SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT'S ROLE
IN THE REVIEW OF
LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMPREHENSIVE PLANS
A. Overview of Items to be Covered
1. Existing District activities in support of local government planning
2. A description of the procedures the District will use in its review of the local
3. Issues that we expect will develop relating to the plan reviews.
B. Existing Efforts in Support of Local Government Planning
1. A wide range of water resource information has been gathered, packaged,
and distributed to the local governments and Regional Planning Councils in
description of District drainage facilities
water supply permitting data
major projects under consideration
surface water quality research
2. The District has worked very closely with the Regional Planning Councils in
the development of their Regional Policy Plans and the State in the
development of the State Comprehensive Plan.
3. The District has developed an office to provide assistance to local
governments. Over the last year and a half this group has channeled the
District's considerable technical expertise and support to local governments.
4. Based on requests from local governments and internal needs, the District has
begun many water resource studies. A major objective of this work will be to
develop comprehensive water management plans for the major basins in the
Pine Island Groundwater Study
Naples Area Groundwater Study
Lee County Groundwater Study
W. Collier Groundwater Study
St. Lucie County Floridian Aquifer Study
St. Lucie County Shallow Aquifer Study
Palm Beach County Floridian Aquifer Study
Palm Beach County Shallow Aquifer Study
Broward County Groundwater Study
Hendry County Groundwater Study
Lake Istokpoga Surface Water Study
C. The Process to Review Local Government Comprehensive Plans
1. The District will review 137 local government plans over a 2 and 1/2 year
period. Half way through that period we will begin to review the local
ordinances required to implement the plans.
2. The focus of the review will be on water related issues. Our specific areas of
concentration will be:
a. Water Supply level of service, salt water intrusion, wellfield protection
and development, solid waste sites, demand management, and
b. Flood Protection level of service, impacts of "grandfathered
subdivisions" and new development, capital facilities programming, and
c. Protection of Environmentally Sensitive Lands SOR lands, wetlands,
Kissimmee River restoration, and aquifer recharge areas
d. Water Quality SWIM project areas, stormwater runoff, and lakes
impacted by development
3. Review Team The District's core review team will be composed of five senior
level planners and engineers. Their major focus will be pinpointing issues for
detailed analyses, analyzing the overall effect of the local government plans
on water resources, and preparing recommendations on action for the
Governing Board. They will be supported by the wide ranging expertise that
the District has developed in the water resource management field.
4. Intergovernmental coordination will be a high priority for us. We will
continue to work very closely with local, regional, and State Government
agencies. One unique feature of our review process will be informal reviews
of priority issues by county.
During these reviews we will invite the affected local governments, the
Regional Planning Councils, and interested State agencies to discuss issues
and concerns with us.
5. We will strive to support and assist local government decision making on
growth management issues impacting water resources. Our approach to
problem solving will be consensus building, not confrontation.
6. Our involvement in the growth management process is long term. We will
continue to be involved in the review of plan amendments, capital
improvement element updates, ordinances to implement the plans, and
ongoing water resource planning.
1. The "consistency doctrine" the law and rules requiring that local
government plans be consistent with State and Regional Policy are not
specific. The definition of this term as it specifically relates to the local
government plans is important.
a. What if the Dept. of Community Affairs finds that a local government plan
is in compliance with the vast majority of policies of the State
Comprehensive Plan, except some important water policies. Will the State
find that the plan, viewed as a whole, is substantially in compliance?
b. Unfortunately, many of the issues relating to the "consistency doctrine"
will probably be settled in the courts. It is very important that the various
levels of government involved in the plan reviews agree to a common
definition of consistency prior to the formal reviews.
2. District Standing as an "affected person" The major role of the District in the
review of the local plans will be as an advisor to the DCA. Our major legal
entry point will be in those cases where we can qualify as an "affected
person" because a property interest of the District is impacted substantially.
How broadly will the definition of an "affected person" be defined?
3. Level of Service Standard Local governments are required to develop level of
service measurements for the provision of capital facilities. In many cases
involving flood control and water supply, existing capacities (defined in many
different ways) are being used. Would a more generalized set of standards
such as those used in highway capacity be useful? Should the Districts
4. Service Delivery Should the District expand upon its traditional role as a
provider of regional water supply and flood protection, especially in areas
undergoing rapid urban growth? Would this role include capital investments
such as those in the Holopaw well field in Osceola County? How should the
design capacity of such public investments be protected?
1. The 1985 Omnibus Planning Act was a bold step forward in the management
of State Resources. The tools are in place for the job that needs to be done.
Whether the job is done well or not depends in large measure on the way
that the various levels of government and the private sector can work
together for the long term good of the State of Florida.