HB 1149 (Payne): Environmental Regulation (companion bill: SB 1308 by Sen. Perry) passed and is now awaiting action by the Governor. HB 1149 addressed three areas, including water and wastewater permitting, exemptions from state environmental permitting requirements, and local government recycling programs. Of particular note to local governments is the section on recycling, which originally would have prohibited
counties from requiring recycling of “contaminated recyclable material,” which the bill had defined as material containing 15 percent or more contamination (solid waste or non-recyclables). Local governments had significant concerns about a statewide definition of contamination in recycling, and worked with solid waste and recycling stakeholders to change the language to instead require counties and cities to address the issue of recycling contamination in their contracts with recycling haulers and processors. As amended and passed, the bills now provide that contracts between local governments and vendors for the collection, transport and processing of residential recycling materials must include terms and conditions to define contaminated recyclable material in a manner that is appropriate for the local community. The bills do not otherwise dictate
specific percentages or other terms, rather these are left up to negotiation between the parties. Additionally, these new requirements only apply to contracts entered into or extended after July 1, 2018.

HB 631 (Edwards-Walpole): Possession of Real Property (companion bill: SB 804 by Sen. Passidomo) passed and is now awaiting action by the Governor. Of note to local governments is the section of the bill addressing customary use ordinances, which have been adopted by a handful of local governments to recognize the public’s right of access to certain sandy beach areas. Originally, the bills would have preempted all existing and future ordinances, other than those who had been challenged and upheld in court. The proponents of this measure worked with the affected counties to instead create a process by which a local government could obtain a judicial declaration affirming recreational customary use on beaches. As passed, the bill also grandfathers in two existing ordinances which were adopted prior to January 1, 2016.

HB 53 (Jacobs): Coral Reefs (companion bill: SB 232 by Sen. Book) passed and is now awaiting action by the Governor. The bill, supporting by FAC and the southeastern coastal counties, establishes the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area, including areas offshore Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties.

HB 1151 (LaRosa): Developments of Regional Impact (companion bill: SB 1244 by Sen. Lee) passed and is now awaiting action by the Governor. The bill amends statewide provisions related to existing developments of regional impact (DRIs), largely repealing most state oversight functions and shifting such responsibilities to local governments. The legislation preserves vested rights and other protections for existing DRIs.






SB 324/HB 697 (Young/Miller): Impact Fees – As originally filed, these bills simply addressed the timing of collection of impact fees. FAC worked with the sponsors and stakeholders to amend the bill to address concerns on the impact fee sections and clarify that it did not apply to water and sewer connection fees, and was ultimately neutral on that section of the bill. During final committee stops, the bills were amended substantially to include language regarding sector plans. FAC and counties with sector plans had concerns with this language, although these concerns were mitigated by a floor amendment. Nevertheless, these bills stalled in the Senate and ultimately did not pass.

SB 574/HB 521 (Stuebe/Edwards-Walpole): Tree and Vegetation Trimming and Removal – As originally filed, these bills would have prohibited local governments from regulating the trimming, removal or harvesting of trees and timber on private property or requiring mitigation for tree removal or harvesting on private property. While the House bill passed after being narrowed to apply only to activities in areas under the
management of the state, water management districts, and drainage control districts, the Senate bill stalled after only passing one committee by a 3-2 vote.

SB 1304/HB 1033 (Young/Toledo): Dockless Bicycles – These bills would have largely preempted regulation of dockless sharing companies to the state, specifically prohibiting local governments from imposing taxes or requiring business licenses. The bill also attempted to prohibit exclusive agreements between bike sharing companies and local governments. FAC worked with cities and other stakeholders to narrow the preemption; however, the bill ultimately stalled in the Senate. FAC anticipates that as this emerging industry continues to grow and evolve, legislation will likely return next year.

SB 1328/HB 987 (Perry/B. Cortes): Affordable Housing – These bills were aimed at expediting and incentivizing development of affordable housing, with focus on hurricane recovery housing. Of concern to local governments was language that would have prohibited local governments from imposing mobility fees or impact fees for affordable housing development for a five-year period beginning July 2018. Ultimately this
prohibition was removed from both bills, although there were still increased reporting requirements related to impact fees. HB 987 passed in the House, but ultimately stalled in Senate messages. 

SB 852/HB 633 (Brandes/Fischer): Smart City Challenge Grant Program – These bills would have established a grant program, through FDOT, to fund innovative transportation projects. Counties and cities would be among the eligible applicants for the grant program. While FAC supporting these bills, they did not pass.

SB 370/HB 1353 (Bradley/Beshears): Land Acquisition Trust Fund – These bills would have dedicated an annual appropriation of $100 million from the LATF to the Florida Forever Trust Fund. SB 370 passed the Senate unanimously, but was not considered by the House. On a brighter note, for the first time in many years, the final budget does include just over $100 million for the Florida Forever land acquisition programs.