Skip to main content

Live Local Act 2024 Passed by the Florida Legislature

Anthony De Yurre, Javier F. Aviñó, Carter N. McDowell & Nicholas Noto

On February 28, 2024, the Florida House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 328 (“SB 328”), previously unanimously approved by the Florida Senate by a vote of 112 to 1. SB 328, regarded as the Live Local Act 2024 (“LLA 2024”), amends and expands upon the affordable housing framework established by the Live Local Act SB 102 in 2023. 

SB 328 will now be sent to the Governor’s Office and will take effect upon the Governor signing the bill or failing to veto the bill within seven consecutive days after its presentation to him. However, the clarifications to the Missing Middle Ad Valorem Tax Exemption apply retroactively to January 1, 2024 so as to apply to filed and pending 2024 applications. 

Below is a summary update of the major changes to the Live Local Act 2023, creating Live Local Act 2024. Bear in mind, this is an executive summary of the most important terms, but the key to any successful Live Local project is in the implementation. Equally important, is the detailed and exhaustive information collected from dozens of Florida Housing Corporation workshops and municipal workshops, including rent calculation methodology and zoning interpretations.  

To the extent you have additional questions regarding implementation of the LLA 2024 zoning, tax or financing benefits, please reach out for more details regarding your particular development or site.
New for LLA 2024 - Maximum Floor Area Ratio
LLA 2024 includes a new preemption for floor area ratio (“FAR”), prohibiting the restriction of FAR below 150% of the “highest currently allowed floor area ratio” in the jurisdiction.
LLA 2024 specifies that FAR includes floor lot ratio, which is an alternate term used by some jurisdictions, such as the City of Miami.

Clarified by LLA 2024 - Missing Middle Tax Exemption Expanded and Retroactive 
• LLA 2024 clarified that in determining the value of the Missing Middle Tax Exemption, the local property appraiser must include the proportionate share of the residential common areas and the land.  
• These tax exemption updates apply retroactively to January 1, 2024, thereby allowing pending 2024 Exemption applications to benefit from SB328. 

Clarified by LLA 2024 - Maximum Building Height Remains at 1-mile
After multiple amendments, the final version of LLA 2024 reinstated the height preemption to allow the “highest currently allowed height” for a commercial or residential building within a 1 mile, but also included protections for single-family neighborhoods as noted below.

New for LLA 2024 - Height Protections for Single-Family Neighborhoods 
LLA 2024 added height protections for single-family neighborhoods. 
If a property is adjacent to, on at least two sides, a single-family zoned residential parcel with at least 25 contiguous single-family homes, then the height cannot come from 1 mile, but instead will be restricted to the highest of the following: 150% of the tallest adjacent building, the tallest currently allowed height on the property, or 3 stories.  
“Adjacent to” means sharing more than one point of a property line, but does not include properties separated by a public road. 

New for LLA 2024 - Development Bonuses Administratively Approved 

LLA 2024  includes clarifications that the “highest currently allowed” density, height, or FAR, does not include any building that has received any bonus, variance, or  other special exception provided in the local government’s land development regulations as an incentive for development.
However, LLA 2024 added language stating the Live Local Act does not preclude a project from receiving local development bonuses for density, height or FAR.
Importantly, LLA 2024 specifically states that Live Local Act projects qualifying for such bonuses “must be approved administratively without further action”.

New for LLA 2024 - Transit Oriented Parking Preemptions 
Pursuant to LLA 2024, Live Local Act Projects within a transit oriented development (“TOD”) or area must be mixed-use residential.
Parking requirements eliminated for mixed-use residential Live Local Act projects within a TOD or TOD areas. 
Parking requirements reduced by 20% for Live Local Act project within 1/2 mile of a major transportation hub that has available parking for residents within 600 feet.  Note, this available parking may not be required to compensate for the reduction in parking requirements.  “Major transportation hub” means “any transit station, whether bus, train or light rail, which is served by public transit with a mix of other transportation options.”

Clarified by LLA 2024 - Maximum Unit Density 
LLA 2024 restates the preemption for unit density.  Municipalities and counties may not restrict unit density below the municipality’s or county’s “highest currently allowed density”.

New for LLA 2024 - For Sale Market Rate Units Permitted 
The word “rental” was removed from the required types of allowable multifamily developments and replaced in such a manner that clarifies only the affordable housing units in a Live Local Act project are required to be rental units. 
This opens the door to a mixture of market rate for-sale product and rental product.  This is a significant change from 2023 permitting mixed-income projects with both condominiums and workforce rental product.

Clarified by LLA 2024 - Industrial Zoning Remains a Qualifying Zoning District 

After multiple amendments, the final version of LLA 2024 continues to allow Live Local Act projects on industrial zoned land. 

New for LLA 2024 - Live Local Act Not Allowed in Airport Flight Paths or Noise Contours 

Pursuant to LLA 2024 , Live Local Act zoning benefits are not permitted (a) in airport flight paths defined as areas extending 1/4 mile wide from each lateral side of the runway and extending 10,000 feet long from the end of the runway; (b) in airport noise zones; or, (c) for projects that exceed airport maximum height restrictions.
Does not prohibit the use of Missing Middle Tax Exemption benefits of the Live Local Act for qualifying projects.

New for LLA 2024 - Administrative Approval Procedure Websites 
LLA 2024 requires local governments to maintain a policy containing the procedure and expectations for the administrative approval of Live Local Act Projects on their websites, but does not contain a specific deadline for providing that information.

New for LLA 2024 - Conformity and Grandfathering
LLA 2024 provides that Live Local Act projects must be treated as conforming uses even after the expiration of the affordability period (30 years), and provides the methodology to cure affordability violations. 
This section addresses lender concerns regarding long-term conformity with local land development regulations.  

New for LLA 2024 - Current SB102 Applications 
Live Local Act 2023 applications filed prior to the effective date of LLA 2024 may proceed under the 2023 Act, if they wish to do so. 
Alternatively, such 2023 applications may be revised to account for changes made by LLA 2024.

New for LLA 2024 - Florida Keys Missing Middle Tax Exemption 
LLA 2024 extends the Missing Middle Property Tax Exemption to newly constructed projects in the Florida Keys and Key West with 11 or more qualifying units (as opposed to 71 qualifying units required anywhere else in Florida).

New for LLA 2024 - Hometown Hero Program Funding 
$100 million in nonrecurring funds was appropriated to the State Housing Trust Fund for use by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation for the Florida Hometown Hero Program.  

Client Alert June 6, 2024
Yesterday, the City of Miami, Florida’s most populous city, published its interpretation, policies, and procedures for the administrative approval of Live Local Act projects. Miami is the first Florida municipality to publish its updated interpretation for Live Local Act 2024 (SB328). In addit...
Client Alert February 8, 2024
The Florida Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 328 also known as the “Live Local Act 2024”. SB328 is in response to a mix of reactions to the original Live Local Act (SB102), including inconsistent interpretations and local government concerns towards various provisions of the legisla...
Client Alert March 19, 2020
As a follow up to Bilzin Sumberg's Land Development & Government Relation's December 2019 Update regarding extensions of development orders and permits, this is a reminder that last year the Florida Legislature amended Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, to limit the ability to extend building pe...