Florida’s GM Approach
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Florida’s GM Approach. A Brief History of Florida’s GM Efforts An early comer to GM efforts, in the early and mid 1970s Florida’s Legislature passed a number of pieces of legislation: 1) Water Resources Act (1972) 2) Comprehensive Planning Act (1975) 3) Land Conservation Act (1972)

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Florida’s GM Approach

  • A Brief History of Florida’s GM Efforts

  • An early comer to GM efforts, in the early and mid 1970s Florida’s Legislature passed a number of pieces of legislation:

  • 1) Water Resources Act (1972)

  • 2) Comprehensive Planning Act (1975)

  • 3) Land Conservation Act (1972)

  • In 1985, the State’s Growth Management Act was passed requiring:

  • 1) Development of a State Comprehensive Plan: The purpose of the plan was not to designate specific uses for specific pieces of property, but rather to outline general goals (approx. 25) and strategic polices (approx. 350).

  • 2) The act required state review of local comprehensive plans for consistency with state goals and with each other.

  • 3) The concept of concurrency was introduced. Proposed developments are not supposed to be approved unless adequate public facilities are in place to meet the needs of the proposed development.


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Summarizing Florida’s GM Approach

The Basic Mechanisms Behind GM in Florida: (The Three C’s)

1) Consistency: Local plans must be consistent with the overall state plan; Local plans must be consistent with regional plans; Local plans must be consistent with other local plans; State agency plans must be consistent with the state plan and regional plans.

2) Concurrency: A legal requirement that local governments may not issue a development order unless the order will not degrade mandated service levels for six kinds of public facilities: 1) Transportation 4) Potable Water 2) Sanitary Sewer 5) Parks and Recreation 3) Solid Waste 6) Stormwater Management

3) Compact Urban Form: The state administrative code governing the development of local comprehensive plans required local governments to develop policies to combat sprawl.


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Chapter 163’s Planning Approach

  • Adopted by the 1985 Legislature, Florida’s Growth Management Act (Chapter 163, Part II, Florida Statutes, The Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act) requires all of Florida's 67 counties and 476 municipalities to adopt Local Government Comprehensive Plans that would guide future growth and development in their jurisdictions.

  • It also required regional planning councils to prepare and adopt comprehensive Regional Policy Plans consistent with the state comprehensive plan.

  • As noted previously, the laws adopted also required the adoption of a State Comprehensive Plan.


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Strategic Regional Policy Plans

Local Government Comprehensive Plans

Local Government Comprehensive Plans

Florida’s Intended GM Planning Structure

State Comprehensive Plan

Vertical

Consistency

Horizontal Consistency


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The State Comprehensive Plan

  • Adopted by the Legislature in 1985.

  • Direction Setting Document Only: The plan was envisioned as a means to provide long range policy guidance and establish priorities for resource allocation. However, the Legislature approved the plan only when its implications for resource allocation were removed, reflecting its intent to make the plan solely a direction-setting document.

  • Limited Application of Plan: The plan’s goals and policies shall be reasonably applied where they are economically and environmentally feasible, not contrary to the public interest, and consistent with the protection of private property rights.

  • A “Holistic” Plan: The plan shall be construed and applied as a whole, and no specific goal or policy shall be construed or applied in isolation from the other goals and policies in the plan.


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Areas of Critical State Concern

  • The state also identified certain “areas of critical state concern” (ACSC) that require further oversight by the state and further planning activities at the local level (or by the state).

  • Designated Areas of Critical State Concern are: --City of Apalachicola (much of Franklin Co. de-designated in 1993) --City of Key West --Green Swamp --Florida Keys (Monroe County) --Big Cypress Swamp (Miami-Dade, Monroe and Collier counties)

  • FDCA reviews all local development projects within the designated areas and may appeal to the Administration Commission any local development orders that are inconsistent with state guidelines.

  • FDCA also is responsible for reviewing and approving amendments to comprehensive plans and land development regulations proposed by local governments within the designated areas.


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Florida’s Regional Planning Approach

  • Legislation also established a system of regional planning councils to: --coordinate activities of federal, state, and local governments; --ensure a broad-based regional organization that can provide a truly regional perspective; and --enhance the ability and opportunity of local governments to resolve issues and problems transcending their individual boundaries.

  • RPCs are designated as the primary organization to address problems and plan solutions that are of greater-than-local concern or scope.

  • RPCs are Florida's only multipurpose regional entity that is in a position to plan for and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth-related problems on greater-than-local issues, provide technical assistance to local governments, and meet other needs of the communities in each region.

  • Major objectives of the RPCs include: --coordination with the state land planning agency in order to achieve uniformity and consistency in land use information and data collection efforts --provision of a usable and accessible database to local governments and the private sector.

From Tinker Presentation (formerly on www.FloridaGrowth.org)


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Florida Regional Planning Councils

Strategic Regional Policy Plans --Affordable Housing --Economic Development --Emergency Preparedness --Regional Transportation --Natural Resources of Regional Significance

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West Florida Regional Planning Council

Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Holmes, Washington

Apalachee Regional Planning Council

Calhoun, Franklin, Liberty, Wakulla, Leon, Gadsden, Jackson, Gulf, Jefferson

North Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Alachua, Union, Bradford, Gilchrist, Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Lafayette

Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council

Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns

Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council

Citrus, Hernando, Levy, Marion, Sumter

East Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Brevard, Lake, Orange, Volusia, Osceola, Seminole

Central Florida Regional Planning Council

DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Polk

Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council

Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Sarasota

Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council

Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie

South Florida Regional Planning Council

Broward, Dade, Monroe


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DRIs: Developments of Regional Impact

  • Legislation also identified special planning needs related to Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs):

    • “any development which, because of its character, magnitude, or location would have a substantial effect upon the health, safety, or welfare of citizens of more than one county.”

  • RPCs are the lead agency in coordinating DRIs.

  • FDCA review DRIs for compliance with state law and to identify the regional and state impacts of large-scale developments. The Department makes recommendations to local governments for approving, suggesting mitigation conditions, or not approving proposed developments.

  • The Local Government adopts or denies the Development Order.

  • A developer, the local government or DCA may appeal local government decisions to the Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission.

  • Roughly 1,200 have been approved in the state since 1973, with an additional several thousand DRI amendments since 1986.


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9J-5: FL Administrative Code

  • In addition to state statutes outlining the general purposes and intentions of the Legislature, local planning agencies also must comply with “FAC 9J-5”.

  • 9J-5 is the Florida Administrative Code (FAC) that applies to the preparation and review of local comprehensive plans.

  • 9J-5 “establishes minimum criteria for the preparation, review, and determination of compliance of comprehensive plans and plan amendments pursuant to… Chapter 163, F.S.”

  • 9J-5 “establishes criteria implementing the legislative mandate that local comprehensive plans be consistent with the appropriate strategic regional policy plan and the State Comprehensive Plan.”


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Local Comprehensive Plans

  • As per guidelines laid out in 9J-5, local comprehensive plans contain “elements” (chapters) that address: --future land use --housing --transportation --infrastructure --conservation --recreation and open space --intergovernmental coordination --capital improvements --coastal management (if applicable)There are other optional elements as well (historic preservation or economic development, for example)

  • Comprehensive plans must also include:--Goals, Objectives, and Policies (GOPs)--Plan monitoring and evaluation procedures--A map showing future land use


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Comp Plans: Living Documents

  • With a finding of compliance for the comprehensive plans of almost all jurisdictions of Florida in the early 1990s, attention has turned to monitoring the implementation of these plans and the updating of these plans to reflect community changes and new state policies.

  • This is handled primarily in one of three ways:

  • 1) Small Comp Plan Amendments (continuous)

  • 2) Comp Plan Amendment Process (bi-annual updates)

  • 3) Evaluation and Appraisal Reports (regular, but longer- term updates)


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Small-Scale Plan Amendments

  • Small-scale comp plan amendments can be made at any time, provided they fit the following criteria:

  • --The proposed amendment involves a use of 10 acres or fewer and:

  • -The cumulative effect is small (thresholds in Chap 163) -Proposed property has not been changed in the last year -There is no text change to the GOPs of the comp plan -Property is not in an ACSC -Less than 10 units per acre density

  • FDCA will not as a matter of course review small scale amendments, but “affected persons” can file a petition to challenge the proposed amendment.

  • Recent changes to state law speed small-scale amendments through the process (part of the Governor’s streamlining of the GM process).


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Large-Scale Comp Plan Amendments

  • Large-scale comp plan amendments can be made no more than two times per year.

  • These larger comp plan amendments typically come in one of two varieties: 1) Text Amendments: changes to the language in the comp plan, often involving the GOPs stated in the plan 2) Map Amendments: changes to the future land use map

  • For large-scale amendments, two public hearings are required: 1) A hearing to consider the amendment 2) A hearing to consider the amendment for adoption

  • Each large-scale amendment must be submitted for review by FDCA, the RPC, other state agencies, and any other affected persons requesting a copy at two stages: 1) The proposed amendment stage 2) The adopted amendment stage


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FDCA Amendment Procedures

  • After a local government submits a proposed comprehensive plan amendment, the Department issues a report based on its review providing any objections, recommendations and comments (ORC Reports).

  • After receipt of the ORC report from FDCA, a local government has 60 days to adopt, adopt with changes, or decide not to adopt the amendment.

  • Once the local government responds, the FDCA issues a “Notice of Intent” indicating a finding of “in compliance” or “not in compliance”.

  • The local government or other “affected persons” can challenge the compliance finding.

  • Reminder: FDCA does not review small-scale amendments.


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Evaluation and Appraisal Reports (EARs)

  • Pursuant to Section 163.3191, F.S., "each local government shall adopt an evaluation and appraisal report (EAR) once every seven years assessing the progress in implementing the local government's comprehensive plan."

  • Additionally, regular reviews of planning documents are essential to effective planning at all levels. (the “feedback loop” in the planning process)

  • EARs, therefore, are state mandated reviews of a local jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan and the progress in achieving the goals of their plan.

  • EARs are prepared at the local level and reviewed by the state, regional planning bodies, and adjacent local jurisdictions.

    Note: Much of this material is taken from an excellent summary of the EAR process and EAR requirements put together by FDCA. It is available online at:http://www.dca.state.fl.us/fdcp/DCP/ear/indexear.htm


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The Purposes of EARs

The purposes of EARs include:

1) Identify major issues facing the community

2) Review past actions of the local government in implementing the plan since the last EAR

3) Assess the degree to which plan objectives have been achieved

4) Assess both successes and shortcomings of the plan

5) Identify ways that the plan should be changed, such as

--Respond to changing conditions and trends affecting the local community

--Respond to the need for new data

--Respond to changes in state requirements regarding growth management and development

--Respond to changes in regional plans

6) Ensure effective intergovernmental coordination


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Issues with Florida’s “EARs”

  • Limiting EAR Content to local subject matter--Prior to 1998, EAR reqs were uniform; every local government had to generate similar reports with standardized content. Legislation adopted in 1998 allows a local government to evaluate only those issues that pertain to and affect the local jurisdiction. These are deemed “local issues”.--Only major issues that affect a community’s ability to achieve its comp plan goals need to be addressed in the EAR.--The local government generally is responsible for identifying local issues, with help from the state, regional governments, adjacent local governments, and/or the public.--Identified local issues should be summarized in a letter to DCA requesting their agreement with the issues. (“Letter of Understanding”)

  • Adopting the EAR--The elected body must hold a public hearing for the adoption of the EAR.

  • Finding of Sufficiency--Within 90 days DCA makes a finding of “sufficient” or “insufficient”.

  • Local Government Due Dates


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The Role of Infra in FL’s GM System

Infrastructure plays an essential role in GM as conceived and implemented in Florida.

1) The concurrency requirement mandates that local government set Level of Service (LOS) standards for six types of public facilities (roads, sewers, water, solid waste, drainage, parks & rec) and these standards guide the approval process for proposed developments.

2) Among the development controls that can be used to deal with sprawl are (9J-5.006):

-Urban Service Areas -Urban Growth Boundaries -Phasing of Urban Growth -Infra Extension Controls

3) In addition, DCA pushed areas to develop an infrastructure and development database (a “concurrency management system”) to help further develop the linkage between the comprehensive planning process and the CIP process.


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Florida’s Concurrency Policy: What Went Wrong?

  • Although extremely well-intentioned and an innovative policy from the outset, concurrency has had some major shortcomings.

  • Funding Concurrency:A lack of funding from the state, leaving almost all funding to the local level. Another “unfunded mandate”.

  • School Concurrency: Originally included, then removed, now optional for local governments. Not dealt with because school concurrency required more coordination (school districts) and because schools are the largest budget item for the state.

  • Complicated Policy: Concurrency in practice was/is very messy, reflected by the issues of: --Existing (Back logs) vs New Roads (Keeping up) --Vesting (Capacity Reservation)

  • The legislature and the DCA sought and put into place politically expedient solutions and vague language, rather than specific policy direction.

  • --Flexibility in approaches to and timing of concurrency

  • --Different, locally determined standards allowed


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Florida’s GM Efforts Summarized

  • Strengths of Florida’s System

  • The Infrastructure  Development linkage

  • Protection of sensitive areas

  • Linkage of broad state goals to local policies

  • Promotion of compact urban form in word

  • Attempts at vertical and horizontal consistency

  • Appropriateness to fast-growing urban areas

  • Procedures for making Comp Plans into “living documents”

  • Weaknesses of Florida’s System

  • A lack of state funding of planning efforts

  • A lack of state funding of desperately needed infrastructure

  • A very “user unfriendly” system

  • Promotion of leapfrog development in deed

  • Inappropriateness to slow growing rural areas

  • Onerous consistency requirements


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Recent Efforts at Reforming Florida’s GM System

  • In recent years, Governor Bush has pushed for revamping Florida’s GM system because he perceives that the system established in 1985 is not the system we need in place now.

  • A Growth Management Study Commission (www.FloridaGrowth.org) was appointed to study GM issues in the state and they presented their Final Report in 2001.

  • Those areas the Governor and GMSC would like to see addressed are:

  • Redefine the Proper Role of the State. Less “command and control” by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). As the State’s representative, the DCA should be more involved as a mediator and promoter of good planning (“Dept of Community Assistance”).

  • Better tie the costs of development to the true costs of new development to the community. (Fiscal Impact Modeling)

  • Improve citizen involvement in the process.

  • Find ways to make communities more livable.

  • Address the infrastructure funding problem.

  • Better linkage of school planning and comp planning (Achieved with SB1906’s passage in 2002).


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For More Information on Florida’s GM System

FLORIDA RESOURCES

Florida Department of Community Affairs Home Page

http://www.dca.state.fl.us/

DCA’s Division of Community Planning

http://www.dca.state.fl.us/fdcp/DCP/index.htm

Florida’s Growth Management Study Commission

http://www.floridagrowth.org/

Info on Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs)

http://www.dca.state.fl.us/fdcp/DCP/DRIFQD/dris.htm

OTHER RESOURCES

SmartGrowth Online: www.smartgrowth.org/

Nat’l Center for Smart Growth Research: www.smartgrowth.umd.edu/

Growth Management Institute:http://www.gmionline.org/


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Examples from TLC Comp Plan

  • Following are items from the Future Land Use Element of the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan:

    1) TLC Future Land Use Goals, Objectives, Policies

    2) TLC’s Urban Service Area Strategy

    3) Urban Fringe Growth Areas

    4) County Future Land Use Map

    5) Urban Area Future Land Use Map


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Future Land Use Goals

Goal 1

The Comprehensive Plan shall protect and enhance the quality of life in this community by providing economically sound [land use] opportunities to its citizens while channeling inevitable growth into locations and activities that protect the natural and aesthetic environments and residential neighborhoods.

Goal 2

Provide for a high quality of life by planning for population growth, public and private development and redevelopment and the proper distribution, location and extent of land uses by type, density and intensity consistent with adequate levels of services and efficient use of facilities and the protection of natural resources and residential neighborhoods.

Goal 3

Tallahassee-Leon County should continue to grow with an emphasis on selected growth that pays for itself through the provision of well paid jobs and economic leverage factors which enhance the quality of life of the community.


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Selected Comp Plan Objectives/Policies

Objective 1.1 (LU)

Direct development to those areas which have in place, or have agreements to provide, the land and water resources, fiscal abilities, and the service capacity to accommodate growth in an environmentally acceptable manner.

Policy 1.1.1:In order to discourage urban sprawl, new development shall be concentrated in the urban service area…

Policy 1.1.2: Improvement of capital infrastructure shall be provided within the designated urban service area and shall be phased over the life of the plan.

Policy 1.1.3:Capital infrastructure designed to support urban density outside the Urban Service Area shall be prohibited. Capital infrastructure which is designed or intended to provide services to the population of the Urban Service Area may be located outside the Urban Service Area. This policy includes but is not limited to landfill, spray irrigation facilities, and inter-county transportation roadways.

Policy 1.1.5: Growth shall be directed to where excess facilities capacity currently exists within the urban service area as identified within the individual plan elements.


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Selected Comp Plan Objectives/Policies

Objective 1.3 (LU)

Achieve and maintain the adopted level of service standards set forth within the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan.

Policy 1.3.1: Before a development order or permit is issued, local government shall ensure that the adopted level of service standards for the affected public facilities will be maintained…

Objective 1.1: (CI)

Define types of public facilities, establish standards for levels of service for each type of public facility, and determine what capital improvements are needed in order to achieve and maintain the standards for existing and future populations, and to repair or replace existing public facilities.


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TLC’s Urban Service Area Strategy

Language from the TLC Comp Plan on the USA includes:

  • “The principal growth management strategy of the Comprehensive Plan is the Urban Service Area (USA) concept.” (emphasis added)

  • “The USA is the compact area in which urban infrastructure is presently available or anticipated to be furnished within the planning horizon, which is the year 2020.”

  • “Growth management is achieved by controlling the timing, location and capacity of infrastructure.” (emphasis added)

  • “The Urban Service Area (USA) consists of those areas which should be permitted to develop to urban levels of density or intensity either presently or over the course of the planning period to 2020.”

  • “Areas presently lacking infrastructure but located within the USA may be developed but at substantially lower densities and/or intensities than could be achieved with full infrastructure. The allowable densities and/or intensities would increase substantially as infrastructure becomes available. Hence, premature development is, in effect, penalized.” (emphasis added)


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TLC’s Urban Service Area Strategy

The Urban Service Area strategy has the following implications for capital improvement budgeting:

1) Capital infrastructure will not be programmed or extended to areas outside the designated urban service area unless the infrastructure is needed to serve population located within the Urban Service Area.

2) Areas within the Urban Service Area can expect capital infrastructure and services to be available within the time frame of the plan (2010 for Phase I and 2020 for Phase II (Effective 4/18/02)).

3) Capital improvement projects or expenditures designed to support urban density outside of the Urban Service Area will not occur outside the designated Urban Service Area unless a demonstrated hardship can be shown.


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Urban Fringe Future Land Use

  • The Urban Fringe future land use category are those areas where future development is to be expected/directed.

  • The urban fringe is “acreage located primarily on the urbanized fringe presently characterized by low density residential and/or open space or agricultural activity.”

  • “Extension of urban services into developable portions of the fringe to accommodate future population growth may be programmed during later period of Plan's scope (2005-2010) as urban service area is adjusted.”

  • “Designed to discourage sprawl and promote growth management by not allowing higher densities or intensities of land on the periphery of the USA until urban services are available.”

  • “Future urbanization of county beyond scope of the Plan likely to take place in present areas designated Urban Fringe.”