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House Bill 319 : The Merging of Mitigation Standards for Traditional Transportation Concurrency and Alternative Mobility Funding Programs

In recent years, local governments attempting to address traffic congestion created by new development, and applicants seeking development approval, have encountered a rapidly-changing legislative landscape. House Bill 319 was adopted during the 2013 Legislative session. It builds on the sweeping changes of the 2011 Community Planning Act, that added limits on local governments’ ability to require developers to mitigate their impacts on the local transportation system. House Bill 319 was signed by the governor and became effective on May 30, 2013.

The concept of transportation concurrency dates back to Florida’s original 1980s growth management statutes, and the Legislature has frequently revisited the concept of transportation concurrency in recent years. Transportation concurrency requires that transportation facilities be in place to serve new development when its impacts are felt. However, transportation concurrency in urban areas is more costly and difficult to implement than in less-developed areas. It resulted in more sprawl and obstructed the state goals of infill development and redevelopment of urban areas.

Thus, in the early 1990s, the Legislature first created the ability to seek exceptions from the transportation concurrency requirement and, by 2000, many of the most urban areas of the state had obtained exceptions. But developers and local governments in areas that did not qualify for those exceptions continued to press for additional flexibility, especially following the Bush-era tightening of the statutory requirements for transportation mitigation in 2005. In 2011, the Community Planning Act made transportation concurrency optional for local governments, but retained and enhanced the statutory restrictions on how local governments could implement transportation concurrency if they chose to continue to do so.

House Bill 319 expanded the changes the Legislature began in the 2011 Community Planning Act, and imposed a mandatory approach for all local transportation and mobility funding systems. It amends Section 163.3180, Florida Statutes, by standardizing requirements for local governments that continue to use transportation concurrency programs and alternative mobility funding systems. These alternative systems also require mitigation of the transportation impacts of new development, but may be used to fund improvements other than road construction, such as transit improvements, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways.

Local governments and developers should pay close attention to the following changes contained in the bill:

  • Applicants still must accept a proportionate fair share agreement to satisfy concurrency, but now they need only offer in “good faith” to enter into a proportionate fair share agreement in the future in order to receive their concurrency approval.
  • Local governments can pool contributions from multiple applicants in order to construct one “regionally significant” transportation facility.
  • Local governments must specify the basis on which the proportionate share cost of addressing the transportation impacts from a proposed development is determined.
  • Section 163.3180(5)(h), Florida Statutes, applies to local governments that continue to implement transportation concurrency, and specifies when local governments are not required to approve new development.

Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Local Government
Tags: Community Planning ActMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysJohanna M. Lundgren
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen & Johanna M. Lundgren