Despite Ongoing Legal Questions & Lawsuits, DeSantis Says CFTOD Is Operating As If Development Contracts Are Null and Void

    In May 2023, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District opened a lawsuit against Walt Disney World over a Development Agreement and Restrictive Covenants that the District argued were null and void. The lawsuit came on the heels of an April 2023 “Legislative Findings” document where the District said that the contracts signed by the District and Disney were improper.

    It’s important to remember that the CFTOD is, effectively, the same entity as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, just under a new name and Board of Supervisors. Indeed, the current District’s charter says that “the provisions of this act shall not affect existing contracts that the district entered into prior to the effective date of this act”.

    However, the current District Board of Supervisors was caught flat-footed when they came into power, having not paid attention to District activity prior to their appointment, and missing important contracts that would essentially stymie them when it came to development within the District. One Board member complained that the new Board would essentially be relegated to road work projects and little else. Of course, this didn’t sit well with the Board or even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who opined that he could build a state prison within the gates of the Disney World Resort if he wanted to.

    That led to the Legislative Findings document where the District outlined the reasons that it believed that the agreements entered into by the previous Board were null and void. However, they still needed a judge to agree and declare the contracts void. That’s when the District filed a lawsuit against Disney.

    In the May 2023 complaint, the District asks the judge to declare both the Development Agreement and Restrictive Covenants void, unenforceable, and/or invalid. The District also asks a judge to issue an order preventing Disney from enforcing the agreements.

    So, while questions about the legality or validity of the contracts remain in the state court system to this day, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated that “the District is operating as if those covenants are null and void”.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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