Government Affairs Report
2019 is going to be a BIG year for AAGO and we have already hit the ground running. One of our new year's resolutions is to be as informed and well versed as ever in all things politics. This way, we can share it with all of our members, as well as, the rest of the greater Orlando community. All politics are local, so to hone in on the nitty-gritty going on in our community, we have created a January Government Affairs (GA) report.
Take a look!
Solar Ordinance: Osceola County is floating an ordinance, mirroring one passed in the city of South Miami, mandating some level of solar on almost all new development.
The County first floated this back in May, but after concerns were raised by the industry did not move forward with it at that time. However, now that the election is over, they are bringing it back up, and it will likely be discussed by the Board of County Commissioners at an upcoming meeting in January. There also appears to be stronger support amongst the Commissioners that there was previously.
There are numerous issues with the proposed ordinance which will be addressed with the County commissioners and staff. The Homebuilders Association (GOBA), the Utility companies, and even some of the solar companies have issues and concerns with the proposed ordinance as well, providing AAGO with the opportunity to ally with them to present a strong unified front.
Working to tackle this issue, we have already been in discussions with FAA in regards to the idea of trying to push legislation this session that would preempt a municipalities’ ability to mandate solar.
Law Enforcement Impact Fees: Osceola County is proposing to move forward with a new law enforcement impact fee and hiring a consultant to conduct an impact fee study regarding same. Though other jurisdictions, including Orange County, have long had a Law Enforcement Impact fee Osceola has not. This would create an entirely new and additional impact fee in Osceola County.
School Impact Fees: The County is in the process of conducting an updated school impact fee study. The County’s consultant, Tindale Oliver, is currently scheduled to present a draft of the updated study in March 2019.
Upon receipt of the updated study in March, AAGO’s retained impact fee consultant Lucy Gallo of DPFG will perform a detailed review of the study and calculations made therein to assist AAGO, and AAGO’s partner GOBA, in challenging the proposed fees, which based upon Tindale Oliver’s preliminary findings (and Tindale’s past performance) will likely be much higher than the current fees.
Mayor Demings’ Transition Team Report: New Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings’ Transition Team delivered its final recommendations in the Transition Team Report. Recommendations we will be keeping an eye on moving forward include:
- Inclusionary Zoning: Based upon recommendations in the Report and in conjunction with the Regional Affordable Housing Report recently issued, it is very possible that the County will explore implementing inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning, particularly mandatory inclusionary zoning, will be detrimental to the industry. In anticipation, AAGO is working with FAA and others in pushing statewide legislation this session prohibiting municipalities from enacting mandatory inclusionary zoning—similar legislation is already in place in states such as Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, and Hawaii. AAGO is also preparing to fight mandatory inclusionary zoning at the local level.
- New Sustainability Standards: Based upon recommendations made by the transition team committee focused on sustainability, it appears likely that the County will pursue new more stringent sustainability standards for development, along with the lines of what the City of Orlando has already implemented, and perhaps further. In addition, the County will be hiring a new Chief Sustainability Officer, similar to what Chris Castro is in the City of Orlando.
On a positive note, Mayor Demings declared in his inaugural speech that addressing affordable housing was his number one issue.
City of Orlando
Recycling Program: In April 2017, the Orlando City Commission held a workshop to discuss the concept of a new commercial and multi-family recycling program. The current City code, Chapter 28 Solid Waste, does not require recycling services at commercial or multi-family sites. The creation of a recycling ordinance was thus deemed necessary.
In sum, the ordinance mandates that multi-family and commercial properties submit their own recycling plans to the City within 48 months of the ordinance’s effective date. Recycling plans must meet certain criteria set forth in the ordinance. To that end, the ordinance provides in relevant part:
The recycling program shall provide an on-site system for the separation and collection of the following recyclable materials:
(i) Mixed paper and newspaper;
(ii) Corrugated cardboard and paperboard;
(iii) Glass containers;
(iv) Plastic containers #1 through #7; and
(v) Metal and aluminum cans.
City of Apopka
Land Development Code: Apopka is proposing a new revised Land Development Code (LDC), which will likely be adopted shortly by the City Council. The new code contains many updates and modernizations and incorporates various items not a part of the prior code.
If you have any projects currently in process in Apopka you will want to check with the City (specifically James Hitt the Community Development Director) to see whether the new LDC will apply to your project, depending upon where you are in the process it may not.
Building Official: Longtime Seminole County Building Official Paul Watson is retiring in mid-January. It is anticipated that Bob Pike, current Chief Plans Examiner, will be named interim Building Official.
On January 11th, the building department is holding a breakfast honoring Mr. Watson and his nearly 30 years of service to the County, during which AAGO presented Mr. Watson with a congratulatory letter and plaque.
Additional Areas of Interest
AAGO was recently alerted that Representative Anna Eskamani, part of the Central Florida delegation, announced via social media her intent to file a bill repealing the state’s preemption on Rent Control. Her intent (as expressed via social media), is to provide local governments with more resources (such as rent control), to tackle the affordable housing challenge throughout the state. It appears that she and Representative Carlos Guillermo-Smith have been working on this together.
If passed, this has the potential to detrimentally impact not only new development but also stabilized market rate assets. However, with the current legislative composition, Republican majorities, and an (unofficial) anti-home rule sentiment in the legislature, it is unlikely this effort will be successful. That does not mean it isn’t an issue for us though especially in the court of public opinion.
Amanda Gill, FAA’s Government Affairs Director, has already set a meeting up with the Representative for next week to discuss. We will also set a meeting with Representative Smith after we have a better idea of Ms. Eskamani’s direction.
Legislative Delegation Meetings
Prior to the start of Florida's 2019 legislative session, Counties hold open public legislative delegation meetings. These meetings allow individuals and industry representatives the opportunity to address their local state legislators and advocate for legislative issues.
Osceola County is holding its public Legislative Delegation meeting on January 17th; and
Orange County will hold their delegation meeting on January 28th.
Representatives from AAGO will be in attendance and plan to make public comment to the respective County legislative delegations regarding priority legislative issues.
We invite and encourage you to attend the upcoming Orange County Delegation Meeting!
There are a number of upcoming local elections coming in 2019. These include Mayoral and/or Council/Commission seats in Maitland, Ocoee, Windemere, Edgewood, Belle Isle and Winter Park in late winter/early spring. In the fall, the City of Orlando will hold elections for Mayor and three City Commission seats.
Each County and municipal government has advisory boards and committees that citizens who work and/or live in the jurisdiction can apply to be on. Many of these advisory boards and committees pertaining to areas that directly affect and impact the industry, including development, code enforcement, etc.
In many cases, issues and even proposed ordinances are brought to these advisory boards and committees for review and comment very early on in the process, well before they are ever made public or addressed by elected officials. As such, having AAGO members serving on these boards and committees is an extremely effective way to influence issues affecting the industry, and obtain valuable advance knowledge of potential issues before they arise.
Trinity has compiled a very detailed spreadsheet of all the important advisory boards and committees throughout the various Counties and municipalities that AAGO serves, which is attached for your review. Please let Trinity or Lee know if you (or perhaps someone at your company) might be interested in serving on one of the advisory boards or committees listed.
For more information on any of the following, please contact Lee Steinhauer.