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This Article discusses Florida’s 1995 Property Rights Act, which grants to private property owners an alternative cause of action, outside of takings law, when they are permanently denied reasonable use of their land by regulatory actions. The Act also grants alternative procedures for property owners, outside of the judicial and administrative process. Thus, the Act does not change Florida takings law nor does it alter the substance of Florida's sometimes controversial growth management laws.

This article reviews the political climate that made passage of the Act possible and places the property rights initiative in the historical context of populist politics. The article then examines takings law and explains the failures that encouraged passage of the Act. The article articulates an interpretive framework for the Act, briefly describes the law, and applies that framework to key issues posed by the Act. It explains how the settlement order mechanism is a type of decentralized decision-making and explores why decentralized decision-making is becoming a trend in regulatory reform. It also examines how information asymmetry, transaction costs, perceived risks, and other factors could affect the strategic behavior of property owners and agencies, thereby skewing incentives in the settlement order process. Finally, the article suggests reforms that, even at this early stage, need to be considered in order to avoid results not intended by the Act.

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23 Fl. St. L. Rev. 315 (1996).