​What is Live Local?

The Live Local Act was created by Senate Bill 102 and became effective on July 1, 2023. Section 3. of the Live Local Act (the Act) created a new subsection (7) in Section 125.01055, Florida Statutes, which relates to affordable housing. 

The Live Local Act allows for the administrative approval of affordable multi-family rental housing in commercial, industrial, and mixed-use districts at the highest density and height allowed in a jurisdiction. At least 40 percent of the residential units must be affordable rental units as defined in Florida Statutes for a period of at least 30 years. 

Live Local Act projects must still adhere to all other limitations and requirements contained in Lee County's Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code regulations for multifamily developments in areas zoned for such use. 


What zoning districts are eligible for Live Local projects?

Land to be developed must be currently zoned for commercial, industrial uses, or mixed-use. Portions of Planned Developments (PDs) that allow commercial uses, industrial uses or mixed-use also qualify. The following districts qualify: 

CPD
​CN-1
CS-1
CI​
​IG
C-1A
CN-2​
CS-2
​CR
​IM
​C-1
​CC
​CT
​IPD
IR​
C-2
​CG
​CP
​IS
​MPD
​C-2A
​CH
​CM
​IL
​PUD


What areas are not eligible for Live Local projects?

The Live Local Act excludes working waterfronts and certain areas around airports as defined by Florida Statutes. The following maps depict areas within unincorporated Lee County that the Live Local Act does not apply.

Airport Zones Map

Working Waterfront Map


How is density for Live Local projects calculated in Lee County?

The Live Local Act requires the County to permit its highest standard density allowed by right. The Lee Plan dictates density in Lee County. The county's highest standard density allowance is 14 units an acre, with some areas allowing more with bonus density from affordable housing or TDUs. Lee County is allowing Future Urban Areas to be eligible for up to 22 units an acre, while Future Suburban and Future Non-Urban Areas are eligible for the maximum standard density of 14 units an acre. The table below describes with FLUCs fit into Lee County's future Urban, Suburban and Non-Urban Areas as defined by the Lee Plan.

​Category
​FLUCMaXIMUM DENSITY (PEr acre)
​Urban
Intensive Development, Central Urban, Urban Community
​22 units
​Suburban
​Suburban, Outlying suburban, Industrial Development, Public Facilities, University Community, Commercial, Sub-Outlying Suburban, Airport Lands, Tradeport, Burnt Store Marina Village, New Community, Industrial Interchange, General Interchange, General Commercial Interchange, Industrial Commercial Interchange, University Village Interchange
​14 units
​Non-Urban
​Rural, Outer Islands, Rural Community Preserves, Open Lands, Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR), Conservation Lands, Coastal Rural, Wetlands
14 units


Are Live Local projects eligible for Lee County Bonus Density?

  • Nothing in Lee County's Live Local implementation policies precludes a proposed development authorized under the Live Local legislation from receiving bonus density if the proposed development satisfies Lee County's bonus density conditions.
  • Florida Statutes provide that "If a proposed development qualifies for such a bonus, the bonus must be administratively approved by the county, and no further action by the board of county commissioners is required." 

 What are the development regulations for Live Local projects?

1. Development Regulations
  • Live Local projects must follow the setback, and other zoning requirements for multi-family developments in the RM-2 zoning district. Projects within the Mixed Use Overlay (MUO) may utilize the MUO development standards.
  • Live Local projects may utilize the height of the highest allowed building height within a mile with no additional setbacks, even if that height was permitted through a planned development process unless a lower height is specified in the Florida Statutes.

2. Mixed-Use
  • Per the statutory requirements, mixed-use development is permitted when at least 65 percent of the total square footage is used for residential purposes.

3. Parking
  • Parking must be in accordance with the County's Land Development Code, which includes parking reductions in certain locations. Parking reductions per the Live Local Act and LDC allowances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

4. Zoning Actions (Variances, Special Exceptions)
  • A development authorized under the Live Local Act must comply with all applicable state and local laws and regulations. When a proposed Live Local project satisfies the LDC and Lee Plan requirements for bonus density or height, the bonus density or height will be approved administratively through the DO process. All other zoning actions would follow the process outlined in the Lee Plan, LDC, or Florida Statutes. 

How to use a Planned Development Zoning District for Live Local?

Lee County's non-residential and mixed-used Planned Development (PD) zoning districts may be used for Live Local projects. Live Local projects on these properties must follow the LDC requirements for multi-family development and/or the allowances provided in the Live Local legislation. Conditions of approval for the PD may apply to the remaining PD and the Live Local project. Relief from development standards granted in the PD may not apply to Live Local projects if the project is not developed in accordance with the approved PD.

When a PD is divided to develop only a portion as a Live Local project, the remainder of the approved Planned Development must be amended prior to approval of the Development Order for the Live Local project to reflect the reconfiguration and revise all of the site calculations based on the reduced PD area. The amended PD must be consistent with the current Lee Plan and LDC requirements.


What process does a Live Local project follow?

Live Local projects follow the County's Development Order (DO) process. In addition to the standard DO requirements, the applicant must:

  1. Hold a pre-application meeting with Lee County Department of Community Development staff. At the meeting, the applicant must address consistency with the Live Local Act, site-design requirements, financial capacity to sustain the project's affordability, and qualified program-management resources available for determining future residents' income eligibility and ensuring affordability thresholds are maintained. To schedule the required pre-application meeting, please e-mail PODPlanning@leegov.com.      
  2. Provide a written narrative describing the project's consistency with state statute, including, but not limited to, the square footage allocated to all proposed uses, number of units, and height; and
  3. Provide a draft Land Use Restrictions Agreement (LURA) for the County Attorney's Office to review. A fully executed and recorded LURA prior to DO approval. 


Contact

For questions on Lee County's Live Local requirements, PODplanning@leegov.com. 


Additional Resources

Land Use Restriction Agreement Form Example(Please contact PODplanning@leegov.com for fillable Word Version).

Florida Housing Finance Corporation


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