Landmark Affordable Housing Bill Faces Adversity in State Senate Due to Loophole

Landmark Affordable Housing Bill Faces Adversity in State Senate Due to Loophole

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
February 20, 2024

With her stint as the leader of the upper chamber in Florida’s state government dwindling in the sunset, State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo’s (R-FL) legacy affordable housing legislation could be in danger.

SB 102 – the “Live Local Act” – Introduced by State Senator Alexis Calatayud (R-FL), allegedly has a glaring loophole that counties and municipalities sought to exploit.

The bill’s original intent was to promote more affordable housing projects by essentially overruling cities’ and counties’ land use and zoning regulations.

However, according to a memo that has been circulating through various municipalities known as the “Florida League of Cities,” local governments would have the ability to “circumvent the state preemptions by enacting ordinances that would indirectly regulate qualified affordable housing developments.”

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo

This could be done through lot size limitations and “public hearing board recommendation requirements for design and other preempted development criteria.”

In order to address this loophole, Representative Vicki Lopez (R-FL) of the state legislature introduced an amendment – CS/HB 1239 to close the loopholes.

Lines 248-253 state, “A municipality may not restrict the maximum lot size of a proposed development authorized under this paragraph below the highest currently allowed maximum lot size on any unincorporated land in the county where multifamily or mixed-use residential development is allowed under the county’s land development regulations.”

Furthermore, the amendment seeks to change the language of the early portion of the bill.

It reads, “developments under certain circumstances; prohibiting counties and municipalities, respectively, from using public hearings or any other quasi-judicial board or reviewing body to approve a proposed development in certain circumstances; prohibiting counties and municipalities, respectively from restricting the maximum lot size of a proposed development below a specified size allowed under land development regulations …”

This amendment will attempt to save Senate President Passidomo’s bill.

However, should another loophole be found in the Live Local Act, the legislation could be rendered useless.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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