Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - October 7, 2014
October 7, 2014 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #40

Revisions to the County Code

Briefing Provided Upon Request

Contact and/or Presenter Information
Robert Eschenfelder (x 3750)

Action Requested
Motion to adopt Ordinance 14-41

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Florida Statutes Chapter 125 (home rule authority)

Background Discussion

Florida Statutes § 125.68 requires counties to maintain a current codification of all ordinances.  As do most other local governments, Manatee County uses the services of the Municipal Code Corporation (MCC) to maintain the County Code.  MCC maintains the County's Code on line, at www.municode.com, and many citizens, businesses and professionals read and rely on the Code regularly.

The County Commission, in Resolution 07-33, clarified the County Attorney's Office's primary role in ensuring the County's ordinances are properly codified and the correctness of the County Code.  To this end, the County Attorney's Office (CAO) recommended and the Commission adopted Ordinance 11-11 and Resolution 11-11 which collectively removed a substantial amount of outdated ordinances and resolutions from the Code.

More recently, the County Attorney's Office, via RLS 13-49, has undertaken a substantial review of what is now called "Part I" of the Code.  This part contains old Special Act legislation, most pre-dating the 1968 Florida Constitution which gave Florida's counties home rule authority.

The CAO's review of Part I of the Manatee County Code has revealed that the codified Special Acts contained therein are either antiquated, not related to the County, repealed by the Legislature, or are now in direct conflict with modern general laws of the Legislature or enactments of the County Commission pursuant to its home rule authority.  Article VIII, § 6(d) of the Florida Constitution provides that local laws relating to unincorporated areas of a county existing as of November 5, 1968, may be amended or repealed by county ordinance.  Based on this authority, and the attached detailed chart examining the status of the provisions in Part I of the Code, the CAO is recommending repeal or removal of most of the content in that Part.

In addition, the CAO has freshly reviewed "Part II" of the Code, commonly referred to as the Code of Laws.  This Part contains the modern ordinances adopted by the County Commission over time since it gained home rule authority.  The CAO's review has revealed that Section 2-2-8 of the Code, relating to employee wellness, was created by Ordinance 87-16 but has been superseded by subsequent Health Plan Documents adopted by the County Commission addressing wellness, and should be repealed.

In addition, Article V of Chapter 2-29 of the County Code contains three versions of a now expired infrastructure surtax, originally created by Ordinance 87-32, and re-enacted and revised by Ordinance 94-01 and Ordinance 98-41.  The CAO is recommending removal of these expired provisions.

Further, Section 2-21-122 of the County Code was created by Ordinance 10-33 and includes a provision at subsection eight relating to smoking.  The CAO advises that this subsection should be repealed in light of the preemption of this topic by the Florida Legislature in the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act (Florida Statutes § 286.209), as recently confirmed by the courts.  The occasion to make editorial corrections to this section should also be taken and the recommended edits are included in the proposed ordinance.

Finally, the proposed ordinance re-configures the County Code to create a more consistent, logical structure, and re-locates certain provisions into these new or revised chapters.  This re-organization includes the creation of an Environmental Regulation chapter into which current and future provisions on that general topic will be housed.

Once adopted, this ordinance will cause the reduction in the current size of the County Code by approximately a hundred pages, will prevent the potential for third parties to rely upon codified provisions which are not, in reality, reflective of current law, and will make the remaining Code a more user-friendly, accurate and current body of Manatee County's law. The County Attorney's Office recommends approval of the ordinance.

County Attorney Review
Formal Written Review (Opinion memo must be attached)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
transmit ordinance to codifier

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  CodeReorg2014Spreadsheet.pdf
Attachment:  CodeReorg2014ORD.pdf
Attachment:  Ord 14-41 - Notice of Public Hearing.pdf