Earlier this month, Governor Rick Scott signed two growth
management bills into law that were approved during the 2012
Florida legislative session. The first bill, House Bill 979 (the
"DRI Bill"), amends several sections of the Florida
Statutes relating to Developments of Regional Impact
("DRI") to provide greater regulatory consistency and
reduce regulatory burdens for certain large-scale developments. In
addition, the DRI Bill adds a statutory exemption for qualified
target industry business projects which are not located in a Dense
Urban Land Area ("DULA"). Any proposed development not in
a DULA which is approved as a comprehensive plan amendment and
which is subject to a tax refund agreement pursuant to Section
288.106(5) of the Florida Statutes is exempt from DRI review. This
exemption is effective once a written agreement is executed by the
applicant, the local government and the state land planning agency.
The DRI Bill also creates a process for agricultural enclaves to
apply for a comprehensive plan amendment to allow non-agricultural
uses on the property. This time-limited opportunity must be invoked
by written application on or before January 1, 2013. The DRI Bill
will take effect on July 1, 2012.
The second bill signed into law by Governor Scott, House Bill
7081 (the "Glitch Bill"), is a wide-ranging
"glitch" bill that primarily provides consistency and
clarification to the 2011 Community Planning Act. Among other
things, the Glitch Bill revises the timeframe related to
transmittal of comprehensive plan amendments by local governments
after a public hearing and the timeframe in which a state land
planning agency must issue a notice of intent for a comprehensive
plan amendment related to a compliance agreement. The Glitch Bill
also authorizes local governments to retain charter provisions in
effect on June 1, 2011 for an initiative or referendum process in
regard to development orders or comprehensive plan amendments. The
Glitch Bill became effective upon becoming law on April 6,
Aaron J. Gorovitz Partner & Co-Chair, Land Use
& Zoning Group:
For more than 25 years, Aaron's practice has centered around
large and complex commercial, residential and mixed use real estate
projects throughout Central Florida. He is often involved in site
selection, drafting contracts, and due diligence and is lead
counsel in the procurement of Developments of Regional Impact
(DRIs), transit-oriented development, comprehensive plan
designations, zonings and other governmental approvals and
entitlements. He also formulates public/private partnerships, and
takes a lead role in the development, financing and leasing of
Miranda F. Fitzgerald Partner & Co-Chair, Land
Use & Zoning Group:
Partner Randi Fitzgerald focuses her practice on land use, zoning,
environmental matters and real estate development, including
comprehensive planning, Developments of Regional Impact
(DRI's), annexation, concurrency, vested rights and property
rights issues. She has served as lead counsel for more than 35
DRI's and has represented both property owners and local
governments. She represents clients in all phases of development
for commercial, residential and mixed-use projects, including site
selection, due diligence, and procurement of land use approvals and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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