Marco T. Paredes, Jr.

Director of

Government Affairs




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Robert Walters




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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As Director of Government Affairs for Stearns Weaver Miller, I am monitoring bills being considered by the Legislature and will report developments regarding them in our weekly “Rotunda Report.”

Below is a high-level summary of important bills and key issues from session this week, February 26-March 1. We’ve also included a deeper dive into significant bills, including an analysis of how the bills may affect your business. For more information, please contact me.

Affordable Housing

The House passed SB 328, an enhancement of last year’s Live Local Act. The bill amends several key components of the Live Local Act, including for sale units, height, density, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), parking, property near airports and military installations, negotiated bonus opportunities, and the missing middle ad valorem tax exemption. For more information on this bill, please see our most recent alert.


House and Senate leaders released spending totals this week and budget conference committees began meeting to negotiate a final budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. While legislators made progress in all areas of the budget, there were still unresolved issues that were bumped up to the House and Senate Appropriations chairs for resolution. A final budget must be agreed to by March 5 in order for the Legislature to meet the 72-hour constitutionally required "cooling off" period, allowing the session to end on time on Friday, March 8.

Social Media

Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed HB 1 today, which would prevent children under 16 years old from having accounts on social media platforms that have addictive features. In response to this, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo announced today that the Senate would take up HB 3 next week. The bill limits online access to material deemed harmful to minors and would require commercial entities that publish or distribute materials to perform age verifications to prevent access. 

Samantha Decker




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James “Jamie” Zimmer


Ft. Lauderdale


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Legislation Spotlight:

SB 814 - Easements Affecting Real Property Owned by the Same Owner and Florida’s Foreign Investment in Real Property Act

SB 814 permits an owner to create easements, servitudes and other interests over the owner’s own real property. The legislation was drafted in response to AFP 103 Corp. v. Common Wealth Trust Services, LLC (2023 WL 7013226 (Fla 3d. DCA 2023)), wherein Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal found that easements created in a declaration encumbering properties owned by a single developer were void ab initio. The bill applies retroactively, except to the extent a court has previously invalidated an easement, servitude or other interest prior to the effective date of the law, thus excluding AFP 103 and its progeny from the bill’s application.


On February 20, Senator Clay Yarborough (R, D-4) filed an amendment to SB 814 incorporating modifications to Florida’s Foreign Investment in Real Property Act. During the 2023 legislative session the Florida Legislature passed SB 264 (codified in Chapter 692, Florida Statutes), which among other things, prohibits individuals and entities who meet the definition of “foreign principal” from purchasing certain real property within the State of Florida. Amended SB 814 adds additional definitions to the statute, clarifies the ownership interests that subject a party to relevant portions of Chapter 692 and provides a carve out for foreign principals who intend to develop property for residential use.


In January 2024, the Florida Department of Commerce adopted rules implementing Section 692.203, Florida Statutes (purchase of real property on or around military installations or critical infrastructure facilities by foreign principals prohibited). The rules do not apply to any other subsections of Chapter 692, resulting in uncertainty regarding the implementation of other parts of Chapter 692. Amended SB 814 clarifies terms that were undefined in SB 264, including defining the term “controlling interest” to mean the power to control access to a property or management authority of a property. The draft bill also contemplates the presumption of a controlling interest where an entity or person directly or indirectly owns a 25% or greater interest in a piece of real property. If adopted, the definitions included in amended SB 814 will apply to all subsections of Chapter 692, providing clarity to property owners, lenders and investors who fall within the purview of Subsections 692.202 and 692.204, for which there are not yet adopted rules.


Amended SB 814 also allows ownership of agricultural land by foreign principals, ownership of land within 10 miles of a military installation or critical infrastructure by foreign principals, and ownership of land by foreign principals of the People’s Republic of China where ownership is for the primary purpose of development and sale of residential units as shown on a final plat. Developers who qualify as foreign principals must provide an affidavit to the Department of Commerce attesting that the purchase is primarily for the purpose of development and sale of residential units.


The House version of SB 814, HB 799 filed by Representative Will Robinson, does not currently align with its Senate companion. On February 28, HB 799’s House sponsor filed a strike-all amendment only including the easement language. The House is scheduled to hear HB 799 on the floor on March 1, 2024. However, due to the misalignment between the two bills, in addition Governor DeSantis’ public opposition to the Yarborough amendment, it is unclear at the time of this alert whether the final bill will contain the amendment addressing controlling interest.

The information provided in this email does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information in this email is for informational purposes only. Information in this email is general in nature and may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. Readers of this email should contact us or an attorney of their choice to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader of this email should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information in this email without first seeking legal advice from counsel. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. This email does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and the authors of the email or this law firm.


Our Government Affairs practice group monitors both the legislative and executive branches to stay well-informed of emerging legislative and regulatory developments. 


Our Real Estate practice group provides clients with a broad range of representation in all areas of residential and commercial real estate development. Our goal is to represent, assist and provide business advice as requested to developers, owners, hotel operators, contractors, architects, and engineers in virtually every type of real estate transaction. The Department’s Commercial Real Estate Lending Practice Group represents commercial and investment banks, insurance companies and other institutional lenders in connection with both the extension and collection of credit.

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About Stearns Weaver Miller


Stearns Weaver Miller is a Florida-based law firm with more than 150 attorneys and offices in Miami, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Tallahassee. For over 40 years, our multidisciplinary team of attorneys and professionals have worked collaboratively to help our clients understand and resolve complex legal issues and disputes. For more information, please visit