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HB 403: Tallahassee May Decide Florida's Zoning Laws

HB 403: Tallahassee May Decide Florida's Zoning Laws

A new business bill has been proposed in the Florida legislature—and it’s ruffling some feathers. Proposed by state senator Keith Perry, House Bill 403 bill asks that zoning laws be decided by Tallahassee for the rest of Florida.

This has made local representatives and fans of residential communities take up arms, To them , this is an infringement on their community rights.

Opinions are split with this bill, because it has a caveat that could help small business owners across the state. If passed, House Bill 403 would make it legal for all Florida residents to run businesses directly out of their homes.

House Bill 403: Home-Run Businesses

Allowing Florida residents to manage their brick and mortar business needs from the comfort of their home is an interesting proposition. Cost of living is high in South Florida, so for many, this is good news.

After a year that left many in dire financial straits, legalized home-run businesses could boost to the state’s economy. Higher unemployment last year, unofficial home-run businesses for food, crafts, and other services started to pop up.

Owning an LLC and using a home address for the physical location of your business is nothing new. But these home-run businesses don't necessarily operate from their listed address. Most single-member LLCs don’t need to operate from their listed address. Of course, this all depends on the type of businesses operating within the home.

Local Governments Feel Undermined

While the business bill offers a solution to help revamp the local economies, local officials are upset. At the root of this anger, lies their firm belief in home rule.

Home rule is the idea that local governments should have the power to make decisions within communities.

Anna Hochkammer, a council member in the village of Pinecrest, was against the bill. She stated that the bill would make it impossible for more communities like Pinecrest to be created.

What Will be the Future of Residential Housing?

Home-run businesses would have to respect trash and noise violation laws. Even so, some are skeptical of the bill. On the one hand, allowing home-run businesses creates more economic opportunity for Florida residents. And yet on the other hand, some residents worry that the makeup of their residential communities will start to change.

This bill is conflicting because it promises good things while setting the tone for an unpredictable future regarding zoning laws. Florida has sixty-seven counties, and they’re all very different. Would centralizing zoning decisions and leaving big changes up to Tallahassee hurt or help the state?

House Bill 403 could pave the way towards more affordable housing. However, it also redistributes a lot of power towards the state’s capital. People will have to ask themselves what’s more important to them: the ability to improve the state of small businesses in Florida, or who has a say when it comes to the zoning laws in their area.