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Thread: Florida issues

  1. #1

    Florida issues

    Not sure if this would be the place for this or not, but I was just curious. For anybody working either side of the public/private fence in Florida, what issues do you find most challenging in dealing with the land use/growth management laws (especially in comparison to other states)?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    One word: Concurrency.

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0163/SEC3180.HTM&Title=->2006->Ch0163->Section%203180#0163.3180

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    One word: Concurrency.

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0163/SEC3180.HTM&Title=->2006->Ch0163->Section%203180#0163.3180
    That is pretty much what I have heard as well. What is your opinion of the concurrency issue? In theory, it makes sense. But in practice, is it accomplishing what it sets out to do? (My thinking is that it all depends on how individual communities are applying it)

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    One word: Concurrency.

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0163/SEC3180.HTM&Title=->2006->Ch0163->Section%203180#0163.3180
    what's that?

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    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    In addition to concurrency, the one that I got from DCA all the time was urban sprawl because the comp plans are so behind the times.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    Connectivity....of neighborhoods....but then again, old people don't have any interest in talking to that "other" neighborhood....

    Florida concurrency breeds sprawl....just look at any of the major cities......more on this if someone dares deny it....

    There should have been a policy for "immediate adjacency" back in the 1970's....but alas....poor Urich....

    Florida has got the tourism thing down to a science.....
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Florida concurrency breeds sprawl....just look at any of the major cities......more on this if someone dares deny it....
    Concurrency is supposed to be a backstop not a guarantee to developers that is they pony up for infrastructure they can get their approvals. Ideally the comp plan should set the growth thresholds, but they are amended willy-nilly. This is because local govts can't say no to development and it ends up being an orgy of road building which breeds more sprawl.
    Is it concurrency in itself or how it is applied? I have seen local governments use concurrency to rein in sprawl. What say you?

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    You know, I think this would do better in a different subforum. Not a criticism. I think I made the same mistake some weeks back and got almost no response to something I posted in this subforum that probably belongs elsewhere (where? I have no clue). Of course, maybe in my case it is not the subforum. I don't seem to have much talent for starting threads.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone View post
    Off-topic:
    You know, I think this would do better in a different subforum. Not a criticism. I think I made the same mistake some weeks back and got almost no response to something I posted in this subforum that probably belongs elsewhere (where? I have no clue). Of course, maybe in my case it is not the subforum. I don't seem to have much talent for starting threads.
    Yeah, I wasn't really sure where to start this so I just picked here. Some good responses though! I definitely appreciate the feedback. I want to hear as much as I can about the "real" planning issues in Florida (by real, I mean what the frontline planners are dealing with on a daily basis). So keep em coming, and if anybody has any suggestions on a better place for this thread feel free to comment

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WouldBePlanner View post
    Yeah, I wasn't really sure where to start this so I just picked here. Some good responses though! I definitely appreciate the feedback. I want to hear as much as I can about the "real" planning issues in Florida (by real, I mean what the frontline planners are dealing with on a daily basis). So keep em coming, and if anybody has any suggestions on a better place for this thread feel free to comment
    Maybe you should PM a mod and ask for assistance in replanting your little thread someplace where it is more likely to thrive.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by WouldBePlanner View post
    Yeah, I wasn't really sure where to start this so I just picked here. <snip> ... and if anybody has any suggestions on a better place for this thread feel free to comment
    Moderator note:
    The mods discussed which subforum is the appropriate place for this thread and the consensus is that Cities and Places is indeed the best choice.

    The topic, which touches on planning and development control issues, could be placed in either Make No Small Plans or Land Use, Zoning and Development Control. However, the concentration on these issues specific to Florida seals the deal.

    As always, if any member has a question about where to post a thread, contact a moderator and we'll be happy to help you figure the best sub-forum.

    Finally, rather than soiling a thread with off-topic responses about the appropriate sub-forum, report the post instead. Got it?

    The thread will stay here. Carry on.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 31 Jan 2007 at 1:55 PM.
    Je suis Charlie

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Good point....

    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Concurrency is supposed to be a backstop not a guarantee to developers that is they pony up for infrastructure they can get their approvals. Ideally the comp plan should set the growth thresholds, but they are amended willy-nilly. This is because local govts can't say no to development and it ends up being an orgy of road building which breeds more sprawl.
    Is it concurrency in itself or how it is applied? I have seen local governments use concurrency to rein in sprawl. What say you?
    Petaluma California is supposed to be one of the best first examples of how to use concurrency the "right" way......anyone know if it worked out that way? Last time I drove through, it looked like they had the intestinal fortitude to keep sprawl away.... I think Florida started out with good infrastructure intentions, then got gobbled up by growth numbers
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    This is because local govts can't say no to development and it ends up being an orgy of road building which breeds more sprawl.

    Either that or the local government has inadequate staff or incompetent staff, or no backbone to deal with some of the issues and the solutions to them. A lot of the smaller municipalities are like that.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator View post
    Either that or the local government has inadequate staff or incompetent staff, or no backbone to deal with some of the issues and the solutions to them. A lot of the smaller municipalities are like that.
    I hate planning directors with no backbone to stand up to the City Manager, political leadership, developers, etc. They are pretty much worthless because their job is supposed to be as a cultivator of ideas.

  15. #15
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator View post
    Either that or the local government has inadequate staff or incompetent staff, or no backbone to deal with some of the issues and the solutions to them. A lot of the smaller municipalities are like that.
    RJ can't be that bad. You're mean.

    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian graciela's avatar
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    I think the panhandle of Florida is on the brink of destruction. There are some wonderful little fishing villages that are scattered up and down the coast. They are the sort of places that only the locals know about and have supported fishermen for generations. The local governments are weak and some people are taking advantage of that. I would love to see some of these sleepy little villages protected in some way.

    A good example is the little village of Spring Creek. There are 14 freshwater springs that feed into the ocean. The larger springs push millions of gallons of freshwater out a day. The result is a very unique ecosystem. Sadly, development north of the springs has caused some of them not to flow at all. Most notably, the largest spring known as the cold hole eith does not flow or will suck in salt water.. Very sad. There is also a gentleman who has managed to get a building permit for a home on a sliver of limestone between two of the springs. I am afraid of what is going to happen once construction starts. It is a real mess down there and no-one seems to care! People often times forget about the rural areas.

    Another big danger in my mind is the 40 miles of coast line that St. Joe owns. When I did my internship in Tallahassee, they were working as hard as possible to create as much development as they could. They are slowly working on turning the forgotten coast into the rest of Florida. The goal is to wall everything off from the general public.

    Here are some pics of spring creek and the cold hole.





  17. #17
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by graciela View post
    I think the panhandle of Florida is on the brink of destruction. [snip]
    Another big danger in my mind is the 40 miles of coast line that St. Joe owns. When I did my internship in Tallahassee, they were working as hard as possible to create as much development as they could. They are slowly working on turning the forgotten coast into the rest of Florida. The goal is to wall everything off from the general public.
    This might make me look like a whore, but I'm going to stick up for Joe. To the best of my knowledge, they've never constructed a high-rise on the Gulf, their residential developments are attractive and desirable, and the projects are designed to preserve sensitive natural environments. Oh, and then there's this from today's paper:

    PANAMA CITY BEACH
    Environmental tourism could become the next marketing niche for Panama City Beach, with a plan by The St. Joe Co. and the National Audubon Society to build a state-of-the-art nature center on a 7,000-acre site at West Bay.

    More than 40,000 acres in the sector plan comprise the West Bay Preservation Area, in which the center would be located.
    http://www.newsherald.com/headlines/...splay.php?a=97

  18. #18
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    This might make me look like a whore, but I'm going to stick up for Joe. To the best of my knowledge, they've never constructed a high-rise on the Gulf, their residential developments are attractive and desirable, and the projects are designed to preserve sensitive natural environments.
    I've only seen their projects in Tallahassee by DCA and I thought they were decent, preserved the big oaks at least.

  19. #19
    Anybody have any thoughts/opinions on the DRI requirements?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Yes, I personally like DRIs because there are too many issues that should be addressed on a large scale rather than a local level. In a number of the jurisdictions that I worked for, if it were not for the RPCs and DCA, development would be truly uncontrolled. I, do not, however like how much they watered things down for developers. Can't elaborate more on the DRI issues at the moment.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WouldBePlanner View post
    Anybody have any thoughts/opinions on the DRI requirements?
    The DRI process in Florida could be better. The host county has the most power in the process, they will negotite, approve, or deny the development order. The DCA and the RPC (along with the FDOT, FDEP, and others) are in the position of reviewing agency only. The DCA and RPC have lost a lot of power in the process. I am not sure if the DCA lost it, or has chosen to play a quieter role. The battle is with the County. If the County commis. is pro development, nothing can stop a development, it is down to determining how much they will pay. If the County commsh. is not pro development, then there can be a better contest. But, if the infrastructure cost is too much, the developer will just threaten to go 'sub-DRI' and pay a lot less.

    The problem is that most of the developers are only trying to increase the value of their land. They then 'flip' it or sit on it. This winds up tying up a lot of future capacity. And when a development goes belly up, all the developments after it are stuck without the infrastucture improvements the belly up development was on the hook for.

    Even though there are problems with the DRI process, if we want to think and act regionally, it may be all we have to take us in that direction. It is my hope the the process will grow some more teeth (SB 360), and eventully more resposible development will occur.

    There is a lot more to it, in fact the DRI requirements have spwaned a cottage-industry that could take pages to detail.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally posted by Flying Monkeys View post
    The DRI process in Florida could be better. The host county has the most power in the process, they will negotite, approve, or deny the development order. The DCA and the RPC (along with the FDOT, FDEP, and others) are in the position of reviewing agency only. The DCA and RPC have lost a lot of power in the process. I am not sure if the DCA lost it, or has chosen to play a quieter role. The battle is with the County.
    .
    Hmm, that sounds a lot like typical government If I had to guess, I would bet that the DCA has respectfully chosen to play a quieter role (aka, let somebody else take the heat). The sad fact in all of government is that cooperation always sounds great and looks like the best option on paper, but in reality it can be a nightmare to all parties involved. I think the problem stems from the fact that government is set up to be a slow, laborious process. By nature, it doesn't breed an overly cooperative environment. When most people hear terms like "inter-departmental" they usually think "more red tape." But that's just the bureaucrat in me talking

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    I would say that the RPCs have lost a lot of power, but DCA has not lost of all if its power. Quite frankly having been an employee of an RPC, I can tell you that it depends on the area of the state and how much pull DCA has in order to enforce the rules. It also depends on the developer.

    As far as sub-DRIs, it is always a huge threat. The RPCs are doing a much better job at educating their regions about the impacts of the sub-DRIs vs. DRIs. However, we all know that commissioners do get excited about a tax base regardless of how much it could effect them. I know while I was working with an RPC, we were doing a lot of education about developments in the other counties. It was really exciting to see how commissioners who were only concerned about his/her own community started to see the cummalative effects. As a result, commissioners were starting to say that if it isn't a DRI, we don't want to see it.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm....

    Quote Originally posted by Trail Nazi View post
    I would say that the RPCs have lost a lot of power, but DCA has not lost of all if its power. Quite frankly having been an employee of an RPC, I can tell you that it depends on the area of the state and how much pull DCA has in order to enforce the rules. It also depends on the developer.

    As far as sub-DRIs, it is always a huge threat. The RPCs are doing a much better job at educating their regions about the impacts of the sub-DRIs vs. DRIs. However, we all know that commissioners do get excited about a tax base regardless of how much it could effect them. I know while I was working with an RPC, we were doing a lot of education about developments in the other counties. It was really exciting to see how commissioners who were only concerned about his/her own community started to see the cummalative effects. As a result, commissioners were starting to say that if it isn't a DRI, we don't want to see it.
    Sub-DRI? Do you mean LAC's or Local Activity Centers? At least that's what they are called in the State Statutes in Florida......what other Sub-DRI's might you be referring to, just out of curiousity? I liked the idea of LAC's in Florida, because they were somewhere between a nuclear bomb and a firecracker as a response to local needs, DRI's being the nuclear bomb approach Taking the most time, requiring the most work, absolutely needing a solid proven private backer, or else they tended to fail every time.
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    For one jurisdiction that I worked for, the legislature upped the ante and allowed certain jurisdictions that are "economically concerned" a 2.5 times higher threshold for the DRI standards. For example, a county that was had a 250 d.u. threshold was now allowed 625 d.u. before being considered a DRI. (Keep in mind these counties barely have any teeth in their comp plans to prevent growth/help build smart growth.) As a result, the small rural counties that could barely handle a development with 250 d.u. are now seeing developers come in and proposing developments usually around 560 d.u. (a sub-DRI definitely not a LAC) and being somewhat strapped on how to handle the developments. Sometimes these developments can get away with not having to go the the LSLUA process because the jurisdiction has a 1 du/acre regulation. (Hello, sprawl.) Therefore, the jurisdictions have put in new regulations that if a developer wanted to develop in the county, they would have to complete a study that is very similar to a DRI if they were under the DRI threshold in order to prevent the sub-DRI problem. They also were able to get the RPC, DOT, WMD, and DEP on-board to help them combat the legislature's infinite wisdom.

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