Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill Tuesday night that would have amended various sections of Florida law in regards to the land use and growth management of local governments.
The measure, SB 410, pushed for several changes including a mandate that local governments consider certain private-property rights in its decision-making.
The measure also directed the Department of Economic Opportunity to give preference to certain small counties and municipalities located near a proposed multi-use corridor when selecting applicants for certain grants.
Not least, the bill would have prohibited county charters provisions or comprehensive plan goals adopted after January 1, 2020, from imposing limits on land use within a municipality.
The veto is counted as a victory in the eyes of 1000 Friends of Florida, a not-for-profit smart growth advocacy organization that promotes “vibrant, sustainable, walkable, livable communities which provide residents with affordable housing choices and transportation alternatives.”
In March, the not-for-profit sent a letter to DeSantis asking him to veto the bill.
“The amendments serve to essentially preempt the land use policy decisions made by counties,” the letter read. “A county’s infrastructure restraints and capacity are vastly different than what might exist within a more urbanized municipality within its jurisdiction. If the county adopts a land use ordinance that creates a transitional density buffer around the urban service area of a municipality in order to phase and lessen the infrastructure demands, under SB 410, the city must now affirmatively act to accept such an ordinance.”
According to a bill analysis, general law authorizes that counties have “the power to carry on county government” and to “perform any other acts not inconsistent with law, which acts are in the common interest of the people of the county, and exercise all powers and privileges not specifically prohibited by law.”
And in the event that a charter county ordinance conflicts with a municipal ordinance, the county can determine which ordinance will stand.
The bill, if signed by the Governor, would have ended a charter counties ability to preempt a municipality’s land use regulation in certain cases.
“This cumbersome process creates bureaucratic red tape for the local governments and divests local governments from proper authority within their jurisdictions,” the letter added.
The measure was sponsored by Republican Sen. Keith Perry of Alachua County.