Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 908
       By Senator Hooper
       16-00954A-19                                           2019908__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to firesafety systems; amending s.
    3         163.08, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
    4         “qualifying improvement” to include improvements to
    5         retrofit existing high-rise residential condominiums
    6         with certain fire sprinkler systems; amending s.
    7         633.312, F.S.; requiring that certain fire protection
    8         system inspection reports be submitted pursuant to a
    9         statewide uniform set of procedures; authorizing local
   10         authorities having jurisdiction to accept such reports
   11         by certain means; requiring the State Fire Marshal to
   12         adopt a certain rule; providing that such inspection
   13         reports may not be subject to certain requirements;
   14         amending s. 718.112, F.S.; requiring that condominium
   15         association bylaws provide requirements for the
   16         association’s reasonable compliance with the Florida
   17         Fire Prevention Code; defining the term “reasonable
   18         compliance”; providing construction; specifying
   19         authorized means of compliance for certain residential
   20         condominiums; deleting a requirement for association
   21         bylaws to contain a certain certificate of compliance
   22         provision; deleting an exemption from a requirement to
   23         retrofit certain condominium property with a fire
   24         sprinkler system; deleting procedures for such
   25         exemption; extending the date before which a local
   26         authority having jurisdiction may not require
   27         completion of retrofitting with a fire sprinkler
   28         system; specifying the date before which a local
   29         authority having jurisdiction may not require
   30         completion of installation of an engineered life
   31         safety system; requiring a residential condominium
   32         association that is not in compliance with certain
   33         requirements to perform certain duties by specified
   34         dates; providing a penalty; requiring the Division of
   35         Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes of
   36         the Department of Business and Professional Regulation
   37         to collect such penalty payments and remit them to the
   38         Firefighter Assistance Grant Program within the
   39         Division of State Fire Marshal of the Department of
   40         Financial Services; deleting an obsolete provision;
   41         deleting requirements for condominium associations to
   42         report certain information to the Division of Florida
   43         Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes and for the
   44         division to report certain information to the Division
   45         of State Fire Marshal; amending s. 718.120, F.S.;
   46         authorizing condominium associations, under certain
   47         circumstances, to elect to be assessed certain taxes
   48         and assessments upon the condominium property as a
   49         whole; specifying when such election must be made;
   50         authorizing such associations to elect for condominium
   51         parcels to be assessed separately after certain
   52         conditions are met; reenacting s. 288.9606(7)(c),
   53         F.S., relating to the issuance of revenue bonds, to
   54         incorporate the amendment made to s. 163.08, F.S., in
   55         a reference thereto; providing an effective date.
   57  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   59         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
   60  163.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   61         163.08 Supplemental authority for improvements to real
   62  property.—
   63         (2) As used in this section, the term:
   64         (b) “Qualifying improvement” includes any:
   65         1. Energy conservation and efficiency improvement, which is
   66  a measure to reduce consumption through conservation or a more
   67  efficient use of electricity, natural gas, propane, or other
   68  forms of energy on the property, including, but not limited to,
   69  air sealing; installation of insulation; installation of energy
   70  efficient heating, cooling, or ventilation systems; building
   71  modifications to increase the use of daylight; replacement of
   72  windows; installation of energy controls or energy recovery
   73  systems; installation of electric vehicle charging equipment;
   74  and installation of efficient lighting equipment.
   75         2. Renewable energy improvement, which is the installation
   76  of any system in which the electrical, mechanical, or thermal
   77  energy is produced from a method that uses one or more of the
   78  following fuels or energy sources: hydrogen, solar energy,
   79  geothermal energy, bioenergy, and wind energy.
   80         3. Wind resistance improvement, which includes, but is not
   81  limited to:
   82         a. Improving the strength of the roof deck attachment;
   83         b. Creating a secondary water barrier to prevent water
   84  intrusion;
   85         c. Installing wind-resistant shingles;
   86         d. Installing gable-end bracing;
   87         e. Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections;
   88         f. Installing storm shutters; or
   89         g. Installing opening protections.
   90         4.Improvement to retrofit an existing high-rise
   91  residential condominium with a fire sprinkler system in
   92  accordance with the Florida Fire Prevention Code adopted
   93  pursuant to s. 633.202, which includes:
   94         a. Fire sprinkler systems and related improvements; or
   95         b. Engineered life safety system improvements.
   96         Section 2. Present subsections (4) and (5) of section
   97  633.312, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (5)
   98  and (6), respectively, a new subsection (4) is added to that
   99  section, and subsection (3) of that section is republished, to
  100  read:
  101         633.312 Inspection of fire control systems, fire hydrants,
  102  and fire protection systems.—
  103         (3) The inspecting contractor shall provide to the building
  104  owner or hydrant owner and the local authority having
  105  jurisdiction a copy of the applicable inspection report
  106  established under this chapter. The maintenance of fire hydrant
  107  and fire protection systems as well as corrective actions on
  108  deficient systems is the responsibility of the owner of the
  109  system or hydrant. Equipment requiring periodic testing or
  110  operation to ensure its maintenance shall be tested or operated
  111  as specified in the Fire Prevention Code, Life Safety Code,
  112  National Fire Protection Association standards, or as directed
  113  by the appropriate authority, provided that such appropriate
  114  authority may not require a sprinkler system not required by the
  115  Fire Prevention Code, Life Safety Code, or National Fire
  116  Protection Association standards to be removed regardless of its
  117  condition. This section does not prohibit governmental entities
  118  from inspecting and enforcing firesafety codes.
  119         (4) A fire protection system inspection report provided by
  120  a contractor in accordance with subsection (3) must be submitted
  121  pursuant to a statewide uniform set of procedures. A local
  122  authority having jurisdiction may accept such contractor
  123  inspection reports directly or through a third-party electronic
  124  submission vendor. The State Fire Marshal shall adopt a rule
  125  requiring all third-party vendors or local authorities having
  126  jurisdiction to follow a standardized procedure, including:
  127         (a)A uniform reporting format that must be used by all
  128  local authorities having jurisdiction and that is designed to
  129  reduce the amount of information a contractor must manually
  130  input into the system.
  131         (b)A set of uniform submission procedures to be used by
  132  local authorities having jurisdiction or by vendors.
  134  The rule must allow a contractor to attach additional documents,
  135  including the contractors detailed inspection report, to the
  136  submission. A contractor’s inspection report is not required to
  137  follow a standardized format, and a vendor or local authority
  138  having jurisdiction may not require a contractor to enter the
  139  details of the inspection report or of the deficiency repair
  140  status into an electronic system.
  141         Section 3. Paragraph (l) of subsection (2) of section
  142  718.112, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  143         718.112 Bylaws.—
  144         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  145  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  146  the following:
  147         (l) Firesafety.An association must ensure reasonable
  148  compliance with the Florida Fire Prevention Code. For purposes
  149  of this paragraph, the term “reasonable compliance means the
  150  ability to select alternative solutions to ensure that the
  151  property meets the level of firesafety required by the Florida
  152  Fire Prevention Code. As to a residential condominium building
  153  that is a high-rise building as defined under the Florida Fire
  154  Prevention Code, the association may either retrofit a fire
  155  sprinkler system or install an engineered life safety system as
  156  specified in the Florida Fire Prevention Code Certificate of
  157  compliance.— A provision that a certificate of compliance from a
  158  licensed electrical contractor or electrician may be accepted by
  159  the association’s board as evidence of compliance of the
  160  condominium units with the applicable fire and life safety code
  161  must be included. Notwithstanding chapter 633 or of any other
  162  code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or
  163  any interpretation of the foregoing, an association, residential
  164  condominium, or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the
  165  common elements, association property, or units of a residential
  166  condominium with a fire sprinkler system in a building that has
  167  been certified for occupancy by the applicable governmental
  168  entity if the unit owners have voted to forego such retrofitting
  169  by the affirmative vote of a majority of all voting interests in
  170  the affected condominium.
  171         1. The local authority having jurisdiction may not require
  172  completion of retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system or
  173  completion of installation of an engineered life safety system
  174  before January 1, 2023 2020. A residential condominium
  175  association that is not in compliance with the requirements for
  176  a fire sprinkler system or an engineered life safety system
  177  shall:
  178         a. By July 1, 2020, submit a final fire sprinkler permit
  179  application and supporting documents to the authority having
  180  jurisdiction;
  181         b. By July 1, 2021, obtain all necessary permits; and
  182         c. By December 31, 2022, pass final inspection.
  184  If a residential condominium association fails to timely comply
  185  with the requirements of this subparagraph, the authority having
  186  jurisdiction shall assess a penalty against the association in
  187  the amount of $500 per day until it attains compliance. The
  188  Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
  189  of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall
  190  collect all such payments and remit them to the Firefighter
  191  Assistance Grant Program created under s. 633.135 By December
  192  31, 2016, a residential condominium association that is not in
  193  compliance with the requirements for a fire sprinkler system and
  194  has not voted to forego retrofitting of such a system must
  195  initiate an application for a building permit for the required
  196  installation with the local government having jurisdiction
  197  demonstrating that the association will become compliant by
  198  December 31, 2019.
  199         1. A vote to forego retrofitting may be obtained by limited
  200  proxy or by a ballot personally cast at a duly called membership
  201  meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the member, and
  202  is effective upon recording a certificate attesting to such vote
  203  in the public records of the county where the condominium is
  204  located. The association shall mail or hand deliver to each unit
  205  owner written notice at least 14 days before the membership
  206  meeting in which the vote to forego retrofitting of the required
  207  fire sprinkler system is to take place. Within 30 days after the
  208  association’s opt-out vote, notice of the results of the opt-out
  209  vote must be mailed or hand delivered to all unit owners.
  210  Evidence of compliance with this notice requirement must be made
  211  by affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and
  212  filed among the official records of the association. After
  213  notice is provided to each owner, a copy must be provided by the
  214  current owner to a new owner before closing and by a unit owner
  215  to a renter before signing a lease.
  216         2. If there has been a previous vote to forego
  217  retrofitting, a vote to require retrofitting may be obtained at
  218  a special meeting of the unit owners called by a petition of at
  219  least 10 percent of the voting interests. Such a vote may only
  220  be called once every 3 years. Notice shall be provided as
  221  required for any regularly called meeting of the unit owners,
  222  and must state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic
  223  transmission may not be used to provide notice of a meeting
  224  called in whole or in part for this purpose.
  225         3. As part of the information collected annually from
  226  condominiums, the division shall require condominium
  227  associations to report the membership vote and recording of a
  228  certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been
  229  undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall
  230  annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the
  231  Department of Financial Services the number of condominiums that
  232  have elected to forego retrofitting.
  233         2.4. Notwithstanding s. 553.509, a residential association
  234  may not be obligated to, and may forego the retrofitting of, any
  235  improvements required by s. 553.509(2) upon an affirmative vote
  236  of a majority of the voting interests in the affected
  237  condominium.
  238         Section 4. Section 718.120, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  239  read:
  240         718.120 Separate taxation of condominium parcels; survival
  241  of declaration after tax sale; assessment of timeshare estates;
  242  assessment election after qualifying improvements.—
  243         (1) Ad valorem taxes, benefit taxes, and special
  244  assessments by taxing authorities shall be assessed against the
  245  condominium parcels and not upon the condominium property as a
  246  whole. No ad valorem tax, benefit tax, or special assessment,
  247  including those made by special districts, drainage districts,
  248  or water management districts, may be separately assessed
  249  against recreational facilities or other common elements if such
  250  facilities or common elements are owned by the condominium
  251  association or are owned jointly by the owners of the
  252  condominium parcels. Each condominium parcel shall be separately
  253  assessed for ad valorem taxes and special assessments as a
  254  single parcel. The taxes and special assessments levied against
  255  each condominium parcel shall constitute a lien only upon the
  256  condominium parcel assessed and upon no other portion of the
  257  condominium property.
  258         (2) All provisions of a declaration relating to a
  259  condominium parcel which has been sold for taxes or special
  260  assessments survive and are enforceable after the issuance of a
  261  tax deed or master’s deed, upon foreclosure of an assessment, a
  262  certificate or lien, a tax deed, tax certificate, or tax lien,
  263  to the same extent that they would be enforceable against a
  264  voluntary grantee of the title immediately prior to the delivery
  265  of the tax deed, master’s deed, or clerk’s certificate of title
  266  as provided in s. 197.573.
  267         (3) Condominium property divided into fee timeshare real
  268  property shall be assessed for purposes of ad valorem taxes and
  269  special assessments as provided in s. 192.037.
  270         (4)Notwithstanding subsection (1), a condominium
  271  association that elects to make a qualifying improvement under
  272  s. 163.08(2)(b)4. may elect to be assessed upon the condominium
  273  property as a whole, rather than assigning to each unit owner a
  274  portion of the common areas value. Such election must be made
  275  to the taxing authorities before implementing such improvements.
  276  Upon completion of the improvements and termination of any
  277  finance agreements under s. 163.08, a condominium association
  278  may elect that condominium property be assessed as provided
  279  under subsection (1).
  280         Section 5. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  281  made by this act to section 163.08, Florida Statutes, in a
  282  reference thereto, paragraph (c) of subsection (7) of section
  283  288.9606, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  284         288.9606 Issue of revenue bonds.—
  285         (7) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, the
  286  corporation in its corporate capacity may, without authorization
  287  from a public agency under s. 163.01(7), issue revenue bonds or
  288  other evidence of indebtedness under this section to:
  289         (c) If permitted by federal law, finance qualifying
  290  improvement projects within the state under s. 163.08.
  291         Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.