Florida Governor Signs Beefed Up Live Local Act

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that amends the state’s Live Local Act, doubling down on the original law’s intent to clear red tape, spur new residential and mixed-use development and bring down housing costs.

The Live Local Act originally passed at the beginning of 2023, providing major funding and tax incentives for developers to build mixed-use and multifamily projects, overriding some local zoning regulations and banning rent control across the state outright.

But while the law was considered a major step toward addressing the state’s housing affordability crisis, local governments pushed back, implementing development moratoriums or dragging their feet on building approvals that under the new law were now strictly a matter of administrative routine without public hearings.

Disagreements over the law led the Florida legislature to double down, passing what’s being called a “glitch bill” by legislators to address the problems that arose from the original law. The new legislation, signed Thursday by DeSantis, clarifies uncertainties in the law that local municipalities had used to prevent development or extract concessions from developers.

The clarifications prevent municipalities from restricting projects up to 150% of the currently allowed floor area ratio; provides height protections for single-family neighborhoods; removes parking requirements for transit-oriented developments while reducing parking requirements by 20% for developments within half-a-mile of a transit hub; and added tax exemptions for land and common areas included in developments, not just the residential units. The law now also extends to for-sale condo units, in addition to apartments.

The new law also prohibits Live Local Act projects within airport flight paths, noise zones, and those that exceed airport height restrictions.

The Live Local Act is “the most comprehensive change to Florida’s zoning laws in decades,” said Anthony De Yurre, a land use and zoning attorney with law firm Bilzin Sumberg, in a prepared statement. De Yurre, who helped craft much of the legislation, added that developers have been “waiting for these revisions and clarifications to tweak their projects or update” their plans. “The final bill enhances the probability of Live Local Act projects getting approved, financed and built,” De Yurre said.

The new law goes into effect immediately.


Source:  CoStar