State fails to reinstate manatee speed zones

FORT MYERS, Fla., – The state of Florida failed, at least temporarily, in its attempt to reinstate manatee speed zones in five Lee County waterways where the zones have been ruled unconstitutional, a story in Saturday’s Ft. Myers News-Press said.

The newspaper reported that the Second District Court of Appeals, in a one-sentence ruling, denied the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s request to delay a Lee County circuit court ruling that removed manatee speed zones.

The appellate court’s ruling, signed Monday, Feb. 9, means the speed zones in these areas still cannot be enforced, the story said.

Gary Morse, regional southwest Florida spokesman for the commission, was not aware of the ruling Friday, according to the paper.

“The court may have denied the stay but they are still going to consider the case,” Morse told the paper.

The appellate court will consider overruling the lower court’s repeal of the state speed zones at a later hearing date, Morse said, but until they do, the speed zones still will be unenforceable, according to the News-Press.

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