As housing prices in Florida have skyrocketed throughout the state, the Legislature has implemented several laws to attempt curb the current housing crisis. One such law, Senate Bill 102, has been signed by the Governor and is intended to minimize the housing crisis by making homes more affordable. Signed in March, the new law prevents counties or municipalities from establishing local rent control ordinances and preempts any local zoning regulations issued as well. For anyone in or about to enter the real estate market, the recent legislative changes are necessary to understand as it is likely to increase housing development in zones once unthought of—such as in commercial or industrial zones.
The law, which takes effect July 1, 2023, requires local governments to approve multifamily and mixed-use residential developments in any area zoned for commercial, industrial, or mixed use if at least 40% of the rental units will be affordable for at least 30 years. So now, a developer of such a project would not be required to request zoning or land use special approval for density, zoning, or height. The project, however, would still be required to meet other land development regulations––such as for parking, sidewalks, open spaces, and more.
Moreover, local governments cannot restrict the height of new development below the highest limit allowed for a commercial or residential building located within one mile of the new structure. While some argue that this reduces the control a county or municipality has over its jurisdiction, the law seeks to increase housing opportunities closer to where residents work and spend most of their time. By limiting local governments from establishing a height maximum, residential developers can now build higher and house more residents. Thus, the change is intended to reduce the need for developers to sprawl outward.
With more than $600 million in state funding, the program is striving to reduce the burdens stemming from the housing crisis while still retaining and promoting various business, commercial, and real estate development opportunities throughout the state. For example, the law tries to help low-income employees whose rent exceed their salaries. The law aids those who fall below $50,000 (for a couple) or $62,000 (for a family of four) in securing housing near their place of employment by providing downpayment assistance and other helpful programs.
At Ser & Associates, we understand the challenges buyers (and sellers) endure when negotiating a potential residential or commercial investment. If we can help you with any prospective real estate transaction, please contact Ser & Associates at 305.222.7282 or Info@Ser-Associates.com.
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