October 1, 2023

A brand new reasonably priced housing legislation handed by Florida’s legislature and signed in March by Gov. Ron DeSantis is reportedly creating anxiousness amongst native elected officers who’re involved that the brand new legislation cedes an excessive amount of management over zoning and different issues to the state authorities.

The “Live Local Act,” handed unanimously within the State Senate and by a vote of 103-6 within the Home, represents a large funding in housing by incentivizing builders to assemble reasonably priced housing models whereas limiting zoning and planning restrictions in native jurisdictions approving multifamily development tasks to be able to restrict bureaucratic obstacles to extend provide.

However a few of these native officers are actually expressing concern that the provisions of the brand new legislation are limiting their means to extra actively take part in improvement choices inside their communities, in line with reporting by WUSF Public Media.

“I believe the hesitancy comes with the truth that it’s a preemption. I believe at any time when we’re speaking about residence rule or preemption, there’s all the time going to be native pushback,” Florida Housing Coalition Authorized Director Kody Glazer informed the outlet.

The brand new legislation comes with restrictions as to how a lot native elected officers can affect zoning and improvement choices in addition to density and peak restrictions. A few of these issues have been echoed in different states which have handed restrictions on zoning in different states together with Massachusetts and Washington.

The Tampa metro space has skilled among the many highest residence worth will increase within the nation since 2019, largely as a result of the counties have in place restrictive zoning insurance policies that enhance the worth of land.

Following antidevelopment protests from residents ostensibly involved about native infrastructure, in late 2019 Hillsborough County positioned a moratorium on the rezoning of land for housing in some areas. Two years later, Pasco County, north of Tampa, additionally put a moratorium on rezoning to multifamily use in some areas.

The brand new Florida legislation applies to any residential housing tasks that sit “on business, industrial or mixed-use land that allocates no less than 40% of models to be reasonably priced for residents incomes as much as 120% of the realm median revenue,” in line with WUSF. The legislation went into impact on July 1, and officers in cities together with St. Petersburg and Tampa have been reportedly briefed on their remaining rights overseeing such tasks below the brand new legislation.

The method has gone extra easily in St. Petersburg than Tampa, the place officers within the former have “already heard curiosity from ‘able to construct’ builders in current weeks” primarily based on local reporting by the Tampa Bay Enterprise Journal. In Tampa itself, nevertheless, a metropolis council assembly on July 13 featured typically tense discussions between metropolis leaders centered on compliance anxiousness with the brand new legislation.

“The state goes to simply gonna hold taking and taking and taking – and I’m not keen to offer an inch greater than I’m required to,” stated Tampa metropolis council member Lynn Hurtak, in line with WUSF. She later launched a movement to implement solely what was legally required by the town to adjust to the brand new legislation till the following scheduled council assembly. That movement handed.

In the course of the assembly, one other metropolis official – Nicole Travis, Tampa’s financial improvement director – defined that whereas she understood the council’s frustrations, “the brand new housing guidelines make the approval technique of eligible reasonably priced housing tasks a solely administrative operate that may circumvent metropolis council,” in line with WUSF.