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Companion bills (H.B. 1077 and S.B. 1310) have been filed in the Florida Senate and House  that would prohibit local governments from imposing permit conditions or “development exactions” on a project that extend “beyond the direct impact of a proposed development.”  This legislation builds upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, a case about a Florida permitting dispute that we described last June.

The impetus of the Florida legislation is to create another layer of protection against extortionate permit conditions, beyond the holding in Koontz, which itself expanded the restrictions against the unconstitutional taking of private property to include instances when a permit was denied or  monetary demands were made as a condition of approval.  The Bills also attempt to reduce regulatory overlap, requiring the local government to accept the impact analysis provided by any federal or state agency.

It is unclear whether property rights supporters will promote the enactment of similar “takings-related” legislation in other states.

The passage of the Florida legislation is also far from certain, as at least one land use attorney has openly criticized the bills as unduly restricting the ability of local governments and developers to address the “real impact of development.”

Stay tuned for further updates as the Florida legislative session unfolds.