Highlights From Chapter 163, Part II, Florida Statutes

Section 163.3177, Florida Statutes - Required and optional elements of comprehensive plan; studies and surveys

A conservation element for the conservation, use, and protection of natural resources in the area, including air, water, water recharge areas, wetlands, waterwells, estuarine marshes, soils, beaches, shores, flood plains, rivers, bays, lakes, harbors, forests, fisheries and wildlife, marine habitat, minerals, and other natural and environmental resources, including factors that affect energy conservation.

The following natural resources, where present within the local government's boundaries, shall be identified and analyzed and existing recreational or conservation uses, known pollution problems, including hazardous wastes, and the potential for conservation, recreation, use or protection shall also be identified:

  • Rivers, bays, lakes, wetlands including estuarine marshes, groundwaters, and springs, including information on quality of the resource available.
  • Floodplains
  • Areas known to have experienced soil erosion problems.

The element must contain principles, guidelines, and standards for conservation that provide long-term goals and which:

  • Designates environmental sensitive lands for protection based on locally determined criteria which further the goals and objectives of the conservation element.
  • Protects and conserves wetlands and the natural function of wetlands
  • Directs future land uses that are incompatible with the protection and conservation of wetlands and wetland functions away from the wetlands. The type, intensity or density, extent, distribution, and location of allowable land uses and the types, values, functions, sizes, conditions, and locations of wetlands are land use factors that shall be considered when directing incompatible uses way from wetlands. Land uses shall be distributed in a manner that minimizes the effect and impact on wetlands. The protection and conservation of wetlands by the direction of incompatible land uses away from wetlands shall occur in a combination with other principles, guidelines, standards, and strategies in the comprehensive plan. Where incompatible land uses are allowed to occur, mitigation shall be considered as one means to compensate for loss of wetland functions.

For those units of local government identified in Section 380.24, a coastal management element, appropriately related to the particular requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) and meeting the requirements of s. 163.3178(2) and (3). The coastal management element shall set forth the principles, guidelines, standards and strategies that shall guide the local government's decisions and program implementation with respect to the following objectives:

  1. Maintain, restore, and enhance the overall quality of the coastal zone environment, including, but not limited to, its amenities and aesthetic values.
  2. Preserved the continued existence of viable populations of all species of wildlife and marine life.
  3. Protect the orderly and balanced utilization and preservation, consistent with sound conservation principles, of all living and nonliving coastal zone resources.
  4. Avoid irreversible and irretrievable loss of coastal zone resources.
  5. Use ecological planning principles and assumptions to be used in the determination of suitability and extent of permitted development.
  6. Limit public expenditures that subsidize development in coastal high-hazard areas.
  7. Protect human life against the effects of natural disasters.
  8. Direct the orderly development, maintenance, and use of ports identified in s. 403.021(9) to facilitate deepwater commercial navigation and other related activities.
  9. Preserve historic and archaeological resources, which include the sensitive adaptive use of these resources.
  10. At the option of the local government, develop an adaptation action area designation for those low-lying coastal zones that are experiencing coastal flooding due to extreme high tides and storm surge and are vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea level. Local governments that adopt an adaptation action area may consider policies within the coastal management element to improve resilience to coastal flooding resulting from high-tide events, storm surge, flash floods, stormwater runoff, and related impacts of sea level rise. Criteria for the adaptation action area may include, but need not be limited to, areas for which the land elevations are below, at, or near mean higher high water, which have a hydrologic connection to coastal waters, or which are designated as evacuation zones for storm surge.

The future land use element shall include a future land use map or map series.

The following natural resources or conditions shall be shown on the future land use map or map series, if applicable:

  • Beaches and shores, including estuarine systems
  • Rivers, bays, lakes, floodplains, and harbors
  • Wetlands
  • Minerals and soils
  • Coastal high hazard areas

163.3178 Coastal Management

The Legislature recognizes there is significant interest in the resources of the coastal zone of the state. Further, the Legislature recognizes that, in the event of a natural disaster, the state may provide financial assistance to local governments for the reconstruction of roads, sewer systems, and other public facilities. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that local government comprehensive plans restrict development activities where such activities would damage or destroy coastal resources, and that such plans protect human life and limit public expenditures in areas that are subject to destruction by natural disaster.

A component which outlines principles for hazard mitigation and protection of human life against the effects of natural disaster, including population evacuation, which take into consideration the capability to safely evacuate the density of coastal population proposed in the future land use plan element in the event of an impending natural disaster. The Division of Emergency Management shall manage the update of the regional hurricane evacuation studies, ensure such studies are done in a consistent manner, and ensure that the methodology used for modeling storm surge is that used by the National Hurricane Center.

Designation of the coastal high hazard area and the criteria for mitigation for a comprehensive plan amendment in a coastal high hazard area as defined in subsection (9). The coastal high hazard area is the area below the elevation of the category 1 storm surge line as established by a Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) computerized storm surge model. Application of mitigation and the application of development and redevelopment policies pursuant to s. 380.27(2), and any rules adopted thereunder, shall be at the discretion of local government.

A proposed comprehensive plan amendment shall be found in compliance with state coastal high-hazard provisions if:

  1. The adopted level of service for out-of-county hurricane evacuation is maintained for a category 5 storm event as measured on the Saffir-Simpson scale; or
  2. A 12-hour evacuation time to shelter is maintained for a category 5 storm event as measured on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and shelter space reasonably expected to accommodate the residents of the development contemplated by a proposed comprehensive plan amendment is available; or
  3. Appropriate mitigation is provided that will satisfy subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. Appropriate mitigation shall include, without limitation, payment of money, contribution of land, and construction of hurricane shelters and transportation facilities. Required mitigation may not exceed the amount required for a developer to accommodate impacts reasonably attributed to development. A local government and a developer shall enter into a binding agreement to memorialize the mitigation plan.

For those local governments that have not established a level of service for out-of-county hurricane evacuation by July 1, 2008, by following the process in paragraph (a), the level of service shall be no greater than 16 hours for a category 5 storm event as measured on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

This subsection shall become effective immediately and shall apply to all local governments. No later than July 1, 2008, local governments shall amend their future land use map and coastal management element to include the new definition of coastal high-hazard area and to depict the coastal high-hazard area on the future land use map.

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