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BREAKING NEWS: Trump is fine after gunshots fired at his Pennsylvania rally

The Live Local Act is not working, Tampa-area commissioners say

Formerly TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Pelican Lake Apartments is now leasing in Pinellas Park. It is one of two hotels acquired by Eagle Property Capital to transform into apartment homes.
Gabriella Paul
/
WUSF
Formerly TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Pelican Lake Apartments is now leasing in Pinellas Park. It is one of two hotels acquired by Eagle Property Capital to transform into apartment homes.

They say it encourages affordable housing where it isn't needed and stunts commercial growth.

The Florida Legislature passed the "Live Local Act" to boost affordable housing in the state last year.

But some county commissioners in the greater Tampa Bay region say it's not working out as planned.

The Live Local Act allows developers to build multi-family housing in commercial and industrial zones, without seeking permission from local governments.

At a joint meeting of commissioners from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties last week, Hillsborough commissioner Michael Owen said it's not being implemented where it should be.

"The intent of this bill was for old abandoned warehouses that are in the urban core to be transformed into affordable housing projects. The Live Local Act is striking the Valrico area south of Riverview. Nothing in the urban core we've seen so far," Owen said.

Commissions from all three counties say Live Local is hurting business growth and creating situations where affordable housing is far away from the areas Live Local was designed to help.

Pasco commissioner Seth Weightman said his county has even discussed placing a moratorium on new multi-family housing.

Weightman wants other local commissions to join in reaching out to the legislature for a rewrite.

"Take a look at this bill and allow us an opportunity to help offer solutions to the language that handcuffs the ability to bring in jobs and attract employers," Weightman said.

Representatives of all three county commissions said they're considering a joint letter about their concerns to the legislature before next year's session.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.