The 2014 Florida Legislative Session convenes next Tuesday, and property owners should find some early cheer in a pair of bills: HB 1077 (Perry) and SB 1310 (Evers).
These bills bear a strong resemblance to two bills that did not pass last year: HB 673 and SB 772, both of which would also have limited the ability of local governments to impose exactions somewhat beyond the Nollan-Dolan test. As you might expect, this year's bills appear to have been tweaked to take into account the Koontz decision.
Even though the problem in Koontz was with the St. Johns River Water Management District, a state agency, local governments have really been the bigger culprits in leveraging exactions from property owners. That is probably why these bills are aimed at limiting the ability of local governments to exact payments for indirect impacts of development. Part of the bills restate the law after Koontz: governments can't require exactions that are unrelated to the impacts of development. The part that appears to be new to Florida is that regulatory overlap would be reduced because local governments would be prohibited from exacting more than a state or federal agency for the same impact.
So where a state or federal agency must analyze an impact, it looks like local governments would largely have to accept that analysis. This might not sound like much, but it does at least put a ceiling on what a local government can demand in return for a permit if a state or federal agency is involved.
Section 1. Section 70.45, Florida Statutes, is created to read:
70.45 Local government development exactions.—
(1) The Legislature finds that in the land use planning and permitting process, a landowner or applicant may be especially vulnerable to excessive demands for relinquishment of property or money in exchange for planning and permitting approvals. The Legislature further finds that exaction demands beyond the direct impact of a proposed development are against public policy and are therefore prohibited.
(2) A county, municipality, or other local governmental entity may not impose on or against any private property a tax, fee, charge, or condition or require any other development exaction, either directly or indirectly, that:
(a) Requires building, maintaining, or improving a public, private, or public-private infrastructure or facility that is unrelated to the direct impact of a proposed development, improvement project, or the subject of an application for a development order or administrative approval.
(b) Is more stringent than an exaction imposed by a state or federal agency on or against the same property that concerns the same impact.
(3) This section does not prohibit a county, municipality, or other local governmental entity, upon demonstration, from:
(a) Imposing a tax, fee, charge, or condition or requiring any other development exaction that serves to mitigate the direct impact of the proposed development and that has an essential nexus to, and is roughly proportionate to, the impacts of the proposed development upon the public, private, or public-private infrastructure or facility that is maintained, owned, or controlled by the county, municipality, or other local governmental entity.
(b) Accepting the voluntary dedication of land or an easement that has an essential nexus to, and is roughly proportionate to, the impacts of the proposed development upon the public, private, or public-private infrastructure or facility that is maintained, owned, or controlled by the county, municipality, or other local governmental entity and the development or proposed development is situated on the specific property to which the dedication of land or easement applies.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.