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Thread: Upland habitat preservation/mitigation codes

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Upland habitat preservation/mitigation codes

    The loss of upland habitat associated with development is dealt with by zoning and subdivision regulation in various ways. Generally policies mandate preservation (cluster zoning, minimum tree requirements) or some form of mitigation banking.

    I'm looking for examples of successful mitigation policies and their characteristics. In particular, did the mitigation strategy create a net loss in the sending area by dedicating the funding to a regional resource? Or was it transferred to another local resource? Can anyone refer me to examples of how communities have addressed this, particularly in an urban setting? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Losing Battle

    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    The loss of upland habitat associated with development is dealt with by zoning and subdivision regulation in various ways. Generally policies mandate preservation (cluster zoning, minimum tree requirements) or some form of mitigation banking.

    I'm looking for examples of successful mitigation policies and their characteristics. In particular, did the mitigation strategy create a net loss in the sending area by dedicating the funding to a regional resource? Or was it transferred to another local resource? Can anyone refer me to examples of how communities have addressed this, particularly in an urban setting? Thanks in advance.
    We can't develop in the low lands (5, 10, 20, 40 acre zoning) so what's left. The planners and environmentalists have pushed us into the uplands. So now we have to wring our hands over the gopher tortoise. An expanding population demands the use of this land. It is a waste of time to fight the trend. People are going to go somewhere. As autonomous local districts create unreasonable restrictions, the state will eventually step in and put a stop to it. We are witnessing something like that right now. The State (Florida)is leaning on the counties over the property tax issues.
    In Mass the State stepped in years ago and put a stop to large lot zoning (over 2 acres) and mandated that smaller lots also be provided.
    Cluster type projects must go through a lot of red tape. This will keep a lot of small developers out of it. Its a lot easier to just subdivide and sell single lots. I have more red tape than I can handle now.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    We can't develop in the low lands (5, 10, 20, 40 acre zoning) so what's left. The planners and environmentalists have pushed us into the uplands. So now we have to wring our hands over the gopher tortoise. An expanding population demands the use of this land. It is a waste of time to fight the trend. People are going to go somewhere. As autonomous local districts create unreasonable restrictions, the state will eventually step in and put a stop to it. We are witnessing something like that right now. The State (Florida)is leaning on the counties over the property tax issues.
    In Mass the State stepped in years ago and put a stop to large lot zoning (over 2 acres) and mandated that smaller lots also be provided.
    Cluster type projects must go through a lot of red tape. This will keep a lot of small developers out of it. Its a lot easier to just subdivide and sell single lots. I have more red tape than I can handle now.
    Well, I know the SFWMD permits the mitigation of wetlands. Some local governments have codes that go beyond SFWMD requirements; I don't happen to work for one. I have seen a lot of wetland loss with development. Some of it was questionable engineering-wise (use of exfiltration trench in low areas for instance).

    As far as uplands, you may be aware that pine flatwoods are an endangered vegetative community in South Florida. Yes, we are running out of pine trees. It is pathetic that we let the sprawl and hyper-development get to the point.

    Bu you can't blame the developers for this IMO. The state has adopted a tax system that has basically reduced local governments to serfdom. It has said to them, "in order to meet your needs you need to go after the development community".So developers have to design projects with the maximum density in order to make (what they perceive to be) a reasonable rate of return (and this of course involves destruction of trees and wetlands).

    Counties and cities should be purchasing environmentally sensitive land, IMO this should be a priority. But the politicians and county administrators see things differently.

    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    So now we have to wring our hands over the gopher tortoise.
    That is if the jurisdiction doesn't allow take permits. The consultants I have spoken to have told me that it is not an expensive process to relocate them

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Gopher "Take" permits

    That is if the jurisdiction doesn't allow take permits. The consultants I have spoken to have told me that it is not an expensive process to relocate them[/QUOTE]

    Hello Hildweller,
    I believe that "take" permits are no longer allowed by action of the FWC just taken within the last week or so. I don't know the effective date. I am sure that I read this. It has been in the works for a while now. They also eliminated the require ment for upper respiratory testing. I think Medicare was refusing bills.
    The big expense with relocation is the land to put them on. The cost of suitable land has been quoted at about $6000. an acre. Citrus County was just forced to set aside 40 acres of land they owned for gophers. They can only put 2 tortoises per acre on this land. Minus the number that are already present.This is for their County construction projects. This was a serious loss for them as this property ajoined the State forest and they had been negotiating a trade with the State for land that would have been more useful to them.
    The State doesn't want them in the 70 square mile State forest.
    The Commissioners just grit their teeth when confronted with the issue. They don't want to offend the environmentalists.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    I believe that "take" permits are no longer allowed by action of the FWC just taken within the last week or so. I don't know the effective date.
    Yep, the new policy becomes effective on July 30th. .

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