Damaging 2021 Bills Signed Into Law

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

THIS PETITION IS NO LONGER ACTIVE

GOVERNOR DESANTIS HAS SIGNED INTO LAW DAMAGING BILLS RELATED TO PLANNING AND PAYING FOR GROWTH

Thank you for your concern about the future of Florida.  Unfortunately, Gov. DeSantis has signed into law three of the most damaging bills of the 2021 session related to managing growth:

HB 337 on impact fees curtails the amount that local government can increase impact fees charged to developers for the cost of roads, sewer lines and other infrastructure necessitated by that new development. HB 337 makes it virtually impossible for local governments to require that new development pays its own way.  Impacts: Existing residents will shoulder even more of the costs associated with new development through raised taxes, declining roads, parks, and other public infrastructure, or both.   See 1000 Friends’ veto request on HB 337 to Gov. DeSantis.

HB 421 & HB 1101 on “property rights” will have a chilling effect on the ability of local governments to enforce their comprehensive plans and land development regulations and adopt new provisions related to community resilience and other critical issues. While Florida already has among the strongest property rights laws in the nation, this bill makes local governments even more vulnerable to legal challenges over planning decisions. It also will have a very chilling effect on local governments that want to better plan to avoid future development in areas at high risk for sea-level rise and flooding.  Impacts: Increased taxes due to local governments being required to pay large settlements for numerous legal challenges; less planning protection for natural lands and waters; a declining quality of life; and reluctance to plan for community resilience due to local government concerns about potential legal challenges and settlement costs.  See 1000 Friends’ veto request on HB 421 & HB 1101 to Gov. DeSantis.

HB 487 on small-scale amendments reduces oversight of proposed development projects. Currently, the State acts as a “back-stop” with the ability to review certain developments for their impacts on the environment, public services and quality of life. HB 487 would increase by five-fold the size of developments that can skip a thorough state review — as many as 50 acres in urban areas and 100 acres in rural areas.  Impacts: Due to this legislation, there will be less opportunity for citizens and state agencies to raise questions about environmental, transportation and other impacts of proposed development, and see those concerns remedied without filing a legal challenge. See 1000 Friends’ veto request on SB 487 to Gov. DeSantis.

To find out more about what passed and failed, please see 1000 Friends’ Legislative Wrap Up.

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