As a part of the growth management reforms of 2011 (The Community Planning Act), the Legislature prohibited local governments from using a referendum process for local comprehensive plan and map amendments.  At the time the Act became law, some local governments already had in place specific charter provisions providing for a referendum process for the approval of development orders or comprehensive plan amendments affecting more than five parcels of land.  Consequently, the 2011 Act invalidated these specific charter provisions already in effect.  In response, the City of Yankeetown filed suit against the state challenging the constitutionality of the new law.   In September of 2011, Yankeetown and the State reached a proposed settlement agreement that was contingent on a legislative amendment to the Community Planning Act becoming law during the 2012 session.   That amendment – which grandfathers charter provisions regarding referenda processes for local plans and plan amendments in effect as of June 1, 2011 – was passed as a part of HB 7081 in 2012.  However, the Act still prohibits local governments from adopting new initiative or referendum processes.  Pointing to this provision, the City of Boca Raton denied a citizens petition that would have forced a pending development order for a condominium project (along with a project-specific ordinance) to come before the voters.  The City denied the petitioners request, who in turn sued the City.  On Oct 16th, a Palm Beach County judge ruled in favor of the petitioners and granted that the ordinance should go to a vote of the citizens of Boca Raton.  In response to this ruling, SB 528 by Senator Simpson and HB 537 by Representative Moraitis have been filed to clarify language passed in last year’s growth management glitch bill.  In brief, the bills appear to narrow the type of issues that are subject to voter referenda to those that are “expressly authorized by specific language in a local government charter.”