Late last week, Lee BIA and FHBA filed an injunction to halt a resolution going into effect in the Estero District of Lee County. This comes as a result of the Estero Fire Rescue District’s misguided policy, mandating that one and two family dwellings in their area be built with sprinkler systems. The joint suit claims that the District adopted this resolution using improper methods and that, if allowed to go into effect, would create uncertainty as to whether or not the resolution would actually be enforced.
Lee BIA and FHBA attempted to alert the District to the defects in which the resolution was adopted. The District has also been alerted to inaccuracy behind the cost and benefit report, and that Lee County has no intention of enforcing the resolution if it becomes effective. Despite this and the fact that the District has no authority to enforce the resolution, the District is undeterred and refuses withdraw or reconsider the resolution.
During the 2015 FHBA Fall Conference, the FHBA Executive Committee approved funding to assist Lee BIA to defeat this unfounded policy. Although the initial effective date of the resolution was set for November 15, 2015, it has been delayed a number of times and it is unclear when the resolution will go into effect.
Here’s what this means to you:
- If the Estero District is allowed to adopt this resolution without following the procedures required by Florida law, then other districts and enforcement agencies would attempt to do the same in their areas of enforcement.
- If this particular resolution goes into effect in Estero or anywhere else in Florida, then the cost of construction and maintenance of the fire sprinkler systems in one and two family homes would significantly increase the cost of new homes for homebuyers and homebuilders alike.
We will keep you up-to-date on this frustrating issue: Estero Districts response to the injunction, turning points in the suit, and the statewide impact. As always, FHBA works to improve the economic impact of Florida’s home building environment.