Eleventh Circuit Rejects Developer's Tortious Interference Claim Against Zoning Officer

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a real estate developer’s tortious interference claim against a zoning officer who “re-reviewed” and rejected the developer’s project applications.

Developer Forum Architects LLC, and its partner Isaac Walton Investors, LLC, submitted six project applications to a zoning officer of Yankeetown, Fla. That zoning officer sent a letter to town officials indicating that the applications were in order but did not submit formal certificates of approval. After the first zoning officer resigned, a second Yankeetown zoning officer reviewed the applications and rejected five of them. Forum Architects sued the second officer for tortious interference, alleging that the officer was biased against commercial development and was not authorized to “re-review” the previously approved plans. The district court granted the zoning officer’s summary judgment motion, and Forum Architects appealed.

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