iStock_000015122897XSmall.jpgOn March 11, 2016, this year’s Legislative Session came to a conclusion. From a land use perspective, Florida’s CS/CS/HB 1361 (the “Bill”) proposes several important amendments. The Bill was approved by the Governor on Friday, March 25, 2016 and will become effective on July 1, 2016. A copy can be viewed here.

What You Need to Know

While the Bill provided a number of significant amendments to Florida’s current land use laws, its most important changes have been summarized as follows:

  • Section 1: amends Section 001, Florida Statutes, to allow a county governing board to hold a joint public meeting with one or more adjacent municipalities or counties to consider multi-jurisdictional issues at any appropriate public place within the jurisdiction of any participating municipality or county upon due public notice. Notably, a resolution must first be passed to participate in such a joint public meeting, official votes cannot be taken at the joint meeting, and the meeting cannot constitute any of the public hearings required by law.
  • Section 2: adds Subsection (6) to Section 045 to allow a county to designate specific tax increment areas, not to exceed 300 acres, to employ tax increment financing for the purpose of funding economic development activities and infrastructure projects which directly benefit the tax increment area.
  • Section 3: amends Section 13184, Florida Statutes, to clarify that a development of regional impact (“DRI”) subject to the review process under Section 380.06(30), Florida Statutes, must proceed under the state coordinated review process found in Section 163.3184(4).
  • Section 5: amends Subsection (1) of 3245, Florida Statutes, to decrease the minimum acreage threshold for a sector plan from 15,000 to 5,000 acres.
  • Section 8: amends Section 06, Florida Statutes, to:
    • Add language to Section 06(30), which was recently amended in 2015 to provide that a new development otherwise subject to DRI review should be approved by the local government under the state coordinated review process. The Bill clarifies Section 380.06(30) by stating that “if the proposed development is consistent with the existing comprehensive plan, the development is not required to undergo the state coordinated review process.” This provision does not apply to amendments to a development order governing an existing DRI.
    • Thus, after the Bill’s effective date on July 1, 2016, a DRI does not undergo the state coordinated review process unless a Comp Plan Amendment is necessary.
    • Provide that a developer does not have to submit a NOPC for an amendment to a development authorized as a DRI under Section 3167(5) if a change is made to a DRI that only has the effect of reducing the height, density, or intensity of the development from that which was originally approved.
    • Provide that parties can amend an essentially built out agreement between the developer, state land planning agency, and the local government without the submission, review, or approval of a NOPC under Section 06(19), Florida Statutes.
    • For this purpose, a development is “essentially built out” even if the developer is not in compliance with the reporting In addition, the local government, without concurrence of the state land planning agency, may adopt a resolution authorizing the developer to exchange one approved land use for another, so long as the exchange ratio will not result in an increased impact to public facilities and meets all applicable comprehensive plan and land development code requirements.
    • Provide that when any proposed change to an approved DRI or development order condition exceeds the criteria found in Section 06(19)(b), it will constitute a substantial deviation and will be subject to further DRI review through the NOPC process.
    • Add that a phase date extension is not a substantial deviation if the state land planning agency, in consultation with the RPC and subject to written concurrence of FDOT, agrees that the traffic impact is not significant and adverse under applicable state agency
  • Section 9: amends Section 0651, Florida Statutes, to provide that newly acquired land intended for development in coordination with a developed and existing DRI is not subject to aggregation review if the new land comprises an area that is equal to or less than 10 percent of the total acreage subject to an existing DRI development order.

Bottom Line

If you would like any further information about the above-mentioned Bill or believe that you may benefit from its provisions, please contact Henderson Franklin’s Land Use and Environmental Law Department at (239)344-1100.