Disney executives and attorneys have been accused of poisoning the authority of the incoming members of the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s board, which oversees the development of the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. The outgoing board members signed a development agreement with the company that allows Disney maximum developmental power over its territory for the next 30 years. The agreement allows Disney the maximum possible density and building heights inside the resort, and other property owners will need Disney’s permission to expand within the district. The district is also not allowed to permit advertisements of any companies that compete with ones that operate within Reedy Creek.
The new board members, now known as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight board, and their attorneys, have called the agreement various synonyms of insane and extreme, and said its sheer scale should make it null and void. The agreement places certain restrictions on the district until 21 years after the death of the youngest current descendant of King Charles, or until Disney abandons the resort. Board members hired multiple politically-connected law firms to represent them and analyze the agreement, and discussed bringing on as many as four different firms to battle the deep-pocketed company as they attempted to unwind it.
Despite setting the initial stages of a legal battle, some Reedy Creek board members said their focus was on upholding democracy and the will of the voters, not fighting Disney. A senior staff member in the governor’s office said they were not aware of this agreement until Reedy Creek’s lawyers recently notified them of their findings, and the office views the agreement as legally void. They added taxpayer money would not be used in this battle, as the district is funded by taxes Disney and other companies in the district pay.
Keywords: Disney, Reedy Creek Improvement District, Florida, development agreement, Central Florida Tourism Oversight board, legal battle.
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