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Adrift in the Amendments Sea: Florida Courts Struggle for Logic and Consistency: Part I

J. Michael Hartenstine

Amendments to recorded subdivision restrictions are common and usually provoke no objection from affected lot owners. Occasionally, however, the change wrought by an amendment so offends at least some lot owners that they seek to have the amendment judicially invalidated. Over the years, the Florida courts have developed varying tests for adjudicating the validity of amendments to subdivision restrictions, generally aspiring to a rule of reasonableness. This article traces the course of that development, critiques the rationales employed by the courts in both the creation and application of the reasonableness rule, and recommends adopting the principles of the Restatement (Third) of Property: Servitudes to adjudge the validity of future amendments to subdivision restrictions.

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