Developments of Regional Impact

The Florida Legislature first visited the subject of growth management and comprehensive planning in 1972 with the adoption of two land use programs:

  1. Areas of Critical State Concern Program, which protects areas of critical state concern through state designation and,
  2. Developments of Regional Impact Program, which provides a process to identify regional impacts stemming from large developments and appropriate provisions to mitigate these impacts (Section 380.06, Florida Statutes - Developments of Regional Impact).

The Rules governing Developments of Regional impact are set forth in Rule 73C-40, Florida Administrative Code (see Community Planning: Rules of Procedure and Practice Pertaining to Developments of Regional Impact).

The department reviews developments of regional impact for compliance with state law and to identify the regional and state impacts of large-scale developments and makes recommendations to local governments for approving, suggesting mitigation conditions, or not approving proposed developments. The developer or the department may appeal local government decisions to the Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission.

Definition of "Development of Regional Impact"

Pursuant to Section 380.06(1), Florida Statutes, a development of regional impact is “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.” A Development of Regional Impact is determined in part based on the size of the development. Numerical thresholds for different types of development are identified in Section 380.0651, Florida Statutes, and Rule 28-24, Florida Administrative Code. Depending on the size of the project the determination of whether the project is a Development of Regional Impact may be based upon whether the development is significantly impacting state and regional resources and facilities. If the project is at 100 percent or between 100 and 120 percent of numerical threshold it is presumed that the project must undergo Development of Regional Impact review. However, this presumption may be rebutted. If the project exceeds the applicable threshold(s) by 20 percent or more then the development must undergo Development of Regional Impact review.

Statutory Changes Affecting Development of Regional Impact

Substantial Deviation Thresholds

A new provision was added to Sub-subparagraph 380.06(19)(e)2.k, Florida Statutes. This is an addition to the list of changes that are not substantial deviations and states that changes which do not increase external peak hour trips and do not reduce open space / conserved areas are not substantial deviations. For more information regarding the interpretation of House Bill 979 as it relates to the new provision please see the following:

2011 Statutory Changes Affecting Development of Regional Impacts

Development of Regional Impact Thresholds

  • The following development types were eliminated from Development of Regional Impact review guidelines and standards in Section 380.0651(3), Florida Statutes:
    • Multiscreen movie theaters
    • Industrial plants, industrial parks and distribution, warehousing or wholesaling facilities
    • Hotel or motel development
  • Section 380.06(24)(t), Florida Statutes, provides a statutory exemption from Development of Regional Impact review for any proposed solid mineral mine and any proposed change or addition to an existing solid mineral mine.
  • The Florida Legislature established sector plans as an alternative to the developments of regional impact process (see the Sector Planning Program).

Substantial Deviation Thresholds

  • Section 380.06(19)(b), Florida Statutes, was revised as follows:
    • The substantial deviation thresholds were changed to reflect the deletion of the development types and the mining exemption listed above.
    • The substantial deviation thresholds for an attraction and recreation facility were increased. The change increased the threshold for parking spaces from 10 to 15 percent, and from 300 to 500 spaces. The change increased the threshold for the number of spectators that may be accommodated from 10 to 15 percent and from 1,100 to 1,500 spectators.
    • The threshold for increases in land area for office development was changed from 10 to 15 percent. The threshold for increases in gross floor area was changed from 10 to 15 percent and from 66,000 gross square feet to 100,000 gross square feet.
    • The threshold for increases in commercial development changed from 55,000 square feet of gross floor area to 60,000 square feet of gross floor area. The parking space threshold changed from 330 cars to 425 cars.

Essentially Built Out Thresholds

  • Section 380.06(15)(g), Florida Statutes, was revised to increase the amount of development that may remain to be built for a Development of Regional Impact to be eligible for consideration as essentially built out. The criteria was changed from 20 percent to 40 percent of the Development of Regional Impact threshold.

Aggregation Criteria

  • The aggregation criteria set forth in Section 380.0651(4), Florida Statutes, for determining when two or more developments are part of a unified plan of development were revised. The projects would now need to be shown to meet three of four criteria specified in Section 380.0651(4)(a), Florida Statutes, to be considered a unified plan of development. The previous criteria regarding the voluntary sharing of infrastructure by the developments was eliminated.

Buildout Date Extensions

  • A four year extension to Development of Regional Impact commencement, phase, buildout, and expiration dates for projects that are currently valid Development of Regional Impacts was provided for in Section 380.06(19)(c), Florida Statutes. Also, a two year extension for Development of Regional Impacts that meet specific criteria was provided in Footnote 3E to Section 380.06. For additional information on the criteria for the two year extension as well as details on the four year extensions and other previous legislative extensions provided for Development of Regional Impacts, see Buildout Date Extensions including the most recent tolling extensions for 2012, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

Development of Regional Impact Exemption for Dense Urban Land Areas

Transportation Concurrency Proportionate-Share Provisions

  • The Transportation Concurrency proportionate-share provisions for Development of Regional Impacts were revised and are now located in Section 163.3180(5)(h)3., Florida Statutes. The changes specify the type of improvements eligible for mitigation, provide a definition of transportation deficiency, state that the cost of correcting transportation deficiencies shall be removed from the project’s proportionate share calculation, and require that impact fees paid or payable in the future shall be credited against the proportionate share amount.

Procedures for Submitting Developments of Regional Impact

Developments of Regional Impact - Thresholds

Developments of Regional Impact - Procedures

Developments of Regional Impact - Status

Developments of Regional Impact - Forms

Florida Quality Developments Program

The Florida Quality Developments Program was created to encourage development which has been thoughtfully planned to take into consideration protection of Florida's natural amenities, the cost to local government of providing services to a growing community, and the high quality of life Floridians desire. Developments that meet the Florida Quality Development standards can expect an expeditious and timely review and are allowed to use the Florida Quality Development certification mark for promotional, informational or advertising purposes. There are 18 developments designated as Florida Quality Developments. (For more information, see Status of Florida Quality Developments and Section 380.061, Florida Statutes - The Florida Quality Developments Program).

An application for a Florida Quality Development is handled in much the same way as an application for a development of regional impact. The development of regional impact application form is utilized and an additional section is added to the application to consider the specific Florida Quality Development requirements.

The department and the appropriate local government determine if a development has met the Florida Quality Development requirements. A finding of nondesignation may be appealed. Unlike developments of regional impact, Florida Quality Development orders are issued by the department, not by the local government. Developments undergoing Florida Quality Development review are allowed to convert to a standard developments of regional impact at anytime during the process.

Additional Information

For more information, please go to the Community Planning Review Team Assignments page and contact the planner assigned to your region.


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