Live Local Act
In March 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 102, also known as the Live Local Act, into law. The bill represents the largest investment in housing opportunities to date, and went into effect on July 1, 2023. Its goal is to provide a comprehensive housing strategy to increase the availability of affordable housing opportunities for members of the Floridian workforce who desire to live in the communities in which they work.
The Live Local Act is Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo’s $711 million effort to make housing more affordable for Floridians. It is a comprehensive housing law that sunsets after ten (10) years. Specifically, it addresses zoning and land use regulations. Its goal is to provide a comprehensive housing strategy to increase the availability of affordable housing opportunities for members of the Floridian workforce who desire to live in the communities in which they work.
- The law preempts cities’ regulation on zoning, density, and height for certain multifamily or mixed-use affordable housing developments in commercial and industrial areas but must otherwise be consistent with local comprehensive plans.
- Mandates administrative approval of residential dwelling units on commercial, industrial, and mixed use lands with no public hearings.
- Must have a minimum of 40% of the units reserved for households with incomes of up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
- Requires the maximum units per acre (residential density) allowed by the City (34 dwelling units/acre).
- Requires the maximum allowable height for within a 1 mile radius. Typically, 45 feet tall within Fernandina Beach.
- The City must rely on multifamily housing standards apply to new developments under the Live Local Act.
- The law prohibits any local government from enacting rent control.
- The law requires the City to post an inventory city-owned of lands appropriate for affordable housing on its website by October 1, 2023.
- The Live Local Act provides provisions for housing funding and tax credits for affordable housing programs. It also allows for the possibility of some tax exemptions. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- Setbacks from Property Boundaries
- Landscape Buffers
- Tree Canopy Protection
- Minimum Landscape Requirements
- Stormwater Retention
- Impervious Surface Ratio
- Floor Area Ratio and Net Density
- Building Height
- Infrastructure and Building Permits
- Monitoring of Property to Ensure Units are Rented to Income Eligible Households @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
The City of Fernandina Beach supports the intent of the Live Local Act. Although the City cannot make changes to the Live Local Act, the City will require developers to adhere to the regulations that the City can require such as setbacks, tree protection, parking, landscape buffers, etc. The City is actively working to update its standards to for multifamily housing. Draft amendments will be available for review in mid-October. The Planning Advisory Board will be reviewing the standards at their regular meeting on November 8, 2023. City Commission consideration is expected at its regular meetings in December 2023 and January 2024.
The developer must agree to set aside a minimum of 40% of the units for households with income up to 120% of the area median income. The City will monitor the development to ensure that the units are rented to households who meet the income requirements outlined in the Live Local Act and that those households are paying the proper rent and utilities.
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