TALLAHASSEE — We could use your advocacy to help advance several good bills and stop a bad one scheduled for a hearing next week. Urge key legislators to advance good bills and stop a bad one.
SB 1526 - Local Regulation of Nonconforming or Unsafe Structures (Avila)
A bill that we warned you about last week, SB 1526, was postponed from consideration but has been rescheduled for Monday’s agenda before the Senate Community Affairs Committee. This bill would strip away a local government’s ability to restrict demolition of historic buildings in coastal communities, and then allow them to be replaced by bigger, taller buildings, putting more people at risk in hurricane-vulnerable areas. Some exceptions in the bill would protect some historic buildings from demolition, but only a fraction of those that would be threatened.
Please contact legislators to urge them to preserve Florida’s rich architectural heritage by voting against this bill.
SB 484 (Bradley) / HB 1049 (Hunschofsky) - Flood Disclosure in the Sale of Real Property
This pair of bills would require a property seller to disclose to a prospective purchaser if that property has sustained flood damage. A recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, using data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, found that thousands of Florida properties have repeatedly flooded and been rebuilt. Yet there is no requirement in Florida law, despite our state’s vulnerability to hurricanes, for property sellers to disclose a property’s flood history, potentially putting the buyer’s life and property and — if the property is federally insured — taxpayers at risk. Disclosure would not only protect buyers and taxpayers; it would also discourage further development in coastal high-hazard areas and floodplains.
SB 484’s first assigned committee for consideration is the Senate Judiciary Committee. HB 1049’s first stop is the House Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee. Please contact the chairs and members of these two committees to urge them to take up this important legislation.
SB 1364 (Calatayud) / HB 723 (Busatta Cabrera) - Everglades Protection Area
Another important pair of bills, SB 1364/HB 723, would provide additional protections against incompatible development on the outskirts of the Everglades. Under the bills, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection would be required to review any development proposals involving changes to local growth plans within two miles of the Everglades Protection Area to determine whether they would have negative environmental impacts. Given the critical importance of the Everglades to Florida’s environment, wildlife and water supply, and the billions of dollars that taxpayers are investing in its restoration, this higher standard is common sense, and long overdue.
SB 1364 has been considered by one committee in the Senate, but has two more to go. HB 723 has yet to be taken up in the House, and has three committee stops. Please contact the chair and members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and the House Agriculture, Conservation & Resiliency Subcommittee, and urge them to advance these critical measures.
Thank you for your advocacy!
Founded in 1986, 1000 Friends of Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization. The state’s leading not-for-profit smart growth advocacy organization, 1000 Friends of Florida, is building better communities and saving special places in one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. We promote vibrant, sustainable, walkable, livable, equitable communities which provide residents with affordable housing choices and transportation alternatives. We work to protect natural lands that cleanse and store fresh water needed for residents, agriculture and the environment, provide refuge for wildlife, and support abundant recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Above all, we strive to give citizens a meaningful role in shaping the futures of their communities and state.
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