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Bentley Retained by Hillsborough County as Special Magistrate for Actions Initiated in Accordance with the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act

Mark Bentley, president of Mark Bentley, P.A. in Tampa, Florida, has been retained by Hillsborough County to serve as a Special Magistrate for actions initiated in accordance with the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act (“Act”).

The Act provides private landowners with an informal, expedited procedure to seek relief through an impartial mediation hearing relating to disputes between those landowners and state, regional, and local governments.

As Special Magistrate, Mr. Bentley serves a dual role in proceedings under the Act. Mr. Bentley first serves as a mediator to assist the parties in reaching a mutually agreed upon resolution to the subject dispute. In the event the mediation does not resolve the dispute, the Special Magistrate then serves as an arbitrator who will recommend a non-binding recommendation to the County Commission to resolve the dispute.

Mr. Bentley has been involved in numerous proceedings under the Act since its creation, serving as both a Special Magistrate and also as legal counsel to private property owners. The Act provides property owners, developers, and governments the opportunity to achieve solutions and compromises outside of the political and emotional public-hearing process, as well as avoid the costly, time-consuming judicial process.