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Florida Blazing the Trail for P3 Legislation

Albert E. Dotson, Jr. & Eric Singer

We have previously blogged about the many recent legislative developments in Florida and the Miami area, with a focus on legislation that is designed to facilitate public/private development projects (P3).  Although an increasing number of P3 projects are now in various stages of development, the success of Florida’s legislative effort can also be seen in the positive reaction by other jurisdictions.

Earlier this month, the State of New Jersey adopted comprehensive P3 legislative that largely mirrors Florida’s recent P3 law, including the broad authorization to units of local governments to deliver public facilities and services using the P3 model. Like Florida’s P3 law, the New Jersey law also permits governments to accept unsolicited proposals from the private sector. (Unsolicited Proposals have been used to jumpstart several P3 projects throughout Florida, including the Seminole County government center and the recently proposed extension of Brightline from Tampa to Orlando.)

We have also mentioned the recent expansion of Miami-Dade County’s Rapid Transit Zone, or RTZ, which facilitates the development of mass-transit infrastructure and adjacent private or public/private transit-oriented development by granting zoning jurisdiction to the County, even for property located in cities, and permitting more development near transit stations than would often otherwise be the case.  This month, the California Senate adopted a bill that would similarly grant zoning jurisdiction to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority (BART), with the goal of increasing housing density near stations.  The bill previously passed the California State Assembly, but the Senate made amendments that will need to be adopted by the Assembly before the bill becomes law.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as the saying goes, and the recent legislative activity in New Jersey and California should give state and local leaders in Florida and Miami some additional comfort that they are on the right path.

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