• DRI Exemption Bill and CDD Bill Pass Legislature
  • May 19, 2009 | Author: Linda Loomis Shelley
  • Law Firms: Fowler White Boggs P.A. - Tampa Office; Fowler White Boggs P.A. - Tallahassee Office ; Fowler White Boggs P.A. - Tampa Office
  • The bill containing the DRI exemption and state-mandated transportation concurrency exception areas for defined urban areas (SB 360) was one of the last bills passed by the Legislature as it finished its work on everything but the budget on May 1, 2009. After last minute negotiating between the two houses and the Governor’s office, a compromise was struck that allowed the bill to move forward to final passage. The bill becomes effective if it is either signed by the Governor or he fails to veto it within 15 days of presentation by the Legislature. The timing of presentation of a bill is up to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House and could be several weeks.

    The bill contains a DRI exemption for specified “dense urban land areas” that will include cities over 5,000 in population with more than 1,000 people per square mile and certain urban areas within counties over a population threshold of 1 million, or over 900,000 if the county does not have a designated urban service area in its comprehensive plan. In each of these areas (except Miami-Dade County), a Transportation Concurrency Exception Area is created by the legislation. Local governments have 2 years to adopt strategies to support and fund mobility within the TCEA. Local governments that do not qualify for the DRI exemption or mandatory TCEA may adopt comprehensive plan provisions designating certain limited urban areas as exempt and may use the alternative state review process to designate an urban service area.

    Other important changes in SB 360 include a two year extension of ERP and local government permits that would otherwise expire between September 1, 2008 and January 1, 2012, changes to school concurrency that require counting newer relocatables as part of capacity for the first 3 years of implementation, numerous affordable housing provisions and direction to DCA and FDOT to submit a final joint report on mobility fee methodology by December 1, 2009. Numerous technical amendments to Chapter 163 are also included.

    In addition, the Legislature passed CDD legislation, implementing multiple changes to the Uniform Community Development District Act of 1980, and these changes are set forth in CS/CS/House Bill 821. The CDD legislation creates a new classification of CDDs, defined as “compact, urban, mixed-use districts.” The legislation also continues the trend of increasing the authority CDDs may exercise regarding the enforcement of deed restrictions. Under the new legislation, in some circumstances, a CDD may exercise deed restriction enforcement, even outside the boundaries of the CDD.

    The process for expanding and contracting a CDD is modified by the legislation, allowing landowners, in addition to the CDD Board of Supervisors, to petition for contraction or expansion of the boundaries. The legislation also clarifies the process for merging two or more CDDs, and specifically preserves the liens, rights of creditors, and claimants, once two or more CDD entities are merged.