Wetlands Focus Group Responsibilities and Goals Growth Managements Act (Chapter 163, FS) of 1985 Included the adoption of the State Comprehensive Plan and the creation of land development regulations for the local governments • Identifies the need to protect, conserve, and restore the ecological function of wetlands. The goal is to maintain the environmental, economic, aesthetic, and recreational values of wetlands • Recognizes the importance of local planning and local governments in protecting environmentally sensitive areas • Requires provisions in the local Comprehensive Plans to identify, analyze, protect and conserve wetlands Chapter 9J-5, FAC of 1986 Specifically, policies within 9J-5.013 - Conservation Element state “wetlands and the natural function of wetlands shall be protected and conserved” The adequate and appropriate protection and conservation of wetlands shall be accomplished through a comprehensive planning process which includes consideration of the type, value, functions, sizes, condition and locations of wetlands, and which is based on supporting data and analysis Future land uses which are incompatible with the protection and conservation of wetlands and wetland functions shall be directed away from wetlands Polk County Wetland Systems Comprehensive Plan Land Development Code Purpose and Intent - To minimize the disturbance of wetlands in the County and to discourage their use except for purposes compatible with their natural functions and environmental benefits while providing for their protection, maintenance, enhancement, and utilization Development Standards 1. Wetland impacts shall be avoided to the maximum extent possible 2. Wetland impacts, where unavoidable, may be mitigated in accordance with the County’s Comprehensive plan Density Transfers - Residential densities may be transferred from wetland areas to contiguous non-wetland areas within the same development. Development Review Process Utilize the US Fish and Wildlife’s National Wetlands Inventory as a basis for wetland review. Review site specific wetland delineations and, if necessary, contact the appropriate regulatory body to clarify any discrepancies Ensure that all undisturbed wetlands contain a vegetative buffer to provide for the protection of the system Provide alternatives (i.e. Density Transfers) to potential impacts Work to ensure that any necessary Mitigation: Complies with the County and State Comprehensive plans Increases the County’s overall wetland quality and function Allows for the “Highest and Best” use of the property Vista Oaks Vista Oaks Questions ????