Title: Group F - Government Management
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004250/00001
 Material Information
Title: Group F - Government Management
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Group F - Government Management (JDV Box 89)
General Note: Box 19, Folder 1 ( Growth Management Conference - 1983 ), Item 12
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004250
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text



Discussion Group Leader:

Mr. Dick Pettigrew

Discussion Group Recorders:

Ms. Gail Albritton

Mr. Bob Palmer

Mr. Jim Apthorp

Rep. Virginia Bass

Mr. Paul Buchman

Mr. Peter Butzin

Rep. Carl Carpenter

Mr. Gabriel Cazares

Mr. Gerald Gunter

Rep. Mary Ellen Hawkins

Mr. Tom Herndon

Mr. Stanley Hole

Sen. Harry Johnston

Mr. Julian Jurgensmeyer

Sen. George Kirkpatrick

Mr. Bill Kundrat

Mr. Don Magruder

Mr. Paul Mashburn





















Jerry Maxwell

John Millican

Bill Ockunzzi

Richard Pettigrew

Lawrie Platt

Carol Rist

Jon Shebel

Jack Skelding

Sam Wright

Marlene Young


















By: Mr. Jay Landers

October, 1983


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the state

environmental permitting process. Although some procedural

improvements have been made through the years, notably the

Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975, there remains on the

state level considerable duplication of permitting functions,

unnecessary delays, and different standards being applied by

different agencies to the same project or activity.

Persons desiring to undertake activities regulated by the

state bear the brunt of these problems. Duplication and delay

can be very costly, and lack of precise knowledge about

applicable standards can make it difficult to properly design and

plan a project. Likewise, these problems result in an

unnecessary waste of resources for the state. By streamlining

the permitting process, the state could achieve the same or

better degree of environmental protection, make better use of its

limited personnel and resources, and possibly free personnel and

resources to perform other needed functions.


The problem then, and the challenge, is to improve the

state environmental permitting process in such a way that both

the public and private sectors will benefit.

The scope of this paper is limited to the issue of streamlining
that state envrionmental permitting process. It does not include
planning as this is the topic of another conference writer. In
addition it does not discuss the relationship of the state
agencies with federal, regional, district, or local governmental
agencies. Finally, the development of regional impact and area
of critical state concern responsibilities are not discussed
since, in this writer's opinion, they are not permitting functions.


The Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975

The first real attempt by the state to improve the

efficiency of the state environmental permitting process was the

Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975. Prior to the 1975 Act,

the state had four principal environmental agencies:

the Department of Pollution Control,

the Department of Natural Resources,

the Trustees of the Internal Improvement

Trust Fund, and

the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.

All except the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission had

substantial permitting responsibilities, and considerable

conflict and overlapping existed among the several agencies.

The Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975 restructured

the state environmental agencies. It abolished the Trustees of

the Internal Improvement Trust Fund as an agency. The land

management functions of the former agency were transferred to the

Department of Natural Resources; the Department of Natural

Resources was to act as staff for the Governor and Cabinet

sitting as the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund

with regard to state land management matters. The regulatory

responsibilities of the Trustees of the Internal Improvement

Trust Fund pertaining to "navigable waters" were combined with

the regulatory responsibilities of the Department of Pollution

Control which had authority over "waters of the state". The

Department of Pollution Control was abolished. A new Department

of Environmental Regulation was created which took over not only

these responsibilities, but the other former Department of

Pollution Control responsibilities including air quality, solid

waste and noise abatement. In addition, the Bureau of Sanitary

Engineering was transferred from the Department of Health and

Rehabilitative Services to the Department of Environmental

Regulation, and the Bureau of Water Resource Management was

transferred from the Department of Natural Resources to the

Department of Environmental Regulation. The Pollution Control

Board was abolished and the Environmental Regulation Commission

was established. Its responsibility was to adopt rules setting

standards for all matters regulated by the Department of

Environmental Regulation and to hear appeals from department

final orders issued pursuant to Chapter 403, Florida Statutes.

The Governor and Cabinet were designated as an appellant body to

hear appeals from decisions of the Department of Environmental

Regulation pertaining to Chapter 253, Florida Statutes, and to

continue to serve as the appellant body for the Water Management

Districts pursuant to Chapter 373, Florida Statutes.

From a functional standpoint, the purpose of the

reorganization was (by making the head of the department a


secretary) to pinpoint responsibility, to put all water-related

activities together(water quality and quantity and drinking

water) and to make the Department of Environmental Regulation the

primary environmental regulatory agency. Hence, the name

Department of Environmental Regulation.

The intent of the 1975 Environmental Reorganization Act

was to "promote the efficient, effective, and economical

operation of certain environmental agencies by centralizing

authority over and pinpointing responsibility for the management

of the environment by authorizing the delegation of substantial

decision-making authority to the district level, and by

consolidating compatible administrative planning, permitting,

enforcement and operational activities. Further, it is the

intent of this act to promote proper administration of Florida's

landmark environmental laws." Section 403.802, Florida Statutes.

Eight years have passed since the Environmental Reorganization

Act. This act could be considered phase one of the state's

efforts to properly organize and improve the efficiency of the

environmental permitting process. The question now is raised--

have the objectives as stated in the intent section of the act

been accomplished?

The permitting process has decidedly improved over that

which existed prior to 1975. The dredge and fill permitting

procedure has been combined and now only one permit is needed.

The time for processing permits has improved considerably. It

was not unusual in the pre-1975 days for permits to take a year

or two to be processed. However, these improvements may be due

as much as anything to the advent of the Administrative Procedure

Act, which put strict time limits on the licensing process. That

act was passed in 1974, one year prior to the Environmental

Reorganization Act.

Problems Created by the Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975

Sovereignty submerged lands management: The Department of

Natural Resources absorbed the land management functions of the

previous Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, which

included state- owned submerged lands and uplands. This resulted

in the splitting up of functions that were previously unified in

the Trustees. Prior to reorganization, an applicant for a dredge

and fill permit, dock, marina, etc., obtained needed

authorizations from the Governor and Cabinet acting in their

sovereign capacity at the same time they exercised their

regulatory responsibilities. After reorganization, one wishing

to undertake any of the regulated activities, in addition to

obtaining a permit from the Department of Environmental

Regulation, must receive authorization from the Department of

Natural Resources if the activity takes place on submerged lands

owned by the state. (This includes the vast majority of

activities in navigable waters because only a small percentage of

submerged lands around the state are in private ownership). This

requirement was emphasized the following year, 1976, with the


passage of Section 253.77, Florida Statutes, which requires

Department of Natural Resources' authorization prior to the

Department of Environmental Regulation issuing any permit

affecting state-owned lands. Pursuant to these responsibilities,

the Department of Natural Resources has adopted rules in Chapter

16, Florida Administrative Code, which establish additional and

separate standards. In addition, the Department claims, because

it is acting in its sovereign capacity, that the time limiting

requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act do not apply.

Hence, what was once a unitary process has now been bifurcated

and is essentially a two-step permitting process with the

Department of Environmental Regulation and Department of Natural

Resources both being required to approve the same project or


Aquatic Preserves: Section 258, Florida Statutes,

establishes by law a number of aquatic preserves throughout the

state. Section 258.35, Florida Statutes, is a general aquatic

preserve act which designates a number of specific aquatic

preserves. It does not apply to privately owned submerged lands

within the described preserve, nor does the Boca Ciega Aquatic

Preserve established by the legislature in 1969. The Biscayne

Bay Aquatic Preserve, however, established in 1974, applies to

all submerged lands, public or private, within the described

area. Where an activity is to take place within an aquatic

preserve on state-owned submerged lands, both the Department of

Environmental Regulation and the Department of Natural Resources

apply the aquatic preserve standards. Problems arise when the

two departments have different interpretations of those

standards; e.g., one may conclude the public interest test has

been satisfied and the other may conclude that it has not. Thus

an activity may be permitted by the Department of Environmental

Regulation, and the Department of Natural Resources, interpreting

the standard differently, may disapprove the project.

Governor and Cabinet as Appellant Body: The Environmental

Reorganization Act originally required appeals from orders of the

Secretary, pursuant to Chapter 403, to be made to the

Environmental Regulation Commission. Likewise, appeals pursuant

to Chapter 253 were assigned to the Governor and Cabinet. The 403

appeal to the Environmental Regulation Commission has

subsequently been abolished with the appeal now being directly to

the District Court of Appeal. The appeal to the Governor and

Cabinet pursuant to Chapter 253 still remains. The Governor and

Cabinet are thus in the position of having to second-guess the

agency established by the legislature to adopt rules and process

permits for activities in waters of the state. They do so on a

sporadic basis and with a lack of expertise in the area. In

addition, because of the evolving nature of the Administrative

Procedure Act, the Governor and Cabinet are bound by the record

established by Hearing Officer. Hence, the Governor and Cabinet

are asked to sit as an appellant body--exactly as the District

Court of Appeal. They have no authority to change the findings of

fact unless they find, upon a thorough review of the record, that


they are not supported by competent substantial evidence. They

can only change the recommended order by changing the conclusions

of law--laws and rules which are not promulgated by them, not

administered by them, and which are infrequently brought before


The Governor and Cabinet sitting as the Land and Water

Adjudicatory Commission also sit as an appellant body to review,

rescind, or modify any rule or order of a water management

district. This appellant responsibility rests with the Governor

and Cabinet in spite of the fact that the responsibility for

administering Chapter 373, the Water Resources Act, has been

vested with the Department of Environmental Regulation since the

1975 Environmental Reorganization Act. That act gives the

Department of Environmental Regulation general supervisory

authority over the water management districts. Again, the

Governor and Cabinet are put in the position of, from time to

time, acting as an appellant body over laws and rules which they

did not adopt or administer, and for which they do not have staff


Other Permitting Conflicts

The above are examples of problems created as a result of

the Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975. What follows is a

discussion of other areas which are purely environmental

regulatory functions which overlap, to some degree, with

Department of Environmental Regulation responsibilities.

Coastal Construction: Pursuant to Chapter 161, the Beach

and Shore Preservation Act, the Department of Natural Resources

exerts considerable regulatory responsibility over Florida's

sandy beaches. The Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the head of

the Department of Natural Resources, establish a coastal

construction control line for each county. It is then necessary

to obtain permits from the Department of Natural Resources for

any activities taking place seaward of that control line. This

includes the construction of houses, apartment buildings,

condominiums, other types of dwellings, towers, swimming pools,

pipelines, piers, elevated beach walkover structures, structures

for beach access, ramps and walkways, stairways, elevated viewing

platforms, lifeguard support stands, cantilevered decks, sand

fences, subgrade utilities, as well as coastal and shore

protection structures such as seawalls, bulkheads, revetments and

groins. Some of these activities take place on upland; some take

place in the water. Likewise, beach nourishment projects require

approval of the Department of Natural Resources under this

program. Many of the above listed projects also require

Department of Environmental Regulation permits because they take

place in waters of the state, and it is not unusual for the two

departments to disagree on a particular project.


Mining Reclamation: The Department of Natural Resources is

charged with the development and enforcement of criteria and

guidelines pertaining to site reclamation of land mined for solid

minerals. This includes the physical quality of bodies of water,

soil stabilization and vegetation, health and safety standards,

and conservation of remaining natural resources. Authority for

this responsibility is through Chapter 211, Florida Statutes, and

is grounded in the state's severance tax. Reclamation is

required only where a site is not subject to the severance tax.

This jurisdiction has nothing to do with state-owned lands--and

in fact applies almost exclusively to privately owned lands. The

Department of Environmental Regulation, on the other hand, has

established minimum requirements for earthen dams, phosphate

mining and processing. This includes design criteria for the

construction of new dams, operational requirements for dams, and

water quality standards for the discharge from the holding ponds.

The Department of Natural Resources has adopted reclamation rules

pertaining to water quality that overlap with the expertise and

responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Regulation.

Furthermore, the Department of Natural Resources sometimes uses

different criteria for determining jurisdictional waters.

Aquatic Plant Control: The Department of Natural Resources

has adopted Rule 16C-20 pursuant to Chapter 370, Florida

Statutes, which requires a permit for any person desiring to

control aquatic weeds in "public waters". Control includes any

chemical, mechanical or other method designed to regulate the

growth or removal of aquatic plants. Both chemical and

mechanical means of control can also require permits from the

Department of Environmental Regulation.

In addition to the above overlapping of permitting

functions between the Department of Environmental Regulation and

the Department of Natural Resources, there are problems with the

substantive law within the Department of Environmental

Regulation. With the Environmental Reorganization Act, the

administration of Chapters 403 and 253 were merged. The

Department of Environmental Regulation has attempted by rule to

smooth the merger of these laws, but much substantive difference

remains. Chapter 253 applies to navigable waters of the state

(defined by ordinary high water and mean high water) whereas

Chapter 403 applies to waters of the state (whose landward extent

is defined by vegetation). In addition, these laws apply a

number of different standards. Chapter 403 pertains primarily to

water quality and Chapter 253 addresses primarily the protection

of aquatic habitat. Both laws have different public interest

standards. Filling under Chapter 253 can require approval of

local government whereas dredging does not. Under Chapter 403,

neither dredging nor filling requires local approval.



If the Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975 could be

considered phase one, phase two could be further realignment of

the functions of the Department of Environmental Regulation and

the Department of Natural Resources: The Department of Natural

Resources could be structured as a resources management agency

with its primary responsibilities being managing the state parks

system, state-owned uplands, regulation of the seafood industry,

directing the Marine Patrol, and saltwater fishing regulations.

Those activities which are primarily or exclusively permitting in

nature, such as previously mentioned beach construction

activities, activities in aquatic preserves, activities on

sovereign submerged lands, mining reclamation, and aquatic plant

control could be transferred to the Department of Environmental

Regulation. This would help complete the Department of

Environmental Regulation's intended role as the primary

environmental regulatory agency and would negate the need for

Section 253.77, F.S. which has questionable value even under

present circumstances. The Governor and Cabinet sitting as

Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund could continue to

adopt rules for activities on sovereign submerged lands and

aquatic preserves, and either the Governor and Cabinet or the

Environmental Regulation Commission could establish the coastal

construction control lines. These rules would then be

administered and enforced by the Department of Environmental


Combine those Sections of Chapter 253 and 403 which

pertain to activities in waters of the state : This could allow

for clarification of jurisdiction and applicable standards. The

Department of Environmental Regulation could use this as an

opportunity to expand its jurisdiction into wetlands that are not

directly connected to waters of the state. Here a more

substantial role could be built in for the Game and Fresh Water

Fish Commission as it pertains to fresh water and wildlife


Establishment of a central Permitting Information Office:

The most likely place for this would be the Department of

Environmental Regulation. It would be extremely helpful for

there to be one place in the state where a person wanting to

undertake an activity that has environmental consequences to be

able to determine what laws apply, as well as which agencies will

be administering those laws. This would include not only the

state level but also federal, regional, district, county, and

municipal. Thus one wishing to dredge and fill and construct a

marina in Dade County would describe the proposed activity in a

simple form. The office would, within a short turnaround time,

let the individual know that permits would be required from the

Corps of Engineers and Department of Environmental Regulation,

the South Florida Water Management District, and the Dade County

Department of Environmental Resource Management. This

information would also include the specific laws and rules which


apply to the project. It would include the names and addresses

and phone numbers of the agencies and a contact person in each of

those agencies. In addition, a toll free 800 line could be

available for citizens to call the Permitting Information Office



As mentioned before, the scope of this paper is limited.

It applies to what the author would describe as "horizontal"

streamlining, that is, the improvement of the environmental

permitting process among agencies on the state level. Much needs

to be done in terms of "vertical" streamlining--eliminating

overlaps and conflicts existing between federal, state, regional,

and local levels of government. Perhaps if the above could be

accomplished as phase two, within a couple of years, after a

"shakedown period", "vertical" streamlining could be accomplished

as phase three.



By Mr. Jack Osterholt

October, 1983


During the last fifteen years, Florida has been the focus

of national attention concerning the development and

implementation of a series of planning and resource management

activities. But as the emphasis shifts from design to evaluation

it becomes more apparent that Florida's planning efforts suffer

from several major weaknesses. Many of these can be clustered

under a heading loosely called "lack of coordination", largely a

result of the intricate and disjointed nature of present planning

efforts. It is the intent of this paper to outline our efforts

to implement an integrated planning process, how we got to our

current position, where it is likely to lead us if left

unattended, and finally, what sorts of criteria should be used to

evaluate any proposals to better link our planning and policy

development efforts.


What is planning? Why is improving its coordination

desirable? What is the result of limited ineffective

coordination? Who wins and who loses when planning is

effectively coordinated? For the purpose of this discussion, I

am limiting my comments to public sector planning at all levels

of government in Florida. Planning is the process of developing

and analyzing a set of actions to mitigate activities that are

thought to be a problem, and enhancing those which are potential


Plans are used in evaluating decisions on the future

impacts of allocating limited resources. If plans are useful, it

is to the extent that they aid decisions on the future impacts of

allocating limited resources. If plans are useful, it is to the

extent that they aid decision makers in better understanding the

trade-offs. If no plan exists, the decision-maker will rely on

either a set of internalized criteria, or advice, or both. These

become the decision aid in place of the plan. Decisions reached

using an implicit decision logic such as experience, an explicit

decision logic such as a plan, or both, may be equally valid.

Planning, by itself, does not necessarily improve the quality of

decisions but hopes to add clearly identified well-considered

criteria to the process. Then decisions made over time may

reflect an increased consistency and improve the possibility of



Because of the increasing complexity of public policy,

there is a trend toward more single purpose planning, and less

integrated or comprehensive planning. This trend is further

complicated by a general move towards decentralization. The

result is more plans prepared by more entities. Unfortunately

these trends have not been accompanied by improved

intergovernmental coordination, improved planning techniques or

an improved image of the usefulness of the plans. As the

operating environment changes more rapidly, fewer decision-makers

are willing to rely on plans that have an increased chance of

being misleading. The distrust appears to be amplified in those

cases where the plan in question tries to link the impacts of

actions from several program areas. It is difficult for a plan

that has so many facets to be timely and specific enough to be

useful. More decisions are being required on increasingly

complex and potentially irreversible issues using more single-

focus information and policies.


During the last fifty years governmental planning efforts

have gone full cycle in an attempt to make planning useful. We

have progressed through the economic planning of the thirties

designed to stimulate a devastated economy, to a set of military

plans both strategic and tactical during the war, to a rebirth of

city planning with the postwar expansion. These changes have

brought increasing focus on comprehensive planning in an attempt

to integrate an expanding and shifting economy and the resultant

suburbanization. Cities and surrounding counties found

themselves trying to provide services and access to what had been

a relatively compact and slowly expanding set of central cities.

This trend led to the recognition of the need for metropolitan

planning and regional or substate analysis. States were still

following the resource planning model instituted during the early

parts of the 1900s.

Florida's move toward formalized planning coordination

came relatively late, but with a rapid set of actions designed to

link state, regional and local planning. At the state level,

there was a move to formalize the role between planning and

budgeting in the late 1960s. Many local governments, most

notably Dade County and Duval County, moved to consolidate their

operations, or more formally integrate planning into governmental

management. By this time the planning and management of key

environmental resources, most notably water by flood control

districts, were established. These types of efforts seemed to be

developed at the direction of and funded by the federal

government, especially DOT, HUD, and to some extent, the Corps of

Engineers. Often program participation was contingent on the

development of a plan.

In the early 1970s, Florida placed into a law a series of

planning requirements that were aimed at improving the quality,


quantity and coordination of planning. During the first half of

the decade, the legislature passed and the Governor signed the

State Comprehensive Planning Act, the Water Resources Act, the

Air and Water Pollution Control Act, the Environmental Land and

Water Management Act, the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act, and

the Transportation Planning Act. Later, the Local Government

Comprehensive Planning Act and revisions to the Regional Planning

Council Act were passed.

At this time, the federal government was also involved in

these efforts. The Demonstration Model Cities and Metropolitan

Development Act was passed in 1966. The legislation requiring

coastal zone management and improved management of both point

source and non-point source water pollution are examples of

focused programs that provided local and state governments the

opportunity to enhance comprehensive resource management plans.

With the end of many of these programs and their funding

(especially HUD's comprehensive planning efforts through section

701), a trend away from mandated planning integration and toward

functional planning and management began. This came about

largely due to a concern that few results had been seen, and

because it was felt that attention needed to be focused on

discrete issues.

The trends of the 70s have had three notable exceptions on

the federal level, and some obvious ones in Florida. At the

federal level, the coastal consistency requirements mandate that

all federally funded actions which are planned for the coastal

areas must be certified as consistent with accepted coastal

plans. The move to decentralize and strengthen the federal grant

review process through Executive Order 12372, which will replace

OMB Circular A-95 is designed to improve plan coordination and

implementation. The third example of federal attempts to

increase planning coordination is the planned consolidation

efforts that are being spearheaded by federal HHS and OMB.

In Florida, upon assuming office, Governor Graham created

the Office of Planning and Budgeting and charged it with

comprehensive planning responsibilities. This merging of

planning and budgeting, and subsequent redefinition of state

planning and management, has led to substantial revisions of the

state's plan.

The emergence of growth management as a coordinative issue

during the last four years led to the appointment of the ELMS II

Committee by the Governor, and the House Select Committee on

Growth Management by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

During the same time, the Regional Planning Council Act was

amended to require comprehensive regional policy plans. During

the 1983 session, the House passed a bill requiring comprehensive

planning coordination which more closely tied state and regional

planning and management.

But, where does this listing of actions show we are

headed? There are apparently two contradictory trends. First,


there is a move to decentralized functional planning, and second,

there is a move to formalized coordination and integration. It

appears that both trends are grounded in a desire to make

planning more useful and relevant to those making public policy

decisions. These trends do not have to be mutually exclusive,

but hopefully can work in concert to improve the practical

impacts of the planning process.


Based on the discussion outlined above I have tried to

define the two types of planning coordination:

horizontal coordination

vertical coordination.

Horizontal Coordination

This type of planning integration can best be described as

one unit of government mandating coordination across all of its

agencies. For example, a county could develop a planning process

which links land use control, city service delivery (police,

fire, transportation, housing, human services, recreation, etc.)

and capital improvement programming under an umbrella called

comprehensive planning. Or, the state could mandate that all

state programs be developed and implemented through a state plan.

It is important to remember that this horizontal integration

could be accomplished without concern for the interrelationship

of the services and programs at other levels of government, or

neighboring governmental entities. In practice, many of the

comprehensive planning programs of the early 1960s led to

attempts at this type of internal coordination.

Vertical Coordination

It is possible, and currently in vogue, to focus on the

integration of a program or a limited number of programs as they

relate to all levels of government. The move to establish

regional health plans during the mid-70s is an example of

vertical integration. In this type of integration, the major

emphasis is usually on accomplishing a limited agenda, and a

deemphasis of the interrelationships of programs. Obviously

these two types of coordination lay out a continuum along which

most planning efforts fall. Since that time, a trend has been

emerging that may shift the grouping of new efforts toward the

vertical end.

If any generalities concerning which types of governments

fall along the continuum can be drawn, it seems that as

governments and the issues they address become more complex,

problems and futures are addressed more vertically than

horizontally. For the most part, plans are implemented, and

sometimes developed more as a reaction to an external force and


often on a crisis basis. Also, meaningful horizontal integration

is difficult to include as an equal partner in plan development

and implementation.

Where does this leave us? Granted, successful

intergovernmental cooperation leading to either vertical or

horizontal coordination is difficult to achieve. But, without

constant attention, it also seems improbable that a functional

program can serve both types of coordination either. And,

without a mixture of both types of coordination, planning efforts

cannot succeed.

This mixture of types must include both an element of the

more traditional comprehensive planning, and the new move which

bases policy's development on emerging issues and trends in a

strategic framework. It obviously includes structural

communication networks between government entities and among

elements of each unit of government. These networks must be

clearly mandated to insure uniform application, as well as

collegial dialogue to improve the quality of coordination. As

the issues being addressed become more complex and better

articulated, it will take improved planning coordination to

insure that the policies that address these issues are optimal

solutions for all those affected. It is important to turn

,successful planning coordination from a goal that we strive for

toward a product that we achieve.

I have pointed out several trends that are influencing

planning and planning coordination:

increased complexity and change

increasing decentralization

a move toward vertical analysis

a move away from horizontal analysis

planning as a management tool and

decision aid

If we follow what I feel will be the most

successful future for planning coordination, we must

develop a process that insures both vertical as well as

horizontal integration. It must also equally

accommodate the efforts of the various actors that

operate at the local, regional, state and federal

levels. For example, if the state's planning process

is to succeed, it must be owned and operated by the

Governor, the Legislature, and the state agencies.

But, governmental participation is only a part of the

prescription for success. A planning process must also

solicit the active involvement of the private sector.

Without substantial cooperation by all parties,

coordination by definition cannot succeed.




By Dr. Earl M. Starnes

October, 1983


One of the major concerns in any discussion of growth

management is that of coordination and consistency of effort

among units of government. This concern is directed not only at

attempting to achieve a unified direction of effort between

levels of government but also at coordination and consistency

between functionally separate activities at any single level of

governance. Of particular concern is the matter of substate

districting in Florida. The current substate districting

patterns reflect a wide variety of schemes with virtually no

common features or boundaries, and there is often insufficient,

if any, coordination between separate but related types of

substate activities.

Substate districts are designed to decentralize and

simplify the delivery of a wide range of governmental services.

In addition, the creation of substate districts is intended to

clarify federal, state, and local intergovernmental relations and

alleviate jurisdictional disputes between governmental entities.

S Vs

This original purpose is seldom realized. Many of the districts

fulfill relatively narrow objectives; the criteria used to

establish their boundaries are just as narrow.

Few substate districts share the same geographic

boundaries. Historically, the districts and their boundaries

have been formed incrementally rather than comprehensively. The

districts have been fashioned reactively, in direct response to

need. Many of the functions of the districts overlap--there is a

considerable amount of confusion and duplication of effort among


The resulting system does not encourage cooperative

planning or the efficient use of resources and data. Nor do the

districts command the effective coordination of federal, state,

or local programs--one of their major purposes.

There are several agencies that share the responsibilities

of water, land, and transportation systems management in the

state. Statewide growth management efforts would undoubtedly

benefit from uniform boundaries. A simplified arrangement would

reduce wasteful and unnecessary duplication and would improve the

accessibility of the agencies. Perhaps most important,

coterminous boundaries would emphasize a more coordinated,

comprehensive approach to land, water, and transportation



Principal Substate Districts

Regional planning councils (see Figure 1) are intended to

provide a regional system of planning, data, and service

delivery. In determining the regional configurations it may be

stated that cooperation should be just as important as common


Water management districts (see Figure 2) follow the

natural drainage basins in the state. This configuration presents

the greatest potential for intergovernmental conflicts as the

district lines frequently split county lines.

The Department of Environmental Regulation makes use of

six substate districts (see Figure 3). Originally intended to

follow drainage basins, the boundaries of these substate

districts were adjusted to follow county lines, due to political

and administrative considerations.

There are two regional water supply authorities presently

operating in the state: the Withlacoochee and the West Coast

Regional Water Supply Authority (see Figure 4). The authorities

are in the business of developing well fields, water delivery,

and storage systems. They are nonprofit organizations and

operating funds are paid by members. Substantial funds are also

generated by water sales to municipalities.

There are three resource planning and management districts

in the state: Charlotte Harbor, Hutchinson Island, and the

Suwannee River Basin (see Figure 5). All of these are considered

to be of great resource value (see Figure 5). These programs

were created to resolve existing and prevent future degradation

of these areas. A resource planning and management district

probably will be designated in northwest Florida in the near


Finally there are the substate districts of the Department

of Transportation and the Department's federally mandated

metropolitan planning organizations (see Figure 6). These

organizations represent very powerful planning tools.


In countless discussions revolving around the subject of

substate districts in Florida, a few issues seem to consistently

emerge. All of the issues relate, at least in part, to the

overall question of the purpose of substate districting. For the

purposes of this paper, the issues are collapsed into four sets.

These are: (1) conflicts caused by disparities in regional

planning council, water management district, and metropolitan

planning organization boundaries, (2) problems of coordinating

planning and growth management activities at the substate level;

(3) problems resulting from inadequate regional perspective; and

(4) insufficient funding for substate planning and growth

management activities.


Issue 1. Conflicts caused by disparities in regional

planning council, water management district, and

metropolitan planning organization boundaries.

Problems emanating from rapid growth can be eliminated or

at least mitigated if land use, water use, and transportation

activities are well coordinated and reflective of the same

general policies. This situation does not exist in Florida--

especially at the substate district level. One of the major

reasons for this inadequacy is that the substate agencies which

are principally involved in land use, water use, and

transportation activities were not created with the idea of

facilitating coordination among them. This is perhaps best

illustrated in the disparities that exist in the boundaries of

regional planning councils and the water management districts.

Whether these two types of substate districts should have

coterminous boundaries or not has been a subject of intense

discussion for well over a decade.

Another source of confusion exists in the establishment of

the metropolitan (transportation) planning organizations (MPOs)

which share the responsibility for transportation planning with

the Department of Transportation. The state, using federal

guidelines, has been divided into metropolitan statistical areas,

thus nesting the MPOs along county and sometimes smaller than

county lines. The boundary issue in planning will continue to

cause serious problems as Florida copes with growth. Water,

expansion of existing settlements, and location of new

settlements and transportation systems must be carefully

considered at a regional level if development is to be managed in

a context of regional concerns.

Issue 2. Problems of coordinating planning and growth

management activities at the substate level.

Land use, water management, and transportation aspects

should come together at the substate level. These are the major

ingredients in developing regional perspectives, but reciprocal

approval of water use, land use, and transportation plans do not

now exist.

How should the state be divided for those functions of

government which affect more than one county but are of less than

state wide concern? Single purpose districts are often created

to deal with specific problems, however, districts designed to

deal with more comprehensive problems take on a transcendent

complexity. Such problems as water management, transportation,

and comprehensive regional planning are examples of transcendent

complexity. Just how to divide the state to cope with such

complexities is a major issue that appears repeatedly, because

cities and counties are jurisdictionally bound and incapable of

reaching beyond statutory or corporate boundaries. In

consideration of these factors, are substate districts creatures

of state government or coalitions of local governments?


Water management districts (WMDs) have responsibility to

manage surface water systems, ground water systems, and the works

of each district. In support of these responsibilities, they

have the power to tax and levy fees. In addition, they receive

grants from the state and federal governments for capital and

maintenance costs related to district works. Two of the

districts in north Florida receive state support for operations.

It is often said the districts tend to be myopic to the extent

that their concerns with water management are not comprehensive.

The lack of comprehensiveness and lack of explicit concern for

water quality tend to weaken capacity to deal with land use and

growth management. In addition, the district governing board

members are appointed by the Governor and often have little

"local" constituency, thus they tend to operate from a narrow

political base.

The districts are further limited, particularly in

northern Florida, by the blanket exemption of silvaculture from

surface water regulation. The move towards surface water

regulation has also created conflicts with local governments and

to some extent the regulations of the Department of Environmental

Regulation (DER). Many wetlands and surface waters tend to be

unregulated because of confused jurisdictions. Local governments

appear to be mostly concerned with storm drainage, the DER with

water quality, and the WMDs with surficial water regimes.

Regional planning councils (RPCs), on the other hand, are

voluntary associations of local governments, with a leavening of

gubernatorial appointees. They have no powers of general

government. They are delegated certain review functions

(e.g.,the development of regional impact review process), and

have been effective mostly in offering technical assistance to

local governments. Since 1980, they have been responsible for

developing regional policy plans, but, with modest exception,

these have not been completed.

Other than for the Southwest Florida RPC, the Treasure

Coast RPC, and to a lesser extent the South Florida RPC, regional

planning councils operate in the absence of regional policy

guidelines. In addition, their relationships with WMDs vary

widely, ranging from as little as possible to a few very

cooperative arrangements. Overlapping responsibilities of RPCs

and WMDs and voids in considering major projects result from the

lack of clear state direction. Similar problems exist between

RPCs and metropolitan planning organizations. An excellent

example is the lack of effective regional planning and review in

the selection of the South Florida regional jetport at Site 14 in

Dade County.

These problems will not disappear without state policy and

clear direction. They will be exacerbated by time as turf

becomes well established and devoutly defended.


Issue 3. Problems resulting from an inadequate regional


The issue here relates to the perception of the regional

institution. If these are voluntary associations of local

interest (e.g., RPCs), then they tend to be independent agents

held together by a thin veil of regional concerns. Urban

boundaries, natural systems, agricultural land use preservation,

and other considerations are important to foster regional debate

and regional perspective, but they are too seldom addressed.

There continues to be ambivalence when regional planning

issues are debated. There is a presumption that regional

planning deals with matters of more than local concern, however,

regional concerns are not effectively debated--even in the DRI

process or in the process of regional planning. The Governor's

Resource Management Task Force found a "lack of a comprehensive

regional perspective on the part of regional agencies" (Stroud,

1980). This, at least in part, is attributed to the voluntary

character of the RPC. The council forum is perceived as a

trading of local concerns in an environment for debate where

regional issues have little currency. This situation remains in

many areas of the state today. The capacity to generate regional

consensus remains undeveloped; thus regional images do not


Given sufficient time and knowledge a regional perspective

can be nurtured. It can also be encouraged through strong state

direction, supportive activity, and fiscal responsibility. The

state nor the substate districts dig deeply enough into the

reservoirs of time, knowledge, power, and dollars.

Insufficient funding for substate district planning

and growth management activities.

All roads leading to effective substate planning and

growth management must be paved with assured funding resources.

The state has not provided adequate funding to support a shared

role between state and local governments to plan and effectively

manage regional involvement. No significant funding has been

available for comprehensive planning since "701" planning

assistance funds were eliminated by the federal government.

RPCs struggle to cope with the mission expected in Chapter 160,

F.S., while the WMDs have adequate funding to carry out

responsibilities of Chapter 373, F.S. The MPOs are well funded.

The weakness in the system is the lack of sufficient funding for

the RPCs. These agencies have the most persuasive and greatest

potential for effective regional planning.


The options offered here are both legislative and

administrative. There is no attempt to deal in law or rule-

making detail. They should be considered as explanatory and

points of departure.


Issue 1. Conflicts cause by disparities in regional

planning council,water management district, and

metropolitan planning organization boundaries.

Option la. The boundaries of regional planning councils

should be established (in Chapter 160, F.S.) by

legislative enactment.

The boundaries of substate districts which deal with

comprehensive planning and water management should be established

by the legislature. Chapter 373, F.S. establishes WMD

boundaries, but the RPC boundaries are established by the

Governor. Establishment by statute would remove the tendency of

counties to seek more friendly political neighbors--such was the

case when Sarasota County separated from the Tampa Bay regional

and Palm Beach County separated from the South Florida region in

years past. If these two cases had required statutory

alterations, it is quite possible they would not have happened.

Option lb. The legislature should nest the regional

planning councils within the larger boundaries

of the water management districts. The water

management districts should follow county

lines, and to the extent politically acceptable

recognize existing settlement patterns.

Dealing with the boundaries themselves requires the

consideration of regional systems and existing county lines.

Regional systems such as transportation, natural watersheds, and

economic activity bear no relationship to county lines but county

lines reflect the means and prescriptions of data collection and

the second line of state service delivery. Such traditions are

deeply carved into the substate political system. Water

management has long had a tradition of conforming to drainage

basins. Ground water aquifers, however, do not track the

surficial water system. An argument can be raised that surface

water systems can be more easily dealt with across district lines

than the more complicated systems of man and urbanization. An

option can thus be offered on lines and turf.

Issue 2. Problems of coordinating planning and growth

management activities at the substate level.

It is here that state initiative must be most evident.

Initially, the Governor's Office must adopt its policy

guidelines, and these must be used as a basis for regional growth

management plans. Given the uniqueness of substate regions,

latitude in planning strategies and interpretation of regional

need is necessary. Strategies might vary from a directive

regional posture to consensus building posture: both can be

effective. Interpretation of regional need in the context of

state policy might be related to emphasis; in one region,

economic development and jobs may be the most important concern

while in another coping with thousands of platted lots may be an

extremely high priority.


Option 2a.

Water management districts must approve

regional policy plans, with water management

plans and programs providing the basis for

approval. Conflicts should be resolved by the

Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission based on

recommendations from the Governor's Office of

Planning and Budget.

With the nesting of RPCs within WMD boundaries,

coordination should be improved and some options emerge. Such a

process would assure coordination in developing regional policy

plans. WMDs have adequate and well trained staffs to provide

support to RPCs in plan development. The approval requirement

could lead to shared study and analysis as plan choices are made.

Option 2b.

The regional planning council policy plans

must, in addition to substantive policies,

contain explicit procedural policies for plan

making and adoption, and amendment. The

procedures should maximize public

participation, and be designed to protect

affected parties and regional resources.

Prescriptions for regional review of DRI and

other regional developments such as highways,

seaports and location of state institutions

also must be part of the plan.

This will provide for the development of clearly stated

policies for regional planning. It should remove vagueness and

confusion regarding the RPC functions, and provide a basis for

RPC review and approval of local plans.

Option 2c.

The Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act

(Chapter 163 Part II, F. S.) should be amended

to include approval of local plans by regional

planning councils. Conflicts between local

plans must be resolved by a regional planning

council with appellate provisions to the state


This option would facilitate coordination among state,

regional, and local planning.

Option 2d.

Regional planning council membership should

remain as it is in Chapter 160, F. S. (one-

third gubernatorial, two-thirds local

membership) but the chairperson of each regional

planning council should be appointed by the

Governor (for a four year term), the

chairperson should be the chief executive

officer of the regional planning council, and

be appropriately compensated.

This option is designed to influence regional policy by

the chief state planning officer, and provide the regional


- L

executive with a strong basis of state support. Unique regional

issues will emerge by means of council membership and mandatory

methods designed to increase public participation.

Option 2e.

Issue 3.


Option 3a.

Regional transportation planning

responsibilities of the metropolitan

transportation planning organizations should be

transferred to the regional planning councils.

This should provide a new and comprehensive

basis for transportation planning. This

transfer should include the development of the

five year regional transportation plan and


Problems resulting from an inadequate regional

A regional planning council should be required

as part of its policy plan and planning process

to describe and delineate the uniqueness of its

region. This description should include major

geographical characteristics, demographic

characteristics, regional transport network and

water systems, and significant places and

systems of environmental importance.

The conscious act of portrayal is designed to encourage

knowledge and understanding of regional images both present and


future. Concentration of efforts in regional problems and

regional opportunities should transcend the localization of RPC

interests. Localization of problems is a tendency that seems to

be much too pervasive--i.e., based on past experience.

Issue 4. Funding for regional planning and growth


This is the bottom line. The legislature's lack of

willingness to adequately fund regional planning has been

discouraging and demoralizing. A possible source of funding is

suggested in the following option.

Option 4a. Add a surtax to all building and zoning

permits. The funds would be set aside in a

regional planning trust fund administered

pursuant to a new state law.


It is clear that the greatest opportunity for growth

management in Florida is among its substate regions. These

agencies will probably never have legislative powers, thus they

must be strengthened as executive instrumentalities, and provided

with assured financial support and clear executive and

legislative direction.


Atlas of Environmental Jurisdictions in Florida, Environmental

Affairs, Florida Power and Light Company, Miami, Florida,


Cox, Merlin G. and J.E. Dovell, Florida from Secession to Space

Age, Great Outdoor Publishing Company, St. Petersburg,

Florida, 1974.

Florida Statutes, 1982.

Mumford, Lewis, The Cultures of Cities, Harcourt Brace Company,

Inc., New York, New York, 1938.

Recommendations for Regional Planning and Development District

Boundaries, Office of State Planning, State Planning and

Budget Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, 1968.

Starnes, Earl M., "The Ordinance of 1563 to the Local Government

Comprehensive Planning Act-A Florida Story", paper

presented to the Association of Collegiate Schools of

Planning, Chicago, Illinois, 1982.

Stroud, Nancy, "Regionalism Reaffirmed: The 1980 Florida Regional

Planning Council Act", Joint Center for Environmental and

Urban Problems, Florida Atlantic/ Florida International

University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 1980.



v, ,.






,' :'" "' :!" ~" '> "......-

S --- -


.*.. ..:

0 ~~



,-- -.,--

~--- -- ----





j~~~- n- -

_.I~ S -~









C .v




----- -- -----.









I -- I* I


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs