Orlando, FL asked in Municipal Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida

Q: Can i sue my city & a few builders & surveyoring companies for willfully violating building code?

In my area (4 streets) every lot is zoned as Duplex. Either single family or duplex could be built. The interior setback (distance from property line between two lots) is minimum 7.5' in city Ordinance building code for DPX lots (also confirmed by Zoning department ).

Now, Builders are trying to sell bigger duplexes that don't fit in and make inside setback anywhere from 5' to 6.5', while permits are being approved for 7.67' for example and builing inspectors pretend its done per permit & pass them and at the end survey company (es) issue a fake survey showing inside setback that was supposed to be, not what is built.

Our area gets lots of storms with lighting and wild fires are happening often. Building houses that close endanger my life & my property. None of the duplexes is built next to me though. Looks like other neighbors don't know about it yet. Can i bring the lawsuit against the city, builders & surveyors or it could only be an immediate neighbor?

1 Lawyer Answer
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Perhaps, although the city and building inspectors probably would prevail; if they are relying upon fraudulent surveys.

I'm not sure that a 10' separation between buildings would be a significantly greater fire hazard than a 30' separation, but you probably would need an expert witness to testify to this issue. And, as you note, you might not have the standing to sue if the narrowed setbacks are not adjacent to your property.

You might want to contact the agency that licenses surveyors, as well as banks and title companies, and report the fraudulent surveys.

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