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Miguel Collazo, III

Since joining Hopping Green & Sams, P.A. in 2004, Mike has focused his law practice in the areas of environmental law, land use law, and property law.
He has developed experience in state and federal environmental permitting, Florida’s growth management laws, property law, real estate and commercial leasing, and contracts. Mike has represented clients in private disputes and before local, state and federal government officials, agencies, courts and elected bodies, including city and county commissions and the Governor and Cabinet, on a variety of environmental, land use, regulatory and proprietary matters, such as water resource/resource extraction construction and operation permits (i.e. environmental resource permits and federal dredge and fill permits); enforcement and rule-making related to water resource permitting; submerged land leases for docks and other structures; local permits; commercial leasing and contract negotiations. Mike has also represented clients in administrative, circuit, and appellate courts. Mike is a first-generation American, the son of Cuban immigrants. He grew up in Tampa – a part of Florida that has experienced significant growth and development since the 1950s. This sparked in him a profound interest in environmental and land use law-related issues, resulting in both a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning degree and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida in 2003. Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, traveling to Europe whenever possible, and watching collegiate and professional sports teams from his native Tampa.
Education
  • University of Florida, J.D., cum laude (Editor-in-Chief, University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy)
  • University of Florida, M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning (AICP Outstanding Student Award),
  • University of South Florida, B.A., summa cum laude (King O’Neal Scholar (4.0 GPA), Honors Program (now Honors College) Graduate)
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Florida
Professional Affiliations
  • Florida Bar Association - Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section (RPPTL)
  • Florida Bar Association - Environmental and Land Use Law Section (ELULS)
  • Florida Bar Association - City, County, and Local Government Law Section
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
Community Involvement
  • Leadership Tallahassee, Class 29 Graduate
  • Kids Voting Leon County, Chair (2006-2012), Vice-Chair (2012-Present)
  • Open Door Women’s Clinic, Board Member
  • Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Parishioner
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed as a “Rising Star” in the annual publication of The Florida Super Lawyers, 2015-2017 editions
  • Listed in 2007-2009 Legal 500 for Real Estate/Land Use and Zoning
Legal Experience
Represented clients in environmental and land use permitting pre-litigation disputes before federal and state agencies, including the Governor and Cabinet, and local governments.
Represented clients in environmental and land use permitting litigation before the state Division of Administrative Hearings, circuit court, and appellate court.
Defended phosphate mining environmental resource permit and associated approvals before the state Division of Administrative Hearings.
Guided clients through environmental permitting and proprietary approval process for major docking facility expansion.
Negotiated pre-trial settlement agreements with state agency representatives and private parties.
Represented clients in a civil action against the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry (now the Florida Forest Service) and the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for recovery of damages caused by an escaped prescribed burn, and in subsequent appellate proceedings challenging the jury verdict.
Represented clients in commercial construction leasing projects and disputes.
Represented clients in construction contract negotiations for multi-million dollar projects.
Publications & Presentations
Miguel Collazo, III and D. Kent Safriet, “When Fire Breaks Out” Recognizing the Inherently Dangerous Activity of Prescribed Burning in Florida,” University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol 26, No. 1 (April 2015)
Feeling Our Way Through the Clean Water Act:  Pre-Enforcement Judicial Review of the EPA Compliance Orders Under Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy – Volume 23 (2012) – Co-author with Susan L. Stephens.
Introduction to Coastal Regulation, Beaches and Shores, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise.
Establishment of Coastal Construction Control Lines, Beaches and Shores, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise.
Coastal Permitting Procedures, Beaches and Shores, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise.
Coastal Construction Control Line Permits, Beaches and Shores, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise.
Financial Assurance, National Mitigation Banking Association Newsletter (Winter 2010) (co-author).
Summary of Recent Lake Belt Federal Actions, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Section Reporter (March 16, 2010) (co-author).
Representative Published Decisions
Eugene and Nancy O’Donnell, et al. v. Atlantic Dry Dock Corporation, Atlantic Marine, Inc., and Department of Environmental Protection, 2005 WL 1253316 (Fla. Div. Admin. Hrgs.) (assisted with witness preparation and post-hearing submittals)
Association of Florida Community Developers v. Department of Environmental Protection, et al., 943 So. 2d 989 (Fla. 1st DCA 2006)
Don and Pamela Ashley, Sierra Club, Inc., and Panhandle Citizens Coalition v. Department of Community Affairs, Franklin County, St. Joe Company, and Eastpoint Water and Sewer District, 2006 WL 1635445 (Fla. Div. Admin. Hrgs.)
Diane Brown and Panhandle Citizens Coalition v. Department of Community Affairs and St. Joe Company and Clara Avenue LLC, 2006 WL 3532416 (Fla. Div. Admin. Hrgs.)
Ashley v. State Administration Commission, 976 So. 2d 1130 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008)
Peter “Panagioti” Tsolkas, Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition, et al. v. Gulfstream Natural Gas System, LLC and Department of Environmental Protection, 2008 WL 382373 (Fla. Div. Admin. Hrgs.) (assisted with witness preparation and post-hearing submittals)
Department of Community Affairs, et al. v. City of Jacksonville and M.D. Moody & Sons, Inc. et al., 2009 WL 107095 (Fla. Div. Admin. Hrgs.)
M.D. Moody & Sons, Inc. v. Board of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, State of Florida, Case No. 16-08-CA-012815 (4th Judicial Circuit, Duval County)
Bernard Montgomery Myers v. Department of Environmental Protection and Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust FundState of Florida, Case No. 2009 WL 2624204 (Fla. Div. Admin. Hrgs.) (assisted with hearing preparation)
North Florida Asphalt, Inc. v. Mitchell Family Trust, and Gary Mitchell, as Trustee of Mitchell Family Trust, Case No. 2009-CA-4231 (2d Judicial Circuit, Leon County)
Rehill v. Manatee County, 49 So. 3d 759 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010) (assisted with preparation of answer brief)
Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC Comprehensive Plan Amendment for DeSoto County (Pine Level), Ordinance No. 2010-26 (DCA No. 10-1), adopted September 28, 2010, DCA NOI December 1, 2010
W.A.R., Inc. v. Levy County and Tarmac America, LLC, Case No. 38-2011-CA-634 (8th Judicial Circuit, Levy County)
Town of Yankeetown v. Levy County and Tarmac America, LLC, Case No. 38-2011-CA-638 (8th Judicial Circuit, Levy County)
Town of Yankeetown v. Levy County and Tarmac America, LLC, 79 So. 3d 26 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012)
Shuler Limited Partnership v. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry, and Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, Case No. 11-66CA (2nd Judicial Circuit, Franklin County)
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry, and Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund v. Shuler Limited Partnership, Case No. 1D13-0592, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 7043 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014)