The Georgia House of Representatives passed a bill limiting zoning moratoriums imposed by local governments.
If enacted, House Bill 514 would set a 180-day limit on any moratorium on zoning decisions related to single-family housing. It would also require a separate 180-day period to subsequently elapse before the same type of moratorium is enacted. The bill also allows local governments to waive certain zoning and permitting fees for single-family developments in which the homes are no larger than 2,500 square feet.
The bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Dale Washburn, R-Macon, aims to lower Georgia’s housing costs and reduce the ability of local governments to stifle development.
The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has previously pointed out that Georgia’s housing troubles, both in terms of cost and access, are most significantly affected by supply. Increasing supply, something that moratoriums frequently disallow, is key to lowering costs and providing affordable housing to the neediest Georgians.
Housing is only becoming more pertinent as industries continue to expand in Georgia. As Georgia’s workforce opportunities expand, it is important that local housing accommodates local growth rates. As we’ve noted previously, local ordinances are often the biggest obstacles to growth.
The legislation includes exceptions for events such as states of emergency and natural disasters.
HB 514 passed out of the House with a vote of 127-43 and has moved to the Senate.