The 2011 Session definitely lived up to expectations with respect to major growth management legislation. The “Community Planning Act” was finally passed as HB 7207 after having been debated in the last days of session as HB 7129. This landmark legislation significantly limits the role of state agencies and should shorten the time needed to process plan amendments. It revises or removes some of the key hurdles for many development projects, including demonstrated “need” and state-mandated concurrency for transportation, schools, and parks and recreation facilities. The Act also incorporates substantial changes to Chapter 380 that should result in fewer projects being required to go through the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process. In addition, the legislation provides approval extensions for some projects.
Although details continued to be tweaked and provisions added until the final days of the session, the legislation that was adopted was largely consistent with the Proposed Committee Bill 11-04, introduced in the House Community and Military Affairs Subcommittee in March. The bill must still go to the Governor for approval, but given his expressed concerns on the state’s role in growth management, there is little chance he will veto it. It will take effect immediately upon becoming law.
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