1000 Friends of Florida

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District Court of Appeal of Florida, First DistrictApr 20, 2000
No. 1D98-3876. (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Apr. 20, 2000)

No. 1D98-3876.

Opinion filed April 20, 2000.

An appeal from an Order of the Department of Community Affairs.

Terrell K. Arline, Legal Director, 1000 Friends of Florida, Inc., Tallahassee, for Appellants.

Andrew S. Grayson, Assistant General Counsel, Department of Community Affairs, Tallahassee; Daniel J. Bosanko, Assistant County Attorney, and Geoffrey B. Dobson of Dobson Brown, P.A., St. Augustine, for appellee St. Johns County. Sidney F. Ansbacher, of Upchurch, Bailey, and Upchurch, P.A., St. Augustine, for Amicus Curiae St. Johns County School District., for Appellees.


Appellee St. Johns County has moved for clarification of the opinion filed January 25, 2000, in which we reversed the dismissal order of the Department of Community Affairs and remanded for consideration of the merits of appellants' petition for declaratory statement. As grounds for clarification, St. Johns County alleges the court's opinion is susceptible of an interpretation that the court has determined appellants are "substantially affected persons" within the meaning of section 120.565, Florida Statutes (1997). St. Johns County further represents that appellants have filed this court's January 25, 2000, opinion in the Fifth District Court of Appeal, as supplemental authority regarding appellants' standing to bring an action to enjoin construction of the utility line which is the subject of this appeal. We grant the motion.

Our opinion in this case followed the policy established by the supreme court's opinion in Florida Department of Business Professional Regulation, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering v. Investment Corp. of Palm Beach, 747 So.2d 374 (Fla. 1999), which was released only days before the oral argument in this cause. Our decision did not address the question of standing, because the appeal was taken from a dismissal of the petition. To date, neither the administrative law judge nor the Department of Community Affairs has considered and ruled upon the merits of the petition, including the question of standing. Therefore, our reversal of the order dismissing the petition and our remand for consideration of the merits of the petition, left open the question of appellants' standing to bring this action.

Accordingly, we clarify that the decision of this court filed January 25, 2000, does not determine, either expressly or implicitly, that appellants are substantially affected persons for purposes of section 120.565, Florida Statutes (1997). Rather, that issue is to be considered on remand for consideration of the merits of the petition.


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