Water-Related News

Florida Cabinet to vote on BS Ranch

LAKELAND — Residents in East Lakeland have smelled and talked about the stench from BS Ranch off and on for more than a year.

Now, Gov. Rick Scott will have a chance to hear about it.

Scott and the Florida Cabinet will vote Aug. 14 on whether to uphold an administrative judge’s decision that stated the county was not in compliance when it made a change to its comprehensive plan after BS Ranch & Farm began running its solid waste facility.

The county has challenged Tallahassee-based Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk’s decision in March that officials never offered any evidence during a hearing last December to counter the initial approval of BS Ranch’s development in East Lakeland.

Edward de la Parte, a Tampa lawyer hired by the county, said he will argue that Van Wyk exceeded the scope of her authority.

“She improperly expanded her authority to determine whether the land development code was in compliance,” de la Parte said.

In addition, de la Parte said Van Wyk infringed on the commission’s ability to make policy decisions.