Legislative Actions

gavelHome Rule

Home Rule is a municipality’s ability to govern itself based on the wants and needs of its residents. Home Rule is supported by an overwhelming majority of Florida residents. It is the foundation for local governments as they create fair, effective and responsive policies for their communities.

The Temple Terrace Mayor and City Council believe in the importance of local self-government and the ability of this elected body to best understand the wants and needs of our City. At their March 16 meeting, the Council passed four resolutions that outline their stance on bills currently being considered by the State House and Senate that will be conveyed to the governing bodies in Tallahassee. The text of these resolutions is included below. 

Residents of Temple Terrace are encouraged familiarize themselves with these bills and to contact their local representatives to make their wishes regarding these legislative actions known. Current and full text of the bills before both Chambers can be found by searching the Bill # here. Links to find and contact your local representatives can be found here.

RESOLUTION 31-21

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, FLORIDA, STRONGLY OPPOSING SENATE BILL 60 AND HOUSE BILL 883 THAT UNNECESSARILY PREVENT MUNICIPAL CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENTS FROM INVESTIGATING ANONYMOUS CODE ENFORCEMENT COMPLAINTS, AND URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO NOT INTERFERE WITH LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES’ ABILITY TO PROTECT THE HEALTH, SAFETY, WELFARE, AND VALUE OF THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS, AND TO ALLOW MUNICIPAL CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENTS TO CONTINUE INVESTIGATING UNLAWFUL CONDITIONS ON PROPERTIES WITHIN THE MUNICIPALITY, REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE OF COMPLAINTS; DIRECTING THE CITY CLERK TO DISTRIBUTE COPIES OF THIS RESOLUTION; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. 

WHEREAS, Florida municipalities establish ordinances and code provisions to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the residents within their respective jurisdictions; and 

WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature, with the same intent to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the counties and municipalities of Florida, enacted Chapter 162, Florida Statutes, which authorized municipalities to establish code enforcement systems to enforce the codes and ordinances in effect in those local governments; and 

WHEREAS, many Florida municipalities, including the City of Temple Terrace, established code enforcement systems and designated employees to be code enforcement officers/inspectors to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of their respective communities; and 

WHEREAS, many of the complaints of code violations received by municipal code enforcement departments are anonymous because the complainants are concerned about creating negative feelings and/or retaliation from neighbors or landlords; and 

WHEREAS, municipal code enforcement officers/inspectors will investigate those anonymous complaints or reports to determine if a condition on the property exists that violates the municipality’s ordinances or code provisions and, thus, negatively impacts the health, safety, and welfare of the municipality; and

 WHEREAS, if, upon investigation of that anonymous complaint, no violation of the municipality’s ordinances and code is observed by the code enforcement officer/inspector, the complaint is closed, and no further action is taken with regard to that complaint; and 

WHEREAS, if, upon investigation of that anonymous complaint, a violation of the municipality’s ordinances or city code is observed by the code enforcement officer or inspector,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, THAT:

Section 1: The City of Temple Terrace opposes SB 60 and HB 883 that would prohibit the investigation of anonymous code enforcement complaints and, thus, detrimentally affect our code enforcement system that promotes, protects, and improves the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of our community.

Section 2: The City Clerk is hereby directed to distribute copies of this Resolution to Representatives Lawrence McClure and Tobin Overdorf, Senators Danny Burgess and Jennifer Bradley, Governor Ron DeSantis, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, the Florida League of Cities, and to all municipalities in Hillsborough County. Section 3: Effective Date. This Resolution shall become effective upon adoption.

PASSED AND ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, FLORIDA this 16th day of March, 2021.

RESOLUTION 33-21

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, FLORIDA STRONGLY OPPOSING SENATE BILL 266 AND HOUSE BILL 403, WHICH SERVE TO PREEMPT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FROM REGULATING HOME-BASED BUSINESSES IN RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNITS AND AREAS ZONED FOR RESIDENTIAL USE; DIRECTING THE CITY CLERK TO DISTRIBUTE COPIES OF THIS RESOLUTION; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, on December 14, 2020, Florida Senator Keith Perry filed Senate Bill 266 (“SB 266”) for consideration during the 2021 Florida Legislative Session seeking to preempt local regulation of home-based businesses and permit them to operate in residential zoning districts regardless of municipalities’ zoning restrictions, and allowing specified businesses to challenge local government actions regulating home-based businesses in residential zoning; and

WHEREAS, on January 25, 2021, Florida Representative Mike Giallombardo introduced House Bill 403 (“HB 403”) with preemptions identical to those in Senate Bill 266; and

WHEREAS, Florida’s cities, including The City of Temple Terrace, currently have common sense restrictions in place that properly balance a citizen’s desire to open his/her own small business in their home without adversely impacting the neighbors and the community; and

WHEREAS, currently, home occupational licenses are issued by local governments, including The City of Temple Terrace, after assessing whether the proposed business would cause increased traffic due to customers’ visits and deliveries, a nuisance, noise pollution, and health and safety issues impacting the quality of life of neighboring residents; and

WHEREAS, the above process deals with potential negative impact to the community before any damage occurs rather than incurring expense to the taxpayers and disrupting the home-based business by code enforcement; an

WHEREAS, these Bills would preempt local governments from licensing all home-based businesses and effectively eliminate the purpose of residential zoning, which is to separate incompatible uses, while limiting the municipality to regulating only noise, parking, traffic, and waste, but forgetting to address the potential for noxious odors, infestations, pollution, accidental injury, damage to infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, allowing unregulated home-based businesses would change the character, appearance, and feel of The City of Temple Terrace’s residential neighborhoods as well as impact residents’ peaceable enjoyment of their home; and

WHEREAS, allowing any and every category of business to be conducted within a home can easily lead to an endangerment of the health, safety, and welfare of city residents, particularly where chemicals may be improperly disposed of and typical residential construction is inadequate for safe storage of large quantities of flammable or explosive materials; and

WHEREAS, the City Council believes that regulation of home-based businesses and residential zoning districts is essential to protecting the rights of property owners in the City to be free of the deleterious effects of commercial enterprises that may become home-based businesses; and

WHEREAS, the City Council believes that issues of this nature should continue in accordance with each City's Home Rule authority, being regulated at the local level to meet the unique needs of each municipality and its residents; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council declare their strong opposition to SB 266 and HB 403, and to any substitute or similar Senate or House bill, which preempts the authority of local municipalities to protect their citizens and preserve the integrity of their communities; and

WHEREAS, under the Florida Constitution and Section 166.021 of the Florida Statutes, municipalities have been given broad Home Rule powers for a reason; and

WHEREAS, municipalities should have the ability to regulate home-based businesses within their jurisdiction as part of their Home Rule powers rather than such being stripped away by passage of SB 266 and HB 403.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, THAT:

Section 1: The City of Temple Terrace supports entrepreneurship and its residents’ desires to start their own small businesses, but regulation of home-based businesses is best accomplished by the local government in a manner befitting the unique character and needs of each municipality.

Section 2: Strong opposition to Senate Bill 266 and House Bill 403 is hereby expressed.

Section 3: The City Clerk is hereby directed to distribute copies of this Resolution to Representatives Lawrence McClure and Mike Giallombardo, Senators Danny Burgess and Keith Perry, Governor Ron DeSantis, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, the Florida League of Cities, and to all municipalities in Hillsborough County.

Section 4: Effective Date. This Resolution shall become effective upon adoption.

PASSED AND ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, FLORIDA this 16th day of March, 2021.

RESOLUTION 34-21

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, FLORIDA SUPPORTING SENATE BILL 596 AND HOUSE BILL 6023 WHICH WOULD REPEAL SECTION 163.045, FLORIDA STATUTES, A PREEMPTION RELATED TO TREE PRUNING, TRIMMING, OR REMOVAL ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY; DIRECTING THE CITY CLERK TO DISTRIBUTE THIS RESOLUTION; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, the residents, businesses, and college campus in Temple Terrace highly value trees, speak out to protect the urban tree canopy, and use their own time to steward the urban forest through tree planting projects and inventorying efforts; and

WHEREAS, the City takes pride in having been certified as a Tree City USA for 12 years since 2008, which requires maintaining a tree board or department, enforcing a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day; and

WHEREAS, the City’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan under Strategic Response, provides “Oak Tree Canopy - Temple Terrace prides itself on its natural assets, one of the foremost is its extensive oak tree canopy. It is the seamless interface of man and nature that make Temple Terrace, in part, such a highly appealing place. As with the river, this important resource will be protected and built upon”; and

WHEREAS, the City lists our “Oak Tree Canopy” in its Comprehensive Plan as the second “asset” upon which the “City and its residents will focus . . . to position the city for growth and economic development”, and further states, “The city’s oak tree canopy is another natural feature identified by citizens as a distinguishing natural asset giving uniqueness and identity to the city, and therefore shaping its form. It is as much a part of the city’s heritage as Mediterranean Revival buildings. . . .”; and

WHEREAS, the City’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan under Future Land Use states that the city’s “’natural assets’ are critically important to Temple Terrace’s identity” and that they “create a beautiful green environment,” citing the “oak tree canopy” as an example; and

WHEREAS, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Goals, Objectives, and Policies include “LU Policy 1.1.4: Continue to recognize among its best natural assets, which give a natural form to the City are . . . its oak tree canopy. . . .” and “LU Policy 1.1.5: Continue to recognize about its natural assets the need for ongoing vigilant natural resource protection. . . .”; and

WHEREAS, the Committee Substitute of HB1159 (2019) (creating Section 163.045, Florida Statutes), a preemption related to tree pruning, trimming, or removal on residential property, was passed and signed into law with vague and undefined language that has made interpretation both difficult and inconsistent across municipalities, has become a trap for property owners who remove a tree, and has led to the irreparable clear cutting of land in Temple Terrace by developers attempting to use the statute to avoid complying with the City’s land development regulations; and

WHEREAS, Section 163.045, Florida Statutes gave certified arborists and landscape architects, who may have no training in risk assessment of trees, the final decision power over the life or death of one of Temple Terrace’s most valuable assets; and

WHEREAS, Section 163.045, Florida Statutes, eliminates all notification to the City before removing a tree if it is determined to be a danger to persons or property, any failure by the property owner to fully comply with the statute (such as the arborist’s lack of certification, removing the wrong tree, and whether the determination was made prior to the removal) is not discovered until after the irreparable damage has been done; and

WHEREAS, because there is no prevailing state interest regarding trees on residential property, tree protection and removal has long been recognized as a legitimate exercise of local government Home Rule powers and should remain so; and

WHEREAS, local government tree ordinances and regulations, including those of The City of Temple Terrace, are already designed to maintain trees and tree canopies while allowing for pruning and removal of dead and dangerous trees, as well as the removal of trees necessary for development; and

WHEREAS, the City Council recognizes that Temple Terrace’s extraordinary tree canopy is necessary for preservation of wildlife habitats, beneficial for climate adaptation, stormwater management, nutrient uptake and filtration, and it enhances quality of life for residents, property values, and community character; and

WHEREAS, members of the Florida Legislature, Senator Linda Stewart and Representative Anna Eskamani, have filed Senate Bill 596 (“SB 596) and House Bill 6023 (“HB 6023”) for consideration during the 2021 session of the Florida Legislature, and propose to repeal Section 163.045, Florida Statutes, effectively restoring the rights of local governments to enact and/or enforce local ordinances and regulations related to pruning, trimming, or removal of trees on residential property within their respective corporate limits;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, THAT:

Section 1: The foregoing recitals are hereby ratified and confirmed as being true, and the same are hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of this Resolution.

Section 2: It is in the best interest of the City and other local governments that Home Rule authority to regulate the trimming, pruning, and removal of trees be restored to thereby protect that essential resource.

Section 3: The Florida Legislature is strongly urged to support Senate Bill 596 and House Bill 6023, and to repeal Section 163.045, Florida Statutes, which preempts local laws related to tree pruning, trimming, or removal on residential property.

Section 4: The City Clerk is hereby directed to distribute a copy of this Resolution to Senators Danny Burgess and Linda Stewart, Representatives Lawrence McClure and Anna Eskamani, Governor Ron DeSantis, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the President of the Florida Senate, the Florida League of Cities, and to all municipalities in Hillsborough County.

Section 5: This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.

PASSED AND ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TEMPLE TERRACE, FLORIDA this 16th day of March, 2021.