Patricia Mazzei of The New York Times reports that a controversial new Florida law allows developers to bypass local zoning rules if they promise “workforce housing.” It has stirred an uproar around the state, most recently in affluent Bal Harbour. Mazzie writes:
In Bal Harbour, Fla., an oceanside village north of Miami Beach, a luxury mall says it wants to help tackle one of the nation’s — and Florida’s — most intractable problems: a lack of affordable housing.
It is an unexpected move for a retail temple where Gucci, Chanel and Rolex are on offer. Affordable? Here?
But in a rare instance of bipartisan agreement, the Florida Legislature passed a law last spring intended to encourage projects like the one that the owner of the mall, Bal Harbour Shops, has in mind. Called the Live Local Act, the law allows developers to bypass certain local zoning rules and to qualify for tax breaks if their projects include enough “work force housing.” […]
The high winter season used to slow down after Jan. 15, Mr. Lazenby said, but since 2021 has extended through Valentine’s Day. A previously approved mall expansion — also a sore subject for many residents — was underway, and the surrounding streets were choked with traffic.
“I don’t think anybody’s opposed to having work force housing in theory,” Ms. Logan said, “but not how he’s trying to do it.”
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