Florida Legislature Hands Developers a Victory

Florida’s commercial real estate development community won big time in the Florida Legislature’s 2009 session with passage of the Community Renewal Act.  The legislation limits local governments’ ability to collect impact fees from developers, a step that is certain to encourage new commercial development in the Sunshine State.

NAIOP Florida strongly supported the bill, which modifies state laws that govern the developments of regional impact (DRI) requirement for projects in heavily populated areas.  In practice, it redefines “dense urban land areas” as having a minimum of 1,000 residents per square mile.  The new law, which is headed to Governor Charlie Crist’s desk for his promised signature, also takes away local authorities’ power to force developers to pay for new roads and schools.

The new law is a boon to commercial real estate, because it removes layers of bureaucracy that obstruct developers.  Another measure passed by the Florida Legislature with significant NAIOP support will have to wait for the November, 2010, general election for resolution when a referendum will appear on the ballot.  This measure – which is in the voters’ hands — proposes a five percent property tax cap on non-homestead properties, including land and commercial buildings.