The Florida Apartment Association is appealing a district court decision allowing a rent-control ordinance to go before Orange County voters in November. 

Judge Jeffrey Ashton of the state’s Ninth Judicial Circuit last week denied the association’s motion to enjoin the rent control measure from reaching the ballot, though he characterized the measure as contrary to current Florida law. Ashton found that the association had a substantial likelihood of prevailing in litigation based on the merits of its arguments, but the judge declined to substitute his judgment for those of Orange County voters.

At the heart of the association’s lawsuit against the rent-cap ordinance is a 1977 state law that local governments can only enact a rent-control measure if it is in the grips of a “housing emergency so grave as to constitute a serious menace to the general public.”