It’s A Wrap: Governor Signs Major FHBA Priority Bill Concluding a Very Successful 2019 Session

Governor Ron DeSantis signed off on the remaining two FHBA priority bills, bringing a successful 2019 Legislative Session to conclusion. Most important to our industry is the signing of HB 7103; the property development bill.

This FHBA priority began as a bill to address inclusionary zoning (price controls). Under the leadership of House Commerce Chair Mike La Rosa, former Senate President Tom Lee and FHBA Member, Representative Jason Fischer, the bill quickly morphed to address several issues important to the home construction industry.  Some of the highlights of this important bill include:

  1. Inclusionary Zoning: When local governments mandate inclusion zoning (affordable housing), developers must be reimbursed at full costs. Such reimbursement may include, but are not limited to, density bonuses and impact fee waivers.
  2. Impact Fee Nexus: Statutorily requiring that impact fees must contain a rational nexus to the capital improvement being financed, they must be proportional to the project being financed, and any existed debt paid by an impact fee must have a nexus to the development or house being built.
  3. Timing of Impact Fee Collection: Prohibiting local governments from mandating that impact fees be collected prior to the issuance of a permit.
  4. Waiving Impact Fees for Affordable Housing: Allowing local governments to waive impact fees for affordable housing.
  5. Develop Permit and Orders Approval Time Lines: Requiring local governments to approve or specify with particularity deficiencies within 30 days; Requires that within 120 days after the county has deemed the application complete, or 180 days for applications that require final action through a quasi-judicial hearing or a public hearing, the county must approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application for a development permit or development order.
  6. Private Provider (Inspector) Audits:Limiting audits of private providers to 4 times per year, in lieu of some who inspect every project.
  7. Comprehensive Plans Honoring Development Orders: Ensuring that newly developed comprehensive plans honor existing development orders.
  8. Prevailing Attorney Fees to Enforce Comprehensive Plans: Adopted a provision that allows the prevailing party to recover attorney fees in cases filed to enforce comprehensive plans.
  9. Expanding Scope of Private Providers (inspectors): To address the workforce shortage created by the lack of building inspectors, expanding the scope of private providers so they can inspect site plans and site engineering work plans.
  10. Reduce Local Government Fees When Using a Private Provider: Providing that a local government cannot charge a duplicative inspection fee when a private provider is used. An administrative fee may be used.

In addition to HB 7103, Governor DeSantis signed HB 7125, the sentencing reform bill. Section 19 of this bill will help prosecutors go after those defrauding customers and tarnishing our profession.

Stay tuned to revisions of FHBA contracts to ensure you comply with new provisions. HB 7125 is not effective till October 1, 2019.

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