This past week was the third one for interim committee meetings. The latest bill tracking report, as of Jan. 25, can be found here.

Of interest, bills were filed which would do the following:

  • Remove the acreage limitations that apply to small-scale comprehensive plan amendments (HB 6017).
  • Delineate powers of local government to regulate the operation of micromobility devices (including motorized scooters and motorized bicycles) and for-hire motorized scooters, and preempt all other regulation of these devices to state and federal law. (HB 453).
  • Serve as omnibus transportation bill which, among the changes, would reform public transportation in Miami-Dade County by repealing the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, change the use of the Charter County and Regional Transportation Surtax, reorganize the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization, and require that all toll revenues collected remain in the county (HB 385).
  • Create the St. Johns Upper Basin Watershed Pollutant Control Program (HB 405).
  • Specify procedures for establishing and adding parcels to new community development districts (HB 437). Note this bill is similar to SB 1348 which passed the Senate last year but died in Messages in the House.
  • Authorize local governments to enter in agreements with certain property owners to record restrictive covenants over their properties related to affordable housing (HB 443).
  • Provide procedures for closing open and expired building permits (HB 447). Note this bill is similar to HB 1077 and SB 1322, both filed last year but not heard in committee.
  • Revive and amend the Florida Enterprise Zone Act as the Florida Opportunity Zone Act, and define an opportunity zone as any low-income tract certified by the US Department of Treasury on June 14,2018 as a qualified opportunity zone under Internal Revenue Code section 1400Z-1(b)(1)(B) (HB 481).
  • Require the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to conduct a study regarding the relocation of the capital to Orlando and submit a report to the legislature by December 2020. (SB 492)
  • Remove wetland mitigation provisions in s.373.4135, F.S. that prohibit a governmental entity from creating or providing mitigation for a project other than its own (HB 521).
  • Allocate $50 million from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund each year through fiscal year 2025-26 for conservation and management projects in certain Panhandle counties impacted by Hurricane Michael (SB 376 and HB 555)

Additionally, the following bills of interest had action:

Growth Management

Vegetable Gardens:  CS/HB 145 (Rep. Fetterhoff), which would prohibit local governments from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties, was moved favorably by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Jan. 23. The committee amended the bill to define a vegetable garden as including herbs, fruits, flowers or vegetables cultivated for human ingestion. The bill now moves to the House Commerce Committee. SB 82 (Sen. Bradley), a similar bill, was moved favorably by the Senate Committee Affairs Committee on Jan. 8 and is now in the Senate Rules Committee; this bill does not include the above definition.

Environment/Natural Resources

C-51 Reservoir Project:  CS/SB 92 (Sen. Book) was moved favorably by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 22. The bill, which revises the provisions related to this reservoir project, was amended to remove the section of the bill that would expand certain allocation of funding from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to include the entire C-51 reservoir project instead of only Phase II of the project. The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government. CS/HB 95, (Rep. Jacobs), a similar bill, was moved favorably by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on Jan. 23. It now moves to the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.


Permit Fees:  HB 127 (Rep. Williamson) and SB 142 (Sen. Perry) are identical bills that require the governing bodies of counties and municipalities to post permit and inspection fee schedules and building permit and inspection utilization reports on their websites by Dec. 31, 2020. After Dec. 31, 2020, the governing body of a local government that provides a schedule of fees must update its building permit and inspection utilization report before making any adjustments to the fee schedule. Finally, the bill establishes reporting requirements.

HB 127 was moved favorably by the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Jan. 23 and moves to the House Business & Professions Subcommittee. SB 142 has been referred to three committees of reference, its first being the Senate Community Affairs Committee.