiveness of a development order constitutes a compelled removal that is prohibited without prior payment of just compensation under subsection (2). This subsection shall not apply when the owner of the land on which the sign is located is seeking to have the property redesignated on the future land use map of the applicable comprehensive plan for exclusively single-family residential use.
(7) The requirement by a municipality, county, or other governmental entity that a lawfully erected sign be altered or removed from the premises upon which it is located incident to the voluntary acquisition of such property by a municipality, county, or other governmental entity constitutes a compelled removal that is prohibited without payment of just compensation under subsection (2).
(8) Nothing in this section shall prevent a municipality, county, or other governmental entity from acquiring a lawfully erected sign through eminent domain or from prospectively regulating the placement, size, height, or other aspects of new signs within such entity’s jurisdiction, including the prohibition of new signs, unless otherwise authorized pursuant to this section. Nothing in this section shall impair any ordinance or provision of any ordinance not inconsistent with this section, including a provision that creates a ban or partial ban on new signs, nor shall this section create any new rights for any party other than the owner of a sign, the owner of the land upon which it is located, or a municipality, county, or other governmental entity as expressed in this section.
(9) This section applies only to a lawfully erected sign the subject matter of which relates to premises other than the premises on which it is located or to merchandise, services, activities, or entertainment not sold, produced, manufactured, or furnished on the premises on which the sign is located.
(10) This section shall not apply to any actions taken by the Department of Transportation that relate to the operation, maintenance, or expansion of transportation facilities, and this section shall not affect existing law regarding eminent domain relating to the Department of Transportation.
(11) Nothing in this section shall impair or affect any written agreement existing prior to the effective date of this act, including, but not limited to, any settlement agreements reliant upon the legality or enforceability of local ordinances. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any signs that are required to be removed by a date certain in areas designated by local ordinance as view corridors if the local ordinance creating the view corridors was enacted in part to effectuate a consensual agreement between the local government and two or more sign owners prior to the effective date of this act, nor shall the provisions of this section apply to any signs that are the subject of an ordinance providing an amortization period, which period has expired, and which ordinance is the subject of judicial proceedings that were commenced on or before January 1, 2001, nor shall this section apply to any municipality with an ordinance that prohibits billboards and has two or fewer billboards located within its current boundaries or its future annexed properties.
(12) Subsection (6) shall not apply when the development order permits construction of a replacement sign that cannot be erected without the removal of the lawfully erected sign being replaced.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-13; s. 10, ch. 2005-2.