Florida Growth Management at a Crossroads

Merle H. Bishop, FAICP
Florida Chapter
American Planning Association
Major Legislative Changes – What is Eliminated?
 Rules 9J-5 and 9J-11.023 are repealed – many of the
provisions of 9J-5 are incorporated into Ch. 163
 Financial feasibility for capital improvement plans –
back to pre-2005 status.
 Twice per year plan amendment limitation.
 Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) sufficiency
review and mandatory plan updates.
 Energy efficiency & greenhouse gas
reduction provisions
(added in 2008 by HB 697)
Major Legislative Changes – What is Eliminated?
Use of the State Comprehensive Plan for local
plan compliance determination.
State mandated concurrency for transportation,
schools and parks & recreation facilities (now a
local option).
State mandated Public School Element.
Major Legislative Changes – What is Changed?
 Large scale plan amendments: changed to Expedited
Review Process with few exceptions (ACSC).
 Small Scale Map/Plan Amendments: total cumulative
acreage increased (80 to 120 acres); no more density
cap; no more ownership/distance limit.
 Text amendments: if associated with small scale, may
be included with it.
 EAR: Localities required to review local Plan once
every 7 years; must determine if State requirements
necessitate any amendments and notify the State.
Major Legislative Changes – What is Changed?
 The State Planning Agency’s review of
comprehensive plan amendments is limited to
issues of state-wide interest.
Other Changes included:
 Sector Planning
 Rural Land Stewardship
 Developments of Regional Impact
 Permit extensions
If a local government decides to not maintain
concurrency for transportation, parks &/or schools, then it
must amend the comprehensive plan to remove the
concurrency provisions.
The amendment is not subject to State review, but it does
require public hearings.
Note: School Facility Elements can be retained with or
without level of service standards & school concurrency.
 If a local government elects to retain concurrency for
transportation, schools &/or parks, then the local Plan
must comply with specified requirements in new Act;
many are similar to or same as current Plan requirements.
Implementing the new statutory requirements will not
require immediate action for all localities but changes are
expected at the time of next scheduled EAR.
New plan amendments affecting these concurrency issues
must comply with the Act’s statutory concurrency
If Public School Concurrency is retained:
 Comprehensive plans must include specific
guidelines and standards relating, including adopted
levels of service (as they do now).
When a County plus one or more of the cities
representing at least 80% of the total, county-wide
population elects to maintain school concurrency,
then the failure of one or more of the (other)
municipalities to adopt concurrency does not
preclude its implementation within the school district.
No longer a maximum need based strictly on
population projections but should allow the operation
of real estate markets to provide adequate choices
for permanent and seasonal residents and
Accommodate a minimumof 10 years growth based
on BEBR medium population projections
Section 163.3164(51), F.S. defines urban sprawl as a
development pattern characterized by low density,
automobile-dependent development with either a single
use or multiple uses that are not functionally related,
requiring the extension of public facilities and services
in an inefficient manner, and failing to provide a clear
separation between urban and rural uses
The amendment must be analyzed to determine
whether it incorporates a development pattern or
urban form that achieves four or more of the following
eight criteria
 Directs growth and development to areas of the
community in a manner that does not adversely
impact natural resources
 Promotes the efficient and cost effective provision
or extension of public infrastructure and services
Promotes walkable and connected communities
and provides for compact development and a mix of
uses at densities and intensities that support a
range of housing choices and a multimodal
transportation system
Promotes conservation of water and energy
Preserves agricultural areas and activities
Preserves open space and natural lands and
provides for public open space and recreation
Creates a balance of land uses based on demands
of residential population for the nonresidential
needs of an area
Would remediate an existing or planned sprawl
development pattern or provides for an innovative
development pattern such as transit oriented
development or new towns
We must communicate the importance and value of
comprehensive planning and smart growth with
effective involvement of all interested and affected
persons and groups.
 Livability
 Sustainable Community
 Jobs
 Economic Recovery and Development
 Health
 Water Resources
 Mobility
Senator Bob Graham
“For most of Florida's history, up until
the mid-1960s, our state was treated
like a commodity. If you didn't like it, you
changed it: land into water; water into
land. The business of the state was
business, and our enormous natural
resources were just another input. The
quality and safety of our coasts, fresh
waters, open lands and the Everglades
were regularly and enthusiastically
sacrificed on the altar of growth.”
“Florida is not a commodity but a treasure which we have
the privilege of enjoying with the responsibility to preserve
and enhance that treasure for future generations.”
National Support for Sustainable Communities
In Favor
Not Sure
Definition given for “sustainable
communities”: An urban, suburban, or
rural community that has more
housing and transportation choices, is
closer to jobs, shops or schools, is
more energy independent, and helps
protect clean air and water.
In Favor
Not Sure
Ford Foundation, Smart Growth America and Collective Strength poll - 2010
Comprehensive Planning is still required
by Florida Law.
Florida and Polk’s potential for economic
growth and prosperity, protection of
valuable environmental resources and
improved quality of life will be determined
by how well we plan for the future.
Local Planning Choices:
 Ensure a future place where people want
to live, work and play;
 Adopt policies and strategies that address
mobility, education & recreation for
existing and future residents;
 Recognize that infrastructure needs will
continue to be critical to building and
sustaining a livable community.
If you are not a place where people want
to live, then you are not a place where
people will want to invest.

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