Title: The Growth Management Act of 1985: A Bitter Pill, But Better Than "Growth Management Anarchy"
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004517/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Growth Management Act of 1985: A Bitter Pill, But Better Than "Growth Management Anarchy"
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Environmental and Urban Issues - Winter 1998
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - The Growth Management Act of 1985: A Bitter Pill, But Better Than "Growth Management Anarchy" (JDV Box 91)
General Note: Box 23, Folder 1 ( Miscellaneous Water Papers, Studies, Reports, Newsletters, Booklets, Annual Reports, etc. - 1973 -1992 ), Item 20
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00004517
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




by Charles Siemon

As the effective date of the adequate facilities
requirement of the Growth Management Act gets
closer and closer, cries of economic gloom, doom,
and ruin are, predictably, getting louder and louder,
and the call for repeal of the Act or deferral of the
deadline are becoming more and more intense. De-
velopers and lobbyists argue that "if only the dead-
line could be put off for a few more years everything
would be all right" or "the Act is tantamount to a
moratorium, it will destroy our economy" or "the
Act is a serious problem for the State and should be
The trouble is that the real threat to Florida's
economy is not the Growth Management Act or the
Department of Community Affair's laudable and re-
sponsible commitment to see the Act implemented.
Rather, it is the unmanaged growth that the Act seeks
to redress that threatens the well-being of Floridians.
It is nothing short of sheer folly to believe that relief
from the Growth Management Act would avoid the
inevitable day of reckoning for decades of "deficit"
financing and unmanaged growth. Repeal of the Act
would, in effect, accept inadequate public facilities
as a desirable norm. Florida's problems (mainly the
need to redress the "gap" between demand for public
services and the facilities' capacity that existed be-
fore the Act) would remain unresolved if the Growth
Management Act were modified or repealed.

Simply put, the culprit is not the Growth
Management Act and its ambitious objective of align-
ing public facilities demand with public facilities ca-
pacity, but the failure of Florida and Floridians to
face the obligations that go with growth and pros-
perity during the last thirty years. What we have
done, as Dr. John DeGrove, former Secretary of the
Department of Community Affairs and the "guru" of
growth management, puts it: "is mortgage our fu-
ture in the name of present growth and prosperity."
The resulting facilities deficits, environmental deg-
radation and deteriorating quality of life have be-
come, like the Federal deficit, the "tail" that wags
the dog. The State is threatened with a precipitous
decline in economic well-being, either because of
loss of character and attractiveness or because the
citizens of the State will rise up and say "enough"
and impose a no-growth philosophy on the State as
a matter of majority rule. The seeds of discontent
have already been planted, and it will take precious
little care to nurture them into fully-developed
"growth management anarchy"-public intolerance
of further growth manifesting itself through anti-
growth initiatives and referenda.

Charles L. Siemon is a partner in the law firm of
Siemon, Larsen and Purdy, with offices in Chicago,
Boca Raton, and Newport Beach.



Florida's growth management problem is
simple-development approvals, or, in other words,
service demands, have been granted without consid-
eration of or commitment to service capacity-with
the result that roads designed to carry 15,000 ve-
hicles per day now carry 30,000 vehicles. "Why,"
one could ask, "would an organized society, with a
choice, allow more demand than can be served by
available facilities?" The answer is manifold, but
not complex.
First, self-interest has
been, and is likely to continue
to be, a significant factor in the "The trouble
growth management equation. threat toFlor
Development translates into
profit, and profit translates into is not the Gr
present benefits, hence the will- ment Act .
ingness of local officials to
allow upland and wetland managed gr
habitats to be converted from Act seeks t(
timeless resources into dispos-
able commodities. Florida is a threatens th
state where industries depend- Floridians."
ent on the sustainable yield of -
natural resources (fishing and agriculture, other than
citrus) are relatively unprofitable. The profits that
can be realized from development, therefore, have
become a potent, if not controlling, force in the State.
The existing land ethic in Florida conflicts dramati-
cally with the concept of ownership voiced by
Marjorie Kinnan Rawling in Cross Creek:
Who owns Cross Creek? The red-birds, I
think, more than I, for they will have their nests
even in the face of delinquent mortgages. And
after I am dead, who am childless, the human
ownership of the grove and field is hypotheti-
cal. But a long line of red-birds and whippoor-
wills and blue-jays and ground doves will
descend from the present owners of nests in
the orange trees, and their claim will be less
subject to dispute than that of any human heirs.
Houses are individual and can be owned, like
nests, and fought for. But what of the land? It
seems to me that the earth may be borrowed
but not bought. It may be used, but not owned.
It gives itself in response to love and tending,
offers its flowering and fruiting. But we are
tenants and not possessors, lovers and not

masters. Cross Creek belongs to the wind and
the rain, to the sun and the seasons, to the cos-
mic secrecy of seed and beyond all, to time.
To be blunt, the conversion of natural resources
into consumer products is big business in Florida
and big business is in control, directly and indi-
rectly. Eventually, this ethic will collide with itself
as the attractiveness of the state declines to an un-
acceptable point. The experience of Miami Beach
makes it clear that it can and will happen without

is that the real
*ida's economy
owth Manage-
. it is the un-
owth that the
Redress that
e well-being of

agement "record" it

balanced management.
Second, the implications of
megagrowth have manifested
themselves in ways that could
not have been imagined just
25 years ago. Informed deci-
sion-making requires under-
standing of the consequences
of a decision; the plain fact is
that 25 years ago, few persons
fully comprehended the sig-
nificance of the State's growth
potential. Indeed, in assess-
ing the State's growth man-
must be kept in mind that as

late as 1958, the year that commercial jet aviation
was inaugurated in this country, the State was in a
frenzy to attract growth of any kind. Legislative
concessions to the "Reedy Creek Drainage District"
demonstrate this attitude. While it is always easier
to have clear vision in hindsight, it is ridiculous to
suggest that a State that slumbered through the post-
war years in a "yellow-fever" fog could have under-
stood that commercial jet travel, even before de-
regulation, with its astounding amplification of public
travel, coupled with the advent of air conditioning,
would transform Florida from a weak second sister
of tourism into a state under siege by thousands of
immigrants per week. Megagrowth simply out-
stripped the imagination of the State's leaders and
the State's technical ability (indeed anyone's abil-
ity) to anticipate the implications of its growth
management policies.
A third element of the growth management crisis
is the failure of the planning process to effectively
explain the consequences of individual decisions to
lay decision-makers. It should not be surprising that
an uninformed decision-maker has a hard time




making an informed decision. There is at least one
county in the State of Florida where the process of
determining the adequacy of available public facili-
ties in the development review process ignores units
that are approved but undeveloped. As a result, a de-
termination that the existing network has capacity to
carry the traffic to be generated by a 100-unit proj-
ect, ignores the fact that the county has already
approved hundreds of yet unbuilt units on the basis
of the same road capacity. It is certain that this
double, triple, and quadruple counting of the same
capacity is going to come home to "roost" with a
vengeance. In another jurisdiction, a local govern-
ment has prepared a future land use plan without
considering the capital facilities requirements of the
proposed plan. When circumstances required an
assessment of facility needs to support the future land
use plan, the road improvements necessary to sup-
port the plan created a grid pattern of eight-lane
divided, limited-access roads and the condemnation
of thousand of existing homes in the city. Needless
to say the existing residents of the city had some-
thing to say in regard to that subject, and the future
land use plan underwent further revision.
Finally, the State's fiscal structure has not been
set up to meet the requirements of growth. In theory,
growth brings new revenues that enhance a
community's ability to provide necessary services.
The difficulty with that theory is that the cost of
serving new growth and development all too often
exceeds the revenues generated, particularly when the
principal source of funding is an ad valorem property
tax. In Florida, the fiscal benefit of growth is ob-
scured by one of the greatest anachronisms of mod-
ern America-the "Homestead Exemption," which
undercuts property taxes as a source of revenue, and
virtually assures that new residential development will
not pay its own way. The concept of homestead
exemption was originally based on a public policy in
favor of home ownership as a symbol of "good"
citizenship and as an inducement for others to move
to the state. It was instituted at a time when Florida's
economic opportunities, environmental integrity, and
public facilities capacity were substantially different
than they are today. It is simply unbelievable that
the State maintains the homestead exemption after
radical changes in all of these conditions make it not
only obsolete, but counter to sound fiscal policy.

What in effect is happening is that the State of
Florida is subsidizing a particular element of the
economy, at the expense of the balance of the State
and its taxpayers. The burden of meeting the cost of
public facilities is concentrated on non-residential
and high quality residential uses, regardless of the
facilities' demands of such uses. It makes no sense
whatsoever for the State of Florida to encourage
growth that has a negative cost benefit ratio.
Admittedly, deficit spending has become a govern-
mental "way of life," but that is no justification for
the perpetuation of what is a patently absurd idea.
Ad valorem value has little or nothing to do with
the demand for services. Consider, for example, a
$200,000, single family, detached dwelling occupied
by a married couple in their 50's. The family's
public service demands do not include schools (their
children are grown), public parks (they belong to a
private country club), elderly services, or many of a
municipality's other "big ticket" items. Assuming a
15 mil tax levy, the home generates $2625 in annual
tax revenues. Compare that revenue to the $450 in
ad valorem taxes paid by a $55,000 duplex or mobile
home unit occupied by a married couple with two
children requiring the full panoply of public serv-
ices. Or, consider the $300 in ad valorem taxes paid
by the retiree owners of a $45,000 condominium,
owners who are "hard" on public facility capacity
because they are inefficient drivers; need significant
social services support and emergency medical
capacity; and live on fixed income devoted to the
purchase of goods (food, medicine, and the like)
exempt from sales taxation. Moreover, retirement
populations are particularly efficient electors who
generally oppose ad valorem bond issues for capital
investment because the future benefits of such pro-
grams have little compensating value to a taxpayer
with a life expectancy shorter than the capital facili-
ties program, yet still consider some city "up north"
as their "home."
A second fundamental flaw in Florida's growth
management financing structure is that citizens have,
for too long, been shielded from the truth about the
cost of public facilities. For years, capital, operat-
ing, and maintenance costs of public facilities have
been funded out of general revenue with the result
that the relationship between demand, capacity, and
cost has been obscured. In other words, wastewater



treatment facilities have been financed with EPA
sewer grants-a source that municipal officials and
the citizens they represented consider "free money."
Because the funding was available at the time, the
long-term fiscal implications of increasing sewer
demand by approving a particular development has
been considered irrelevant.
Worse still, behavioral patterns in the use of public
facilities ignore the cost implications of waste. For
example, many jurisdictions fund all
or a significant portion of solid
waste disposal facilities through "'What
general revenues. As a result, the
economic advantages of waste done ...
stream management programs, such gage our
as source separation, are not appar-
ent to the user because a citizen re- the name
ceives no economic benefit if he or ent gro
she separates his waste stream and
recycles. If, however, the full cost prosperity
of waste collection and disposal, Dr. John
capital and operating and mainte-
nance were charged directly to the
user on the basis of his or her waste stream, it is in-
dubitable that source separation and other waste
stream reduction techniques would suddenly become
far more attractive. During the 1970s, when gaso-
line prices were far higher than they are today, driv-
ers selected more efficient automobiles because of
the direct economic implications of maintaining a
"gas hog." Unfortunately, the State's nominal ap-
proach to capital facilities financing ensures that "gar-
bage" gluttons have no direct incentive to reduce
their waste stream.
Redressing these issues will not be easy, and it
can not be seriously disputed that many "oxen" and
"sacred cows" will be gored by a public decision to
bring public facilities demand into alignment with
public facilities capacity. But it cannot be avoided
unless the development community wants to endure
a populist state where to grow or not to grow is a
majority decision of the public. Public opinion polls
consistently indicate that 70-80 percent of the popu-
lation of growth areas like Florida desire to see
growth limited because, reading between the lines,
they already have "theirs" and now want to "pull up
the ladder." In other words, if responsible growth
management is not in place, growth management by

initiative and referenda will inevitably follow, pos-
sibly leading to a taxpayer's revolt-no more money
for facilities and no more growth. California knows
full well the implications of "growth management
What is needed is reform of how we plan, regu-
late, finance, and use our public facilities and natu-
ral resources. The Growth Management Act, imper-

fect as it may

we have
'is mort-
future in
of pres-
vth and


be, is a good vehicle for the needed
reform. Undoubtedly, the State
could tinker with the substance and
language of the Act for years and
improve its effectiveness and maybe
even its equity; nevertheless, it is
doubtful that such refinements would
make any difference in the major
reforms needing attention now-
with or without the compulsions of
the Growth Management Act.
The first step of reform is to focus
the considerable energies of the real
estate development industry on the
number one problem the State faces:

the alignment of existing and future public facilities
demand with existing and future public facilities ca-
pacity. To put it in the vernacular, "the develop-
ment industry and local government have got to bite
the bullet." Landowners and the real estate develop-
ment industry must accept the reality that develop-
ment expectations formed on the basis of what are
now obsolete planning assumptions are not practi-
cally, constitutionally, or statutorily immutable. In
other words, development approvals that turn out to
be improvident may have to be reconsidered. In-
deed, given the environmental, social, and economic
costs of servicing development expectations, it is
unlikely that there will be many local jurisdictions
that will be able to accommodate every develop-
ment that has been approved during the last 30 years.
That does not mean that every development expec-
tation in the State must be adjusted, but that major
reformations may be necessary in order to ensure
that every property owner has a reasonable share of
the State's development capacity.
In addition, the real estate development industry
and its clients (the rest of the State's citizens) must
accept the reality that the indirect subsidies that have
supported real estate development in the past are no




more, and that development is going to have to bear
the cost of new facilities required to serve new growth
and development. The medium of that obligation is
subject to a great deal of choice; however, the "bottom
line" must be recognized as "due and owing."
Otherwise the gap between demand and capacity
(even if new development is not permitted) will not
be closed; growth management anarchy is inevitable.
Second, local government planning budgets must
be increased dramatically. The State has an econ-
omy that is basically dependent on real estate devel-
opment. The value of the real estate development
industry to the State and its economy are beyond de-
bate, yet the life-blood of the industry-new proj-
ects, created and designed by high-priced consult-
ants at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars-are
then tossed into a financially stressed land develop-
ment review system where staff professionals, who
are paid a mere fraction of their private sector counter-
parts, try to cope with a work load that taxes even
the most devoted professionals. Florida local gov-
ernments have always been blessed with caring
professionals; however, the staggering work loads
created by the State's sustained prosperity, the in-
creased complexity of development impact analysis,
the mandates of the Growth Management Act, and
the budget constraints of the infrastructure financing
crisis, threaten the very fabric of our public planning
institution. What the development community needs
to realize and publicly endorse in city commissions
and county commissions and legislative chambers is
that public professional planning is good and bene-
ficial (public planning is infinitely more beneficial
than growth management anarchy) and that increased
planning budgets will result in increased planning
service. The staff versus developer (white hat/black
hat) mentality that has characterized public planning
in Florida for many years, is an extravagance that
the State can no longer afford. The State of Florida,
its political subdivisions, and the real estate develop-
ment industry simply cannot afford to train young
planning professionals and then watch them move to
the private sector because local planning budgets can
not "afford" experience and expertise.
Third, the State of Florida must stop "whistling in
the dark." The old prescription for keeping the
"bears" away has no place in the complex, modern
economy, and the philosophy that something will

"work out" is bunk. The State has an infrastructure
financing crisis on its hands and nothing short of
revenue reform will transform the State into an
efficient growth management machine. There is no
"free lunch." We need a revenue system that advises
the diner of what the items on the lunch menu cost
and then delivers a bill when the diner receives the
"meal." Public facilities services should be financed
on a user-pays-for-services-received system. If it
costs $15 per pound to dispose of solid waste, then
the user should pay $15 per pound, not only be-
cause the bill reflects the cost, but because it will be
substantial inducement to reduce his or her waste
stream to 1/2 pound.
We must also accept the reality that our ad val-
orem tax based system is not adept at fairly appor-
tioning the cost of public services (in the broadest
sense) among all beneficiaries on a user basis. That
does not mean that we must, as a State, make it
more difficult for low and moderate income fami-
lies to cope with the demands of modern society,
but that "relief" programs for disadvantaged groups
need to be narrowly and directly tailored to provide
that relief.
In the final analysis, we must, if we are to cope
with the pressures that threaten the quality of life in
Florida, chart a new course. The Growth Manage-
ment Act of 1985 was a response to the reality of
this final analysis, and although the language and
nuances of the Act could be endlessly debated and
re-debated, the fact remains that the State of Florida
has two fairly distinct alternatives-face the music
and pay the piper, or enjoy it while we can with the
inevitable trauma of growth management anarchy.
The choice was, prior to the Growth Management
Act, and is now, whether the political institutions
that guide the State want to preserve and conserve
the natural and built resource values that make
Florida a desirable place to visit and live, or whether
we want to avoid the reality of the disparity be-
tween facilities capacity and facilities demands and
risk the anarchy of taxpayer revolts and nogrowth
initiatives. Although experience and logic favor the
former, it remains to be seen whether the experi-
ence and logic can "overcome." [









Plowing the Urban Fringe is an in-depth assessment of
the pioneering farmland protection programs from around
the country. It is the first programmatic review of an
assortment of farmland protection techniques since the
national Agricultural Lands Study of 1980.

* New York's program is the earliest and largest agricul-
tural districting program in the nation.

* Suffolk County, New York, was the first government to
use the purchase of development rights technique to protect

* Montgomery County, Maryland, has created the nation's
most successful transfer of development rights program to
protect farmland.

* Wisconsin's program cleverly combines local zoning
with state income tax credits.

* Oregon remains the only state to integrate farmland pres-
ervation into mandatory comprehensive statewide land use
and growth management planning.

* California's program combines farmland protecting ag-
ricultural districts with state mandated coastal zoning and
quasipublic land trust activity.

* New Jersey links state and local farmland protection
actions through agricultural districts, purchase of
development rights, and soil and water conservation.

* Illinois' program provides a model for state agency
review of farmland conversion impacts.


The eight programs described in Plowing the Urban
Fringe are now sufficiently mature to examine their farm-
land protection results. Program reviews identify farm-
land price impacts and primary program benefac-
tors. Each program chapter also reveals why a particular
approach was taken and how it was pursued through to
implementation. Legal challenges and administrative
changes, as well as the integration of the farmland protec-
tion path with other state or local laws, are discussed.


This book is a great resource for learning why or why
hasn't a particular farmland protection method worked. It
can help shape improvements to existing farmland protec-
tion programs. And, for those resource planners, legisla-
tors and citizens who are considering preservation options,
this book can help craft solutions appropriate to your
particular needs. This book costs $15.


Hal Hiemstra is Director of Legislative Affairs, Coali-
tion for Scenic Beauty.
Nancy Bushwick is Director of the Farmland Project,
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
Research Foundation.
Hiemstra and Bushwick coedited the nationally award-
winning Farmland Notes newsletter; coauthored the coun-
try's first National Directory of Farmland Protection
Agencies ,Cooperatingfor Clean Water-Case Studies of
Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in the
Great Lakes States, and "How States are Saving Farm-
land," for American Land Forum.





by Jan Winters

In 1985, the State of Florida adopted a far-reach-
ing Growth Management Act. The crux of the act is
concurrency: local governments must set levels of
service for all infrastructure as well as assure that
infrastructure is concurrent with new growth. The
Act mandated a State review of all local govern-
ments' plans.
Brevard County was the first county to submit a
comprehensive plan for compliance review. The
State's October 1988 finding of noncompliance to
Brevard's Plan underscored what everyone ex-
pected-the most difficult aspects of the Act are
applying concurrency to traffic and funding the
desired level of infrastructure.
Palm Beach County was the first local govern-
ment to implement concurrency in traffic manage-
ment, effective in May 1987 almost two years before
the required submittal of its comprehensive plan. And
on November 8, 1988, Palm Beach County placed
its Traffic Performance Standards for the unincorpo-
rated area on the ballot to expand the application
countywide to include municipalities. This was the
first public vote on concurrency. The 74 percent

approval is a clear signal of public support. How-
ever, Florida's Growth Management Act, in particu-
lar concurrency, is expected to encounter several
major challenges. The Palm Beach County experi-
ence may serve as a useful model.
Several examples of voter initiated proposals
linking new development approvals with road ca-
pacity have failed in Southern California. The Urban
Land Institute described the initiative approach to
growth management as highly polarized and often
adversarial. Hopefully, Palm Beach County's ap-
proach offers a reasonably cooperative alternative
for developing a responsible growth management

Like many high growth communities, Palm Beach
County engaged in what could be called indirect
deficit financing by not providing infrastructure at
the same pace as new growth. A major considera-

Mr. Jan Winters is the Palm Beach County



tion in fairly conservative South Florida is keeping
taxes low. In 1979, the County enacted a road impact
fee in an effort to develop a revenue source to meet
the growing need for new roads. The home builders
promptly sued, and, although the fee was upheld by
the Florida Supreme Court, Palm Beach County was
not allowed to collect the fee until 1982. In 1980,
the County placed a bond issue before the voters to
fund road building. The issue failed with over 60
percent of Palm Beach County voting against the
In 1985, a broad based Infrastructure Task Force
recommended a dramatic increase in road building
using three sources of funding: 1) an increase in
road impact fees from $300 per single family dwell-
ing to about $1,000; 2) adding the maximum of two
cents of gas tax just authorized by the State; and 3)
committing one-half mill of property tax for roads.
The Committee also led to the development of the
County's first 5-year road plan, a capital improve-
ment document that listed roads to be built and as-
signed dollars. In 1983, Palm Beach County spent
$5 million for road building. In 1988, the County
spent nearly $50 million for roads. In a high growth
area, however, developing a financing strategy is not
the complete solution to the road building issue. It
will take many years to correct the backlog of unmet
needs for roads. A community survey in 1986 found
70 percent of residents dissatisfied with traffic con-
gestion. Also, the County was growing at 100 people
per day. The issue became: how could growth be
directed to areas with adequate capacity in the road
In December 1986, a group of community leaders
proposed that a moratorium be imposed on all new
developments because infrastructure, especially roads,
was lagging behind development approvals. The
County agreed with the premise that infrastructure
slowed growth, but disagreed with the proposed
moratorium solution. The County's objection was
that a moratorium would only create a large backlog
of development applications; a better solution should
tie the road building and development approvals
Citizen sponsored initiatives may not always
reflect the long-term interest of the entire commu-
nity. The County expressed concern about the sig-
nal a moratorium would send. A recently completed

Economic Base Study found a strong dependency on
a few primary employers. It is, therefore, in the best
interest of the County's economic health to expand
and diversify its employment base, especially pri-
mary employment. A moratorium would make these
efforts more difficult. The County also would need
to bond for much of its infrastructure needs. The
State estimated that Palm Beach County has the
greatest financial needs in the State, over $1 billion,
which is due to its rapid growth. A moratorium
would send a negative signal to the financial mar-
kets that could result in higher interest rates. Addi-
tionally, the amount of infrastructure needed clearly
exceeded government's ability to provide infrastruc-
ture-it would take a cooperative public-private
partnership. Not only does the County need to be
sensitive about the economic climate, but it needs to
avoid damaging the health of the development in-
dustry, a major component of any solution. Lastly,
a moratorium would be patently unfair; areas with
roadway capacity would be closed to development
as well as the congested corridors.
Because of all these concerns, Palm Beach County
decided to develop a system that would directly solve
the need to tie infrastructure with development
approval, and, at the same time, improve the permit-
ting process. With the myriad of review hearings, it
was felt that the Board of County Commissioners
faced an unmanageable task, and found it difficult to
focus on overall land use policies. In addition, the
process itself was highly discretionary, and more pre-
dictability or certainty would be a benefit.

After three months of staff meetings, an initial
draft of traffic performance standards was prepared.
The essential features were:
1. Level of service "C" was set as the standard.
2. No new development application would be cer-
tified to enter the process that generated vehicle
trips on roads already below level of service "C"
or on roads that were projected to drop below "C"
during the buildout of the development.
3. If a project proposed to build the necessary road
links to provide capacity, the phasing of the devel-
opment will be tied to roadway construction.
Traffic engineers grade roadway traffic "A"
through "F," with "A" being completely free flow-




ing and not at all cost effective. "F" means system
failure or at gridlock. Level of service "C" roughly
equates to waiting for only one traffic signal cycle
before a vehicle could pass through an intersection.
The State of Florida has set level "D" for its stan-
dard on urban roads. Palm Beach County is within
the Treasure Coast Regional Planning District, and
that district set "C" as its standard.
There are several alternatives available to the land
owner/developer who would be affected by the
proposed standards.
1. Delay the project until the sixth or seventh
year of our five-year road plan.
2. Build the needed roadway
links themselves. t h
3. Reduce the size of the proj-here
ect so the traffic impact is less wide gap
than 1 percent of the roadways.
4. Shift the development to an he qual
area where roadways are not enhanceI
over capacity.
Clearly, the purpose of the the wlli
proposed standards is to influence pay for i
the timing, location, and/or inten- Beach C
sity of development-the very
essence of growth management.
The initial draft was not well

received by the development industry. They per-
haps misread the County's opposition to a morato-
rium to mean a lack of enthusiasm for growth
management. The Board created a committee com-
prised equally of representatives from the develop-
ment industry and community groups, chaired by
the County Administrator. Industry insisted the meet-
ings, held twice a week for five weeks, be open to
the press, perhaps hoping to marshal public opposi-
tion to the draft traffic performance standards.
Although committee members were not in agree-
ment on all issues, the meetings forced communica-
tion between slow growth community advocates and
the development industry. The meetings focused on
specific issues rather than the County's implemen-
tation of concurrency. Industry identified 15 areas
of concern with the first draft. Staff modified the
County's initial position on 85 percent of these areas
after committee discussions. It is important to
emphasize that the modifications were justifiable,
and that they would result in a superior plan, not in

an effort to trade elements of the proposed draft for
industry support.
There were a number of interesting issues dis-
cussed and resolved by the advisory committee. All
prior specific development approvals (beyond zon-
ing) would be recognized as having already received
a commitment from the County and would, therefore,
be exempt from the proposed standards. Revisions
to past approvals that did not increase the number of
units or intensity would also be exempt. Building
permits alone would not trigger the performance stan-
dards. The minimum threshold for the standards

certification, the

would be any development which
would add trips equal to one per-
cent of the design capacity of the
road. The road network reviewed
would be extended as far as the
road experienced a one percent
impact, but not further than five
miles. Any capture of existing trips
already on the road system (for a
commercial project) would be
deducted from the computation of
new trips generated.
The County agreed to a blended
level of service standard for "C."
For the initial review to determine
County agreed to use average an-

nual daily trips determined by 24-hour counts meas-
ured both in the peak winter season and off peak
season, then averaged together. We called the blend
average annual daily trips, or AADT. Actual inter-
section design would use peak hour counts.
The development industry expressed concern that
the traffic performance standards would become a
thinly disguised moratorium if new roads were not
built. They also said no banking institution would
loan on a large project phased over several years
without guarantees that the roads would be built. The
County agreed that changes (delays in timing or sub-
stitutions of roads) in the five-year road plan could
only be approved by an extraordinary vote of the
Board. It was felt the Board would have to contend
with extraordinary pressure from strong neighborhood
groups to remove controversial road links. Any multi-
year project that was approved, based upon the
County's five-year road plan, carried with it a guar-
antee of the approved phasing plan. Plus, if the


remains a
ty of life
ments and
igness to
t"in Palm

.. ^


County's annual funding of the road program dropped
below a certain level for two consecutive years, the
entire traffic standards ordinance would automati-
cally terminate. These commitments were quite
important to industry because they were assured that
the County would be held fully accountable to hold
up its part.

The last major issue was the unknown economic
impact. Industry feared the traffic performance stan-
dards could cripple their business. The County be-
lieved the economic impacts would not be disastrous
1. Only 12 percent of County roadways was below
level of service "C." The Engineering Depart-
ment clearly mapped all affected roadways.
2. Seventy percent of the roads below level of
service "C" were on the five-year road program,
therefore, projects on these roads would be certi-
fied, that is, allowed into the development ap-
proval system, and building permits would be
phased to road construction.
3. If the County builds 60 lane miles per year, by
the year 2010, all roads should be at level service
"C." (The County produced 78 and 90 lane miles
of road in 1987 and 1988, respectively.)
4. There exists an inventory of 80,000 plus dwell-
ing units that were previously approved and there-
fore exempt from the new standards.
Based on current absorption rates, this represents
a six-year inventory. The County hired an inde-
pendent consulting firm to prepare an economic
impact analysis. The firm found no material adverse
economic impacts, plus identified positive economic
benefits from reduced commuting time, savings in
fuel consumption, savings from reduced traffic acci-
dents, and a reduction in pollution.
The County also believed the traffic performance
standards could have major long term economic
benefits. A study of growth in the County found the
primary reason people moved to Palm Beach County
was jobs. The fastest growth in our job base was in
the service sector. Seventy percent of jobs in the
service sector are "knowledge workers," that is,
computer programmers, accountants, etc. Studies of
firms dependent upon knowledge workers found a
strong correlation between high quality of life and

location preferences. In fact, the 1987 Economic
Yearbook of Florida Trend stated, ". .the day is
coming when Florida's mounting infrastructure prob-
lems may well take a heavy toll in economic growth
and prosperity Infrastructure is going to deter-
mine how prosperous Florida is ten years from now
and how well Floridians live." Mayor Frederick of
Orlando has said he "envisions the day when com-
panies will refuse to locate (in Orlando) because of
highway congestion and infrastructure problems."
The Economic Council, a group of top business
leaders, and the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm
Beaches both endorsed the Traffic Performance Stan-
dards. They perceived the crucial linkage to be the
County's road building efforts and asked for a stand-
ing committee to monitor roadway production sched-
ules and the County's economic health. The County
agreed to the committee and its mission.
I believe the Economic Council and the Chamber
also recognized the advantage that would be gained
from a more predictable system. In the past, a de-
velopment proposal could conceivably receive major
new road requirements at the last possible public
hearing after a large public turnout. It would be dif-
ficult to find two similar projects in the same general
area that had identical road improvement conditions.
With the new system, a developer could accurately
pencil out the cost of proposed projects in different
locations and make a very business-like decision on
whether or not to proceed. Everyone would have
the same level playing field.

On September 22, 1987, the Board of County
Commissioners unanimously adopted the Traffic
Performance Standards. The effective date for new
development applications was May 15, 1987. After
the adoption, several large annexation petitions came
before cities in the County. Because the traffic im-
pacts would be felt in the unincorporated area, the
County attempted to negotiate with the individual
cities to apply the Traffic Performance Standards
within their boundaries. The cities balked at being
singled out for application of the standards. There
was an answer. Since Palm Beach County is a charter
county, the County could place the traffic standards
on a referendum and, if successful, apply them




countywide to include all the municipalities. No-
vember 8, 1988, was selected as the date.
A major concern was the appropriateness of level
of service "C." In Palm Beach County, municipali-
ties are primarily the established communities built
within five miles of the coast. However, seventy
percent of the new residential growth is occurring in
the north and west suburbs of the unincorporated
areas. There are three rapidly growing cities in the
western suburbs, and one of these had received the
most requests for annexation. These huge, new low-
density western developments threatened the eco-
nomic vibrancy of the established cities and could
hasten their decline. The County wished to assist in
the revitalization of the coastal communities. In the
draft of Countywide Traffic Performance Standards,
coastal cities would be allowed to petition for a lower
level of service-AADT "D"-for the downtown
areas. It was believed the lower level would act as
an incentive for more intensive developments nor-
mally associated with clearly identifiable downtown,
and people generally accept more congestion in these
The County Municipal League opposed the
Countywide Traffic Standards by a vote of 15 to 11.
A major reason given was the threat to municipal
sovereignty. The County's position was: 1) the
Growth Management Act made the Countywide
Standards an inevitability by 1991; and 2) munici-
palities that adopted a version of traffic Standards
consistent with the essential features of the County's
standards would continue their own development
review process without any involvement from the
Some of the cities opposed to the Countywide
Standards joined forces with members of the devel-
opment community in a campaign to influence the
voters. Interestingly, the arguments against traffic
standards were not centered on concurrency, but
questioned instead the motives of the County, and
implied the County was attempting to gain unfair
authority over the municipalities.

I have worked on comprehensive plans in Cali-
fornia as a planner; I have seen staff there very frus-
trated. As we struggled to comply with California's
guidelines for the mandatory elements, infrastruc-

ture decisions were left to Public Works where they
prepared separate Capital Improvement Plans. When
capital improvements are divorced from the compre-
hensive plan, the land use plan tends to become just
a pretty picture on the wall.
It is absolutely imperative for infrastructure to be
fully integrated with land use for three reasons:
1. It is more cost effective. By running a number
of iterations on land use and infrastructure, it is
possible to balance the system, that is, minimize
locations with excess capacity. Infrastructure well
integrated with land use will yield the highest
return on capital dollars invested.
2. Growth follows infrastructure. Investment in
public facilities reduces private sector cost. We
all have witnessed the effect that building a major
new highway has in opening up new areas for de-
3. It is too easy for governments to underfund
capital. Oftentimes, capital is used to balance
annual budgets; it's much less painful than laying
off employees. Consequently, a backlog is devel-
oped-a deficit that must be paid in the future.
The Florida Growth Management Act, by requir-
ing infrastructure concurrent with land use approv-
als, as well as requiring assured funding for the
infrastructure, is actually requiring "truth in plan-
ning," and the avoidance of future surprises.
One of the great difficulties all local governments
will have complying with Florida's Growth Man-
agement Act is to fund the infrastructure necessary
to accommodate the growth envisioned on the
comprehensive plan. The State Comprehensive Plan
Committee, chaired by Charles Zwick, Chairman of
Southeast Banking Corp., found the total cost to State
and local governments to implement the Growth
Management Act to be $52.9 billion over the next
ten years. The Committee also found every tax source
available to local governments to be either capped
by the State constitution or frozen by State law. The
Committee recommended that the State pick up the
cost of indigent health care and the costs of jails,
courts, prosecutors and public defenders-all costs
that have been shifted to local governments. The
committee also recommended that counties be per-
mitted to levy a one-cent "local option" sales tax.
Unfortunately, the State opted not to pick up the cost
previously shifted to local governments, and the State



required a referendum vote on the local option in-
stead of granting the authority to counties.
One hundred new people are arriving in Palm
Beach every day. Our fiscal analysis for Palm Beach
County's comprehensive plan discloses annual budget
shortfalls averaging $200 million from 1990 to 1994,
totaling approximately $1 billion. Capital projects
contribute $900 million, which is 25 percent of total
expenditures. Clearly the plan is threatened without
adequate revenue.
By reducing desired levels of service in some
areas, such as mass transportation and libraries and
adding new revenues such as full countywide impact
fees for all infrastructure, utility tax, local option
sales tax, using bonding, expanding user fees, and
increasing millage on property tax an average of 5
percent per year, the annual deficit was trimmed by
85 percent. The voters in November 1988 approved
countywide impact fees for all infrastructure, solid
waste, public buildings, parks, etc. Since new growth
will pay only for their current fair share and is not
responsible for backlog, the estimated annual reve-
nue of $40 million represents only 20 percent of the
total capital needs.
Our remaining tool to bring the plan into fiscal
balance is the establishment of an urban growth
boundary, or an urban service line. The County
simply lacks the financial resources to support growth
everywhere at once. Therefore, the levels of serv-
ices stated in the plan will apply only to the east or
urban side of the urban service line. For example,
Palm Beach County makes no commitment to pro-
vide five minute response times for fire-rescue serv-
ices to the mostly rural development on the west
side of the line. This is consistent with past treat-
ment and reflects the high marginal cost of provid-
ing urban services to very low density rural develop-
ment. The line can only be moved every two years,
and the urban side will include sufficient vacant land
to exceed the expected absorption in order to ensure
a monopoly value is not placed on land. No urban
development will be permitted on the rural side of
the line unless the developer, through a special dis-
trict, pays the full operating as well as capital cost
for public services. We hope the establishment of
the urban service line will provide yet another method
of achieving the goals of the Growth Management
Act. This may become especially important if the

State continues not to fund the recommendations of
the State Comprehensive Plan Committee.

The Final Report of the State Comprehensive
Plan Committee concludes with

We have economic opportunities un-
matched by any other state. Yet if we aren't
willing to make the hard choices, if we aren't
prepared to provide Florida and Floridians
with the new keys to a competitive future,
we won't be able to win in the changing
world marketplace.
We can achieve all that we hope to
achieve-for ourselves and for our children.
We can make Florida an example to the
nation and the world all that freedom can
mean to people. We have the resources to
fulfill our dreams. The question is-do we
have the will?

Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom
Pelham, in discussing the Growth Management Act
before the Florida Senate stated, "Surely the logic
of requiring the timely provision of adequate facili-
ties to serve new development can no longer be se-
riously questioned .. .The legislature should not re-
peal the concurrency requirement, and it should not
tinker with it until we see how it works. Any
changes to this requirement should be based on real
experience with it and not on fear or speculation."
We believe Palm Beach County offers the real
experience that concurrency can work and that the
plan can be funded. Concurrency was supported
with a 74 percent approval; 61 percent disapproved
the Highway bond; and approximately 83 percent
disapproved a Traffic Improvement Bond in 1988.
There remains a wide gap between the quality of
life enhancements and the willingness to pay for it.








by Mary Kay Falconer

The assistance of Patricia McKay, Linda Shelley,
Robert Bradley, and Elizabeth Lines is appreciated in
preparation of this article.


The passage of the 1985 Local Government Com-
prehensive Planning and Land Development Regula-
tion Act or LGCPLDRA (Chapter 85-55, Laws of
Florida) and Chapter Law 86-191, Laws of Florida,
brought a number of necessary reforms to local
government planning throughout the state. One
reform led to an enhanced role of the regional plan-
ning councils in reviewing local government com-
prehensive plans. Another improved the leverage of
local governments to enforce the implementation of
growth management policies adopted in their com-
prehensive plans. In addition, the enactment of the
State Comprehensive Plan (Chapter 85-57, Laws of
Florida) promoted the required consistency between
local government comprehensive plans, regional
plans, and state plans as a major objective. Overall,
attempts to strengthen growth management policies
and practices in 1985 and 1986 introduced a new
series of challenges that all participants involved in
the local planning process will encounter.

Among the advances that surfaced in the
LGCPLDRA, the consistency requirement articulated
in s. 163.3177(10), F.S., precipitated the emergence
of problems' objectives, that will impact all entities
at the local level of government. Not only will the
coordination of plans across adjacent local govern-
ments be difficult, the coordination of information
related to local entities or special districts within each
local government's jurisdiction presents some un-
usual obstacles. The latter adds a new level of
complexity to planning that has been, up to this point,
addressed inadequately. Planning provisions point
to the intergovernmental coordination element as
crucial to any attempt to coordinate local entities for
planning purposes. The absence of a "final" model
intergovernmental coordination element from the De-
partment of Community Affairs reflects, above all,
the difficulties confronting each local government in
coordinating the identification and fulfillment of
planning goals within its jurisdiction and those adja-
cent to it.
This article explains how, under current law, local
entities commonly referred to as special districts, are
affected by local government comprehensive plan-
Dr. Falconer is the Chief Analyst for the Florida
Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations,
Tallahassee, Florida.


ning.1 The objective is to determine what the role of
special districts should be in local planning, not to
raise questions about whether districts should be
created for the purpose of building infrastructure or
the provision of services. Suggestions are offered
that entail greater participation of special districts in
the planning process.

What are special districts required to do with
respect to local government planning?
With a few exceptions, special districts are not
required to prepare or submit a comprehensive plan
to another local government entity, a regional plan-
ning agency, or the Department of Community
Affairs. According to the definition in section
163.3164(12), F.S., only counties and municipalities
are considered local governments. Special districts
are not referenced in the description of the respon-
sibilities and powers of the scope of the Local Gov-
ernment Comprehensive Planning and Land Regula-
tion Act as specified in section 163.3167, F.S. In
addition, special districts do not have any authority
with respect to this act in section 163.3171, F.S.
One exception is the Reedy Creek Improvement
District which, according to s. 163.3167(9), F.S., has
the same authority as a municipality in the Local
Government Comprehensive Planning and Land
Development Regulation Act. This provision will
require the Reedy Creek Improvement District to
prepare and submit a local government comprehen-
sive plan that fulfills the requirements in Part I of
Chapter 163, F.S.
Deepwater ports are another exception to the
exemption of special districts from the preparation
and submission of a comprehensive plan.2 Section
163.3178, F.S., which covers coastal management,
represents the high priority that the protection of
coastal resources must assume in the local govern-
ment comprehensive planning process. In section
163.3178(2)(k), F.S., it is stated that the comprehen-
sive master plans prepared by the deepwater ports
specified in s. 403.021(9), F.S., must be submitted to
the "appropriate local government and shall be inte-
grated with and shall meet all criteria specified in
the coastal management element." As specified in s.
163.3178, amended by Chapter 86-191, Laws of
Florida, the appropriate local government is:
the municipality having the responsibility for the area in
which this deep water port lies, except that where no
municipality or two or more municipalities each have

responsibility for the area in which the deepwater port
lies, "the appropriate local government" means the county
which has responsibility for the area in which the deep-
water port lies.
Another 1986 amendment to s. 163.3178(2), F.S.,
prohibits sanctions being brought against a local gov-
ernment if a comprehensive master plan for a deep-
water port is not submitted to that local government.
Instead, the 1986 additions to Chapter 163, F.S.,
subject those deepwater ports not part of a local
government and not compliant with s. 163.3178(2),
F.S., to sanctions in s. 163.3184, F.S.. This estab-
lishes an enforcement mechanism for the require-
ment that such ports submit the master comprehen-
sive plans as required.

What information related to special districts is a
local government required to include in its local
government comprehensive plan?
The mandatory intergovernmental coordination
element in s. 163.3177(6)(h), F.S., requires specifi-
cation of how a local government will coordinate
preparation of its plan with other plans prepared by
local governments within its jurisdiction, adjacent to
its boundaries, the region, and the state. As speci-
fied in the Minimum Criteria Rule (F.A.C., 9J-5.015),
a local government must identify and list all special
districts within the jurisdiction of that particular local
government in its intergovernmental coordination ele-
ment. In addition, the coordination mechanisms
between a local government and all other entities in
its jurisdiction, such as special districts, must be de-
At first glance, the amount of special district in-
formation required in other elements of a local
government comprehensive plan appears to be mini-
mal. However, the required and optional elements
of a plan, as specified in section 163.3177, S.A., and
detailed in the Minimum Criteria Rule (F.A.C., 9J-
5), actually require much more. This will be particu-
larly true if the number of special districts in a local
government's jurisdiction that operate independently
of that local government is large, and there is a wide
variation in the special district types. Palm Beach,
Broward, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota are
all counties with more than 20 diverse types of
independent special districts. A few examples help
illustrate how and why special district information
can become essential in a local government's com-
prehensive plan.

Preparation of the traffic circulation element re-
quires the compilation of data useful for evaluating
the capacity and use of roads. While the metropoli-
tan planning organizations (M.P.O.s) are generally
the major coordinating entity at the local level for
transportation planning, expressway and bridge au-
thorities, separate from the counties and municipali-
ties, are also important.3 Water and sewer districts
should be major contributors to the element that
addresses sewer, potable water, drainage, and natu-
ral groundwater aquifer recharge.4 The preparation
of this element might also benefit from the early
participation of water control districts and the five
regional water management districts.5 While not all
special districts will have an interest in the land use
element, a type of district that might be more in-
volved than the others is the community develop-
ment district created pursuant to Chapter 190, F.S.
A health element, if a local government opts to
include it, should refer to information related to health
facility authorities and hospital districts when such
districts are located in a local government's jurisdic-
tion. Finally, the capital improvements element will
require reference to special district fiscal informa-
tion. The collection of fiscal data that reflects spe-
cial district activities will allow a complete identifi-
cation and assessment of the current utilization of
public facilities' efficiency, the desired levels of serv-
ice, and most importantly, the costs involved.
Current statutory law can assist local governments
in the compilation of special district information
necessary for the preparation of their comprehensive
plans. Section 189.006, F.S., requires each special
district to submit a number of reports to the local
governments in which they are located.6 Two of
these reports include the annual financial report sent
to the Department of Banking and Finance and the
annual local government audit submitted to the Of-
fice of the Auditor General. In addition, several
statutory sections (ss. 189.007, 189.008, and 189.009,
F.S.) include provisions for the enforcement of this
reporting requirement.

How can special districts become involved in local
government comprehensive planning process?
Even though it should be in the best interests of
a special district to be involved in all stages of the
local government comprehensive planning process,
interpretations of current law portray special districts

as a reactive as opposed to a proactive force in local
government planning. The active participation of a
special district, or any local entity other than a county
or a municipality, appears to be currently covered in
ss. 163.3184, F.S. These sections state that a special
district could participate in the local government
planning process to the extent local governments
allow the public to participate. Section 163.3184,
F.S., does spell out some additional requirements that
can be used to formalize this participation. Accord-
ing to s. 163.3184, F.S., 90 days before a local gov-
erning body adopts a comprehensive plan or element
or portion thereof, a copy of what is being proposed
must be transmitted to "any other unit of local gov-
ernment or governmental agency in the state that has
filed with the governing body a request for copies of
all proposed comprehensive plans, or elements or
portions thereof." According to the definitions in s.
163.3164, F.S., special districts are considered gov-
ernmental agencies and if they request a copy of the
proposed comprehensive plans, they should have
access to local government planning information in
the early stages of the planning process.
Beyond this, a special district may qualify as an
"affected person" if they own property or are resid-
ing within the boundaries of that local government
whose plan is under review. According to section
163.3184(3)(a), F.S., the affected person must,
however, "submit objections, oral or written, during

the local government review and adoption proceed-
ings." If the Department of Community Affairs
reviews the plan and issues a notice of intent to find
the local plan in compliance, "any affected person,
within 21 days after the adoption, may file a petition
with the agency pursuant to s. 120.57, F.S."7 A
hearing conducted by a hearing officer from the
Division of Administrative Hearings occurs subse-
quent to this review of a local plan by the Depart-
ment of Community Affairs. Any subsequent changes
in a local government's comprehensive plan result-
ing from this hearing must be presented in another
public hearing. Adoption of a local government's
comprehensive plan is determined by majority vote,
preceded by two advertised public hearings, of that
local government's governing body.

What is the relationship between special district
activities and an adopted local government
comprehensive plan?



Because Part II of Chapter 163, Florida Statutes,
is not explicit in addressing the role of independent
special districts in the planning arena, it is uncertain
if the intent is for all special district activities to be
consistent with an adopted plan. There is little doubt
in s. 163.3194(1), F.S. that "all development under-
taken by, and all actions taken in regard to develop-
ment orders by governmental agencies in regard to
land covered by such plan or element shall be con-
sistent with such plan or element as adopted." This
intent is reinforced in ss. 163.3201 and 163.3202,
F.S., which address the use of land development regu-
lations. Due to the inclusion of special districts in
the definition of governmental agencies in s.
163.3164, F.S., and the reliance of part II, Chapter
163, F.S., on the relatively broad definition of devel-
opment residing in s. 380.04, F.S., it appears that
one could reasonably expect that the intent was for
special district activities to be consistent with an
adopted local government comprehensive plan.
While required consistency with land use in an
adopted local government comprehensive plan is
clearly specified in s. 163.3194(1), F.S., language in
s. 163.3194(4)(a), F.S. raises some additional ques-
tions. The statutory provisions in this statutory
paragraph allow a court "in reviewing local govern-
mental action or development regulations under this
act," to consider:

the reasonableness of the comprehensive plan, or element
or elements thereof, relating to the issue justiciably raised
or the appropriateness and completeness of the compre-
hensive plan, or element or elements thereof, in relation to
the governmental action or development regulation under
consideration. The court may consider the relationship of
the comprehensive plan, or element or elements thereof,
to the governmental action taken or the development
regulation involved in litigation, but private property shall
not be taken without due process of law and the payment
of just compensation.

Recent case law, Machado v. Musgrove, 519 So.2d
629(Fla.App. 3 Dist. 1987), refers to the above
language in s. 163.3194(4)(a), F.S. In this case, the
Dade County Commission approved a rezoning
request that was inconsistent with a land use map
and text adopted in the county's comprehensive plan.
The land use map and text adopted in the county
plan was based on a special area study conducted by
a local homeowner's or neighborhood association,
and the vote of the county commission was chal-
lenged. Upholding the decision issued by the Cir-

cuit Court, Dade County, the District Court of
Appeals in the Third District ruled that the proposed
commercial project for which the rezoning was re-
quested was inconsistent with the adopted county
land use plan. Because of its potential importance in
litigation addressing similar occurrences, it is noted
here that the District Court of Appeals in the Third
District held that the:
(1) test in reviewing challenge to zoning action on
grounds that proposed project is inconsistent with
comprehensive land use plan is whether zoning
authority's determination that proposed development
conforms to each element and the objectives of the plan
is supported by competent and substantial evidence, and
the traditional and nondeferential standard of strict judi-
cial scrutiny applies;
(2) burden of proof is on the one seeking a change to
show by competent and substantial evidence that the
proposed development conforms strictly to the compre-
hensive plan and its elements;
(3) neighborhood study, when adopted by ordinance,
became law and an integral element of the land use plan,
which county was bound by; and
(4) the proposed commercial project was not shown to
be consistent with each element of the land use plan or
to further its objectives [519 So.2d 629 (Fla.App. 3
Dist. 1987)].
While recognizing the legal standing of an adopted
local government comprehensive plan and its im-
plementation of land development regulations, it is
important to emphasize that special districts are also
created for the purpose of providing services. Even
though facilities related to a service might have been
constructed and financed by a special district, fur-
ther development of these facilities might not be an-
ticipated. When the construction of public facilities
and/or development of an area are not involved, it is
the provision of services by a special district that
could become important when evaluating the consis-
tency of a special district's activities with an adopted
local government comprehensive plan. This would
be particularly critical for those services for which a
"level of service" standard has been adopted in a
comprehensive plan. At this time, the extent of the
required consistency between a local government
comprehensive plan and the provisions of service by
a special district that operates independently of a
local government is uncertain.
Currently, there are statutory provisions outside
part II, Chapter 163, F.S., that address the relation-
ship between an adopted local government compre-
hensive plan and one type of special district. One
example appears in Chapter 190, F.S., which con-

tains statutory provisions for the community devel-
opment districts. The wording in the relevant sec-
tion, s. 190.004(3), F.S., states:

The creation of an independent community development
district as provided in this act is not a development order
within the meaning of Chapter 380. All governmental
planning, environmental, and land development laws,
regulations, and ordinances apply to all development of
the land within a community development district. Com-
munity development districts do not have the power of a
local government to adopt a comprehensive plan, building
code, or land development code, as those terms are de-
fined in the Local Government Comprehensive Planning
and Land Development Regulation Act. A district shall
take no action which is inconsistent with applicable
comprehensive plans, ordinances, or regulations of the
applicable local general-purpose government.

While the words, "no action which is inconsistent
with" are not necessarily embraced by the planning
community and those local governments currently
preparing plans under Chapter 163, Florida Statutes,
it is such wording, or lack thereof in several sections
of the statutes, that will serve as challenges to the
approved plans in future litigation.
Related to questions surrounding consistency, fur-
ther clarification of the "applicable adopted local gov-
ernment comprehensive plan" is in order. Referring
to s. 163.3171, F.S., the applicable adopted local
government comprehensive plan for a special dis-
trict located wholly within the boundary of a mu-
nicipality is that municipality. Continuing with the
current language in s. 167.3171, F.S., if a special
district is located only in an unincorporated area of
a county, the appropriate local government compre-
hensive plan is the comprehensive plan for that
county. However, if a special district is located in
more than one municipality, in a municipality and an
unincorporated area of a county, or in more than one
county, the applicable adopted local government com-
prehensive plan could be more than one comprehen-
sive plan. Section 163.3171(1), F.S., does allow a
municipality to expand its boundary for the "pur-
poses of this act" which might accommodate some
of the problems related to special districts that are
located in incorporated and unincorporated areas.
However, this boundary expansion must be approved
by the county.
Because of the multiple jurisdictional situation that
emerges due to special districts crossing local gov-
ernment boundaries, it is essential that "consistency"

between comprehensive plans of local governments
that have portions of the same special district be
ensured. This will be particularly critical in the im-
plementation and potential modification of land
development regulations and codes. It seems that
special attention must be drawn to these local juris-
dictional layers in each local government compre-
hensive plan by setting them apart or providing an
extra notation that will emphasize the links between
local government comprehensive plans. Perhaps, this
can be accomplished in the intergovernmental coor-
dination element, but without further direction on
how to accomplish this feat, it seems unlikely.
What can local governments do if a special
district's capital plan and corresponding activi-
ties conflict with or are inconsistent with that local
government's capital improvements plan?
Before the final adoption and approval of a
comprehensive plan, there should be an attempt by
any local government to avoid conflicts or inconsis-
tencies with it. For example, in the intergovernmen-
tal coordination element provisions in the Minimum
Criteria Rule, F.A.C. 9J-5, each local comprehensive
plan must "contain one or more policies for each
objective which addresses programs, activities, or
procedures for resolving conflicts with other
local governments through the regional planning
council's informal mediation process." This require-
ments is reinforced in s. 186.509, F.S., which states
that regional planning councils shall establish an
informal mediation process to resolve conflicts be-
tween local governments relating to comprehensive
plan. Even though these mediation provisions seem
to address planning conflicts across adjacent munici-
palities, adjacent counties, and between a county and
the municipalities within that county, they could be
used to augment the resolution of differences be-
tween special districts or between a special district
and a local government for the purposes of prepar-
ing a local government's comprehensive plan.
If a special district proposes development that is
not consistent with an adopted and approved local
government comprehensive plan, two options are
available. A local government may consider amend-
ing its plan in order to accommodate the proposed
inconsistency. Provisions governing the amendment
of an adopted comprehensive plan are contained in
s. 163.3187, F.S. These provisions allow amend-
ments two times each year with a few exceptions.

The exceptions refer to emergencies as defined in s.
163.3187(1)(a), F.S., those "directly related to a pro-
posed small scale development activities" with cer-
tain conditions attached.
The second major option involves the rejection of
the proposed development. If a local government
selects the second option, it could refuse to issue the
necessary development permits for a proposed de-
velopment that is inconsistent with the adopted com-
prehensive plan; the authority of a local government
to ensure consistency with its adopted local govern-
ment comprehensive plan through land development
regulations is clearly stated in s. 163.3194, F.S.

How do special districts fit into regional plans?
In s. 186.507, F.S., the required contents for a
comprehensive regional policy plan are specified.
There is no direct reference to
special districts in this section, _
but consistency with the state "Because of t
comprehensive plan is required. riictional
In rule 9J-5.021 of the Florida emerges
Administrative Code, consistency emerges due
of local government comprehen- tricts crossing
sive plan is addressed. Due to ment boundai
these consistency requirements, it tial that "co
can be implied that special dis- tween compr
tricts are identified and incorpo- of local gov
rated into a local government have portion
comprehensive plan.ve portion
As specified in section special district
163.3167, F.S., the regional plan-
ning agency must "prepare and
adopt by rule, pursuant to Chapter 120, the missing
elements or adopt by rule amendments to the exist-
ing plan" for local governments in its area of respon-
sibility that have not included all of the required
elements or amended their plans as required in that
section of the statutes. In addition, if a municipality
has not adopted a comprehensive plan within a three
year time limit, the regional planning agency shall
prepare the comprehensive plan for that municipal-
ity. This responsibility could require the regional
planning agency to prepare the inventory of special
districts mandated in the intergovernmental coordi-
nation element of the Minimum Criteria Rule, F.A.C.
What recourse is open to special districts if a
local government comprehensive plan is adopted

and approved by the Department of Community
Affairs but is perceived by a special district as
adversely affecting that special district?
If a special district qualifies as an "aggrieved or
adversely affected party," according to s. 163.3215,
F.S., an action for injunctive or other relief can be
filed against the local government accused of caus-
ing the adverse effect. As part of this process, the
complaining party must file a verified complaint with
the local government within 30 days after the "al-
leged inconsistent action" was taken.
As mentioned in the response that explained how
special districts can become involved in the local
government planning process, before the Department
of Community Affairs declares that a plan is in com-
pliance, the Department issues a notice of intent.
The relevant statutory law, s. 163.3184(8), F.S., al-
lows the "adversely affected"
district to file a petition with the
e multiple ju- Department of Community
situation that Affairs within 21 days for a
hearing pursuant to s. 120.57,
to special dis- F.S. While the special district
local govern- must respond within the speci-
ies, it is essen- fied time period, this is another
isistency" be- opportunity for special districts
hensive plans to object to provisions in
rnments that adopted local government com-
prehensive plans.
of the same
be ensured." AN OVERVIEW
Based on the above assess-
ment of provisions in part II of
Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, references to special
districts must appear in a comprehensive plan of a
local government that has special districts in its ju-
risdiction. Special district information will not only
be essential for the intergovernmental coordination
element, but also the capital improvements element
of a local government's comprehensive plan.
Retrieving and then compiling the necessary spe-
cial district information for the purposes of prepar-
ing a local government comprehensive plan is cur-
rently the responsibility of a county or municipality.
Because of the "independence" of some special
districts from general-purpose local governments, this
is a task that has or could become a frustrating task.
Unfortunately, this may prove to be exacerbated
because of a local government's failure to anticipate





the need for coordinating the districts in its jurisdic-
tion during the planning process. With the excep-
tion of a few counties, such as Palm Beach County,
where a special districts task force has already been
established to foster communication and coordina-
tion on such matters, the inclusion of districts, their
objectives and ultimate concerns, is likely to compli-
cate and impede the preparation of a local govern-
ment comprehensive plan.

Brevard County's Comprehensive Plan
A review of the comprehensive plan adopted by
Brevard County provides some insight into how local
governments are addressing special district activities
within their jurisdiction in a comprehensive plan. The
element responsible for the coordination of policies
across entities and authorities within that county, the
intergovernmental coordination element, was re-
viewed first. While the intergovernmental coordina-
tion element differed in several ways from a "draft
model element" prepared by the Department of Com-
munity Affairs, it did contain much of the required
information. The inventory of special districts was
close to being complete. Failure to mention the Bare-
foot Bay Recreation District and three community
redevelopment agencies could have been related to a
presumed inactive status or a perceived irrelevance
of the activities of those entities for the purposes of
the local government comprehensive plan. There
was an attempt to identify the independent status of
special districts. However, it is not known what
statutory law was used to make the distinction.8
The policy statements in the intergovernmental
coordination element, while general, did address
concerns relevant to improving communication and
coordination between local governments. However,
there was little specified that advanced the required
effort beyond what had been articulated in part II,
Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, and in the Minimum
Criteria Rule (9J-5, F.A.C.) For example, Objective
1 and Policy 1.9 state:

Objective 1: Brevard County shall coordinate the Com-
prehensive Plan and its implementation with the State, the
region, adjacent municipalities and counties, as well as
the Brevard County School Board and special districts.
Policy 1.9: Brevard County shall use the informal media-
tion process of the East Central Florida Regional Planning
Council to resolve conflicts between the county's compre-
hensive plan and the comprehensive plans of adjacent
municipalities and counties.

In the intergovernmental coordination element, list-
ing the entities in the jurisdiction of a local govern-
ment and a brief assessment of how coordination has
or should occur is probably the most that can be
expected during the first round of local government
comprehensive plan submissions. However, coordi-
nation within a local government's jurisdiction will
continue to be critical when preparing future amend-
ments to the plan and when attempting to enforce
policies, general as they might be, in a local govern-
ment comprehensive plan.
Other elements in the Brevard County Compre-
hensive Plan that should have mentioned or referred
to information on a type of special district were also
reviewed. The housing element, for example, con-
tained information on housing projects administered
by the Brevard County Housing Authority and the
housing authorities for the City of Cocoa, Melbourne,
and Titusville. Similarly, the potable water element
mentioned the St. Johns Water Management District
and the water supplied by the South Brevard Water
Authority for Melbourne, Melbourne Village, Mel-
bourne Beach, Satellite Beach, Indialantic, Indian
Harbor Beach, and unincorporated areas.
Based on what appeared in the Ports, Aviation,
and Related Facilities Element, information on the
Canaveral Port Authority constituted a substantial
portion of this element. It is not known how much
of the information contained in this element was
actually submitted as part of the master harbor plan
to the county as required pursuant to s. 163.3178,
F.S. A statement in the element indicated that there
was not any information available about "projected
development and projected trip generations." This
information would have been helpful in determining
the impact on roads serving the port, but Brevard
County did not anticipate a problem meeting the
desired level of service because of this.
Bringing Special Districts Into Local Government
Comprehensive Planning
While a number of approaches should be consid-
ered, one step to involve independent special dis-
tricts to a greater extent in the planning process was
proposed during the 1988 legislative session.9 Leg-
islation filed during the 1988 legislative session
contained sections that:
(1) required special districts to submit information
on their public facilities to each local government
in which they were located;



2) provided clarification on the "consistency" of
special district activities with local government
comprehensive plans; and
3) provided an enforcement mechanism for local
governments not receiving the required informa-
tion from special districts.
This legislation failed, but it represented a solid
attempt to bring together divergent interests in the
development and planning communities. The sec-
tion that addressed the "public facilities report"
appears below. Because of requirements specified
currently in Chapter 163, F.S., Reedy Creek Improve-
ment District and the deepwater port authorities were
exempt from this reporting requirement.
The proposed special district public facilities re-
porting requirements in proposed HB1605 include:
(1) It is declared to be the policy of this state to foster
coordination between special districts and local gen-
eral-purpose governments as those local general-purpose
governments develop comprehensive plans under the
Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land
Development Regulation Act, pursuant to part II of
chapter 163.
(2) Beginning March 1, 1990, each independent special
district shall submit annually to each local general-pur-
pose government in which it is located a public facilities
report. The public facilities report shall specify the
following information:
(a) A description of existing public facilities owned
and operated by the special district. This description
shall include the current capacity of the facility and the
current demands placed upon it This information shall
only be required in the initial report.
(b) A description of each public facility the district is
building, improving, or expanding, or is currently pro-
posing to build, improve, or expand within at least the
next 5 years.
(c) the anticipated time the construction, improve-
ment, or expansion of each facility will be completed.
(d) The anticipated capacity of and demands on each
public facility when completed. In the case of an
improvement or expansion of a public facility, both the
existing and anticipated capacity must be listed.
(3) Those special districts building, improving, or ex-
panding public facilities addressed by a development
order issued to the developer pursuant to s. 380.06(15)
and (18) and submitted to the developer, to the extent
the annual report provides the information required by
subsection (2).
(4) For each special district created after March 1, 1989,
the facilities report shall be prepared and submitted within
1 year after the district's creation.
(5) For purposes of the preparation or revision of local
government comprehensive plans required pursuant to s.
163.3161, a special district facilities report may be used
and relied upon by the local general-purpose govern-

ment or government's within which the special district
is located.
(6) Any special district that has completed the construc-
tion of its public facilities, improvements to its facilities,
or its development is not required to submit a public
facilities report, but must submit the information required
by paragraph (2)(a).
(7) A special district plan of reclamation required
pursuant to general law or special act, including, but not
limited to, a plan prepared pursuant to chapter 298 which
complies with the requirements of subsection (2), shall
satisfy the requirement for a public facilities report. A
water management and control plan adopted pursuant to
s. 190.013, which complies with the requirements of
subsection (2), satisfies the requirement for a public fa-
cilities report for the facilities the plan addresses.

The above provisions introduced a new reporting
requirement for special districts. However, the
provisions allowed for some flexibility in substitut-
ing other reports or documents that contain the in-
formation required in subsection (2), for a "public
facilities report." The first submission of a public
facilities report was not required until March 1, 1990.
The delay was viewed as a plus for two reasons: 1)
special districts were given ample time to make nec-
essary arrangements in their budgets, and 2) differ-
ences in the way special district information was to
be handled in the first round of plans submitted under
the 1985 act was minimized. In addition, annual
submission of the report was not required for a special
district that had completed its construction of or any
improvements to a public facility or its development.
The "report" (proposed HB 1605) provisions were
placed in Chapter 189, F.S., a chapter that addresses
special district financial disclosure and contains the
enforcement provisions for a number of special
district reporting requirements. In part, this statu-
tory location made it convenient to allow the en-
forcement of the public facilities report to rely on
the procedures used to enforce other special district
reporting requirements.
Statutory language that clarifies the required
consistency of a special district's activities with a
local government's comprehensive plan was also
developed in proposed legislation. It focused on
activities related to public facilities and was worded
as follows:

Activities of special districts, local comprehensive plan.-
Activities undertaken by a special district, related to the
provision of public facilities governed by part II of chap-



ter 163, Florida Statutes, shall be consistent with the ap-
plicable adopted local government comprehensive plan.

This section was an attempt to capture and strengthen
the intent of the LGCPLDRA. While the consis-
tency requirement was narrowed to refer to the public
facilities identified as important in Part II, Chapter
63, Florida Statutes, it clarified the extent of the
requirement that all special districts must be consis-
tent with local government comprehensive plans.
The objective was to make consistency, with respect
to special district activities, easier to interpret and
implement effectively.
Certainly, the approaches embedded in legislation
could be expanded or modified. Placement of rele-
vant provisions would probably be more effective in
Part II, Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, where the
1985 LGCPLDRA resides, even though there is some
justification for locating a variety of provisions im-
pacting special districts, including planning, in
another statutory chapter. In addition, further re-
finement of a "model" intergovernmental coordina-
tion element could serve as a guide for the develop-
ment and actual implementation of a local
government's comprehensive plan.
If and when part II of Chapter 163, F.S., is opened
for another look, the addition of provisions referring
to the role of independent special districts in the
planning process should be a consideration. While
viewed by some as unnecessary or too complex and
cumbersome, the overall objective should be to fa-
cilitate the local comprehensive planning effort as
intended. Changes like those discussed here should
augment efforts to clarify what was intended and
how these intentions should be realized.

1. Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations.
Special District Accountability in Florida (No. 87-5): pp. 186-
189; Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations. Spe-
cial District Recommendations and Rationales (No. 87-6): pp.

2. The deepwater ports listed in s. 403.021(9), F.S., are
in Jacksonville, Tampa, Port Evergaldes, Miami, Port Canav-
eral, Fort Pierce, Palm Beach, Port Manatee, Port St. Joe,
Panama City, and St. Petersburgh. Based on 1986-87 fiscal
information submitted to the Department of Banking and
Finance, the ports that have authorities operating independ-
ently of the general purpose of local governments are Jackson-
ville, Port Canaveral, Tampa, Port Everglades, Panama City,
and Palm Beach.

3. As required in Section 339.175(1), F.S., the major
regional transportation planning organizations in Florida are
the metropolitan planning organization (M.P.O.s). The pri-
mary purpose of these regional organizations is to meet re-
quirements for obtaining and expending federal transportation
funds. According to s. 339.175(5), F.S., the "authority and
responsibility of an M.P.O. is for the managing of a continuing,
cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning proc-
ess that results in the development of plans and programs which
are consistent with the comprehensively planned development
of urbanized areas." In order to meet this objective, the M.P.O.
serves as a "forum for cooperative decisionmaking by the
principal elected officials of general purpose local government"
While not all of these authorities are "active." Chapter 348,
Florida Statutes, contains statutory authorization for the crea-
tion and operation of ten expressway authorities. The location
of these expressway and/or bridge authorities are Brevard,
Broward, Tampa-Hillsborough, Orlando-Orange, Palm Beach ,
Pasco, St. Lucie, Seminole, Santa Rosa-Bay & Central Florida.

4. Statutory authorization for the creation of water and
sewer districts is located in section 153.53, F.S. According to
annual financial reports submitted to the Department of Bank-
ing and Finance, there are 12 water and sewer districts that
operate independently of counties.

5. The creation of water control districts is authorized in
Chapter 298, Florida Statutes. This type of district is most
numerous in Florida with over 90 water control districts report-
ing to the Department of Banking and Finance separate from a
county or municipality. As specified s. 373.1961(1), F.S., the
governing boards of water management districts created pursu-
ant to Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, must "engage in planning
to assist counties, municipalities, and regional water supply
authorities in meeting water supply needs."

6. According to the Department of Community Affairs,
the special district reporting requirements specified in Chapter
189, F.S., refer to "independent" special districts only.

7. The procedures for finding a plan in compliance differ
from those used for finding a plan not in compliance. Accord-
ing to s. 163.3184(10), F.S., a notice of intent to find a plan not
in compliance is submitted directly to the Division of Admin-
istrative Hearings in the Department of Administration for the
initiation of hearings under section 120.57, F.S.

8. Statutory definitions of independent and dependent
special districts reside in Chapter 200, [paragraphs 200.001(8)(d)
and 200.001(8)(e)], Florida Statutes, and Chapter 218 [subsec-
tions 218.31(6) and 218.31(7)], Florida Statutes.

9. SB 633 and HB 1605 were companion bills filed during
the 1988 Florida Legislative Session. The statutory location of
the provisions related to local government planning varied with
subsequent versions of the legislation. The final version con-
sidered by the House and Senate placed the "special district
public facilities report" in s. 189.415, F.S., and the section
addressing "activities of special districts" in s. 189.4155, F.S.







by Westi Jo deHaven-Smith

Florida is entering a crucial period in its
history. During the past three decades, it has
experienced one of the fastest rates of popu-
lation growth in the nation. Now the fourth
most populous state in the country, Florida
has been transformed by this growth from
one of the poorest states in the union to an
emerging economic power. The challenge
of the 1990s is to maintain and enhance this
prosperity in the face of a slower rate of
population growth, increasing economic
competition, limited environmental resources,
and widespread reluctance to impose addi-
tional taxes (Policy Statement, 3).


On December 11-15, 1988, the Florida House of
Representatives met in Broward County, Florida, at
the 1989-1990 Legislative Issues Conference. The
goal, as described by House Speaker Tom Gustafson,
was to reach consensus on major state issues. Ameri-
can Assembly procedures were used to guide the

discussion. Speaker Gustafson organized the con-
ference around the themes of business growth, gov-
ernment efficiency and effectiveness, structural and
natural resources, and human resource development.
He plans to use the Policy Statement as a basis for
action in the 1989-1990 legislative sessions. The
conclusions and recommendations reached by the
representatives were reviewed as a group. The state-
ment, available from the Joint Center upon request,
reflects general agreement, but no one was asked to
sign it, and it should not be assumed that every Rep-
resentative subscribes to every recommendation.
The American Assembly, a consensus building
process developed in 1950 by Dwight D. Eisenhower
while he served as president of Columbia Univer-
sity, has been adapted by FAU's Institute of Govern-
ment (IOG). Since 1970 it has been used by the
IOG and the Florida Atlantic University/Florida
International University Joint Center for Environ-

Previously a Senior Research Associate at the Joint
Center, Ms. deHaven-Smith is currently the Research
Coordinatorfor FAU's College of Engineering.



mental and Urban Problems, at 20 conferences
throughout the state. This process was used because
it provides a body of knowledge, a setting, and a
technique for bringing people together to discuss
issues and voice their opinions so that each partici-
pant can become involved in a meaningful way.
Al Hadeed, special counsel to the Speaker, coor-
dinated the writing of background papers and the set
of questions prepared by the House Staff. Using
these documents, all members of the Florida House
of Representatives participated in a series of small
group discussions. Each group had an experienced,
nonpartisan facilitator to lead it. The four facilita-
tors, all of whom contributed their time as a public
service, were: Kenneth Spillias, Esq., former Palm
Beach County Commissioner and currently a mem-
ber of Shapiro and Bregman, P.A.; Roy Rogers, Vice
President of Arvida/JMB Corporation; Patricia Bi-
dol, an expert in conflict resolution who was for-
merly with the South Florida Water Management
District and is currently with Keith and Schnars, P.A.;

and Jack Osterholt, Executive
Director of the South Florida
Water Management District.
Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith,
Director of the FAU Institute of
Government, directed the confer-
ence, and Ms. Carla Coleman,
Director of Governmental Rela-
tions at FAU, was the confer-
ence co-director. The FAU
team, made up of staff from the
IOG and the Joint Center for
Environmental and Urban Prob-
lems, took notes during the dis-
cussions and developed the draft
policy statement, which was then

reviewed and modified by the participants in the clos-
ing plenary session.


The 41 page Policy Statement, the most ambi-
tious ever prepared by FAU's Institute of Govern-
ment and Joint Center, addresses a number of topics
under the four broad issues of business growth,
government efficiency and effectiveness, structural
and natural resources, and human resource develop-

ment. The following text highlights some of the
issues addressed in the policy statement.

Recognizing that Florida's educational system
needs to be strengthened to promote development of
a diverse economy, the Policy Statement calls for a
vision to identify opportunities and structure eco-
nomic incentives (4-5). The state should target future
economic growth industries, such as "information
technology, lasers, the space industry, medical tech-
nology, and research" and "channel growth and
economic development to growth areas or to areas
where economic growth is needed" (5-6). The Rep-
resentatives included some specific strategies for at-
tracting new industries, such as promoting educa-
tion, public/private partnerships, one-stop permitting,
and eliminating overlapping regulatory jurisdictions.
The House of Representatives then articulated
three complementary strategies to assure continued

economic diversity and

prosperity, on international
and national levels, as well
as in the area of small
business. To promote
international business, the
group suggested a strategy
of aggressively marketing
Florida's products, such as
agriculture, aquiculture,
manufactured products,
and new technologies. A
number of programs were
suggested to accomplish
this goal: using the Fed-
eral Free Trade Bill; cre-
ating and improving For-
eign Trade Zones; creating

a Venture Capital Board for international finance;
establishing trade missions; and developing "inte-
grated business structures around Florida's deep wa-
ter ports and space port" (7). Tax policies and de-
veloping reciprocal agreements with Alabama and
Georgia were seen as important steps to promote
economic growth for the southeast region of the U.S.
Issues such as tourism, hunting, marine fisheries,
agriculture and aquiculture, water shortages, as well
as water quality and education are topics of regional
concern (8-9).
Promoting the development and survival of small


"The challenge of the
1990s is to maintain and
enhance this prosperity in
the face of a slower rate
of population growth, in-
creasing economic compe-
tition, limited environ-
mental resources, and
widespread reluctance to
impose additional taxes."


businesses is an important integral part of economic
development. The Legislators thought that it is im-
portant to evaluate existing programs and initiate new
proactive measures. A review of regulatory pro-
grams that might have a negative impact on small
business was suggested. Establishing a small Busi-
ness Administration, creating an incubator program,
providing incentives/loans, and generally improving
Florida's educational system were some of the proac-
tive ideas presented (P.S. 9-10).

Higher Education These strategies for economic
development were supported by a call for a "first-
class educational system to attract, retain and sup-
port business" (P.S. 10). Stressing the importance
for the business community to become "active part-
ners" with vo-tech and higher education, the Repre-
sentatives stated that "Florida should capitalize on
existing institutes and centers in the State University

"The goal, as described by House
Speaker Tom Gustafson, was to
reach a consensus on major state
issues ... [on] the themes of busi-
ness growth, government effi-
ciency and effectiveness, struc-
tural and natural resources, and
human resource development."

System to disseminate information and technology
... and provide research and information necessary
to identify viable businesses and markets" (P.S. 11).
The participants urged higher education institutions
to focus on university research and development
parks, especially in specific industries, to provide a
link between the business community and research
in robotics, computers, and other knowledge-based
industries. Retaining Florida's best and brightest, as
well as attracting out-of-state and international stu-
dents, was mentioned as a strategy to expand Florida's
pool of human resources.

Florida's Tax System Recognizing that Florida's
tax system does not meet "the state's escalating needs
for essential public services and facilities," the

Representatives identified short-term and long-term
solutions (P.S. 12). The short-term solutions included
eliminating ineffective programs and linking any
new revenues to specific public facilities or services.
Long-term solutions would involve identifying spe-
cific needs and their costs, and then assuring public
support before any changes are proposed in the tax
system. The Legislators expected that the newly
created Tax and Budget Reform Commission, au-
thorized to place tax and budget items on the ballot,
will address these needs.

An efficient and effective government is necessary
to sustaining economic growth. It also promotes
public support for, and faith in, our system of gov-
ernance. The Policy Statement identifies three per-
tinent topics in this issue area: budget and program-
matic review, the electoral process, and broadening
participation in government.

Budget and Programmatic Review Given that
the quality of decisions improve with increased
knowledge and information, Representatives ex-
pressed the belief that legislators, as well as the
public, need increased opportunities to exchange in-
formation about previous budget commitments, the
budget process, and the intent and effectiveness of
various programs. A zero-based budgeting process
was suggested as one option, and legislative over-
sight of programmatic effectiveness (by techniques
such as program audits, evaluations, and joint public
private partnerships) was mentioned as another (P.S.

The Electoral Process Participation by an in-
formed public was the central theme of this issue.
The Legislature recognized the need to reduce the
level of campaign spending and increase public debate
during campaigning. To promote voter registration
and voter turnout, a number of options were sug-
gested, including: Sunday registration and mail reg-
istration; extended voting to 9 p.m.; standardized
ballots; a reduction in the number of elections in an
election cycle; reviewing the processing of and items
considered on absentee ballots; reviewing the run-
off system; and making the Supervisor of Elections
a nonpartisan office (P.S. 15-17).



Broadening Participating in Government While
there were a number of strategies suggested, for
broadening public participation, most were directed
toward changes in the legislative process, such as
holding legislative committee meetings throughout
the state; early committee action on substantive bills;
encouraging the Rules Committee to "send forward
more bills early in the session;" and lengthening the
legislative session (P.S. 17-18). Also, the Represen-
tatives stated that "the budgetary process as pres-
ently implemented causes major decisions to be made
at the last minute in the life of the session. Thus, the
Legislature should consider shifting the discussion
of appropriations to earlier in the session and en-
courage a more open decision-making process by
the legislators"(P.S. 18). In addition, several options
were suggested to revise referenda for Constitutional
amendments. The executive branch was encouraged

to initiate reforms to the budget-
ary process and seek public input
on issues through electronic
means. In addition, limiting
judicial terms and greater judi-
cial authority for chief judges
were two of the suggested re-
forms to the judicial process.

Given Florida's sensitive
ecology and its rapid population
growth, it is appropriate that the
longest issue area in the Policy
Statement concerns the natural
and built environment. Growth
brings economic expansion, but
it also can lead to a degradation
of the environment, a loss of open
space and urban sprawl, grid lock
traffic on major arteries, over-
crowded schools, and a shortfall

Effective Environmental Protection Adequate
staffing and consistent enforcement are necessary for
implementation of current laws. Although Repre-
sentatives thought that "current laws should be re-
viewed thoroughly before changes are considered,"
some general steps to improve the efficiency of
regulatory agencies were suggested:

streamlining regulatory processes;
one-stop permitting;
standardizing activities;
encouraging cooperative attitudes toward
applicants; and
removing interjurisdictional conflicts and
overlaps in regulations" (P.S. 20-21).

House members discussed the importance of for-

mulating, with

Speaker Tom Gustafson
gives his introductory re-
marks at the 1989-1990
Legislative Issues Confer-

in capital facilities' financing. Without governmen-
tal intervention through regulation, these negative
impacts on the natural and built environment are the
by-products of growth. This section covered five
areas: effective environmental protection, agricul-
ture, transportation, infrastructure requirements, and
infrastructure finance.

both private and public sector in-
volvement, a "vision for
assuring quality growth which
protects our natural resources" and
communicating that vision effec-
tively (P.S. 21). Refining the
roles of regional agencies in plan-
ning, using a case management
model for permitting, and requir-
ing state agency (especially the
Department of Transportation)
compliance with environmental
regulations were also recom-
Innovative techniques for state
land acquisition and management
(such as joint state/local use of
state owned lands, such as the
purchase of development rights,
leasebacks, and covenants running
with the land, and possible merge
of acquisition programs, such as
Save Our Rivers and Conserva-
tion and Recreation Lands) were
recommended to improve

Florida's land management system. Suggestions to
increase revenues included expanding water man-
agement districts' limits on bonding ad valorem reve-
nues and committing additional state dollars (P.S.
By balancing policies to ensure that agriculture
and fisheries remain vital industries with policies to



Representatives Tom Tobiassen, Peter Wallace, A
and Bo Johnson discuss issues at the conference.

protect ground, surface, and area waters from agri-
culture runoff, Florida can have clean water and
agricultural products, too. A strategy to maintain
these industries is synchronizing farmers' and fish-
eries' market activities and terminals to match inter-
national market needs, especially those of Latin
America. Representatives thought it was important
to encourage: local land use policies, such as trans-
fer of development rights, to curtail urban sprawl;
acquisition and preservation of agricultural lands; and
research on "water tolerant plants, herbicides, more
efficient irrigation systems, and data regarding pol-
lutants [from agricultural run-offs]" (P.S. 24-25).

Transportation and other Infrastructure
Requirements Rapid growth leads to a backlog
in public infrastructure (roads, water systems, librar-
ies, schools, etc) and a decline in revenues to build
these facilities. For example, the Florida Depart-
ment of Transportation Plan indicates that $40 bil-
lion is required to meet current and projected needs
over the next decade. In an effort to assure that local
governments act responsively to address this need,
the Legislature passed the 1985 Growth Manage-
ment Act requiring local government plans to in-
clude a capital facilities element that describes cur-
rent and anticipated public facilities, sets acceptable
levels of service, provides detailed schedules of capi-
tal projects to serve new development, and identify
revenue sources to fund such projects. The law
requires that facilities and roads needed to serve new
development must be available "concurrent" with the

impact of new develop-
ment. In the Policy State-
ment, the Representatives
expressed a need for:

1. clarifying "state policy
and oversight of the setting
of levels of service, [and]
2. requiring state agencies
to meet the same concur-
rency requirements placed
on local governments"
(P.S. 28).

Lnne Mackenzie, In addition to discussing
new revenue sources (to be
covered later), the Repre-
sentatives considered ways to economize in devel-
oping transportation systems and said the "the state
should demand that all federal gas tax revenues
remain in the federal highway trust fund ." (P.S.
27). Prioritizing needs, improved state and local
planning to reserve and acquire land for highways,
double-decking highways, and revisions to the "Con-
sultants" Competitive Negotiations Act were some
of the cost saving measures suggested (P.S. 26). Rep-
resentatives thought that a "clearer state policy on
funding" mass transit was necessary, along with
improved feeder systems, coordinated public transit
schedules, and incentive for land use regulation
policies that promote compact urban development
(P.S. 27).

Financing Local Infrastructure Generating suffi-
cient revenues to enable infrastructure to keep pace
with growth is a challenge because local govern-
ments' main source of revenue, e.g., local property
tax, lags behind infrastructure requirements. New
residents use schools, libraries, parks, utilities and
other public services long before they pay the first
cent of property tax. Plus, state and local gasoline
tax revenues are insufficient to meet Florida's trans-
portation needs. These problems are compounded
by continued federal retrenchment in its support of
local water, sewer and highway construction. Local
governments need to be given new options to gener-
ate revenues to meet the infrastructure demands of
current and past growth. Some of the suggested
revenue options in the Policy Statement include:




initiating bipartisan cooperation to de-
velop innovative methods to raise revenues;
prioritizing infrastructure needs and tar-
geting revenues to meet those needs;
developing economic development poli-
cies that generate stable, long-term growth;
considering tax increment financing as a
revenue option;
density bonuses for affordable housing;
requiring a set level of local taxing,
before providing additional revenues;
documentary stamp taxes;
policies to enable countywide impact fees
in noncharter counties;
school impact fees;
restructuring the Homestead Exemption;
creating special districts (P.S. 29-30).

Maximum development of Florida's human resource
potential is essential to continued economic prosper-
ity. Five areas were discussed under human resource
development: children's services; preventative and
primary health care; the mission of the Department
of Health and Rehabilitative Services; the criminal
justice system; and substance abuse. One theme,
promoting the interests and full development of chil-
dren, Florida's greatest resource, cuts across all of
these issues.

Children's Services Raising healthy, well-edu-
cated children is the goal of a "Safe Children's
Strategy." This strategy, as discussed in the Policy
Statement, includes restructuring the educational
system, increasing parental involvement, creating
mentor programs, and insuring coordination between
human resource agencies (including HRS) and the
schools" (P.S. 31). Numerous suggestions to im-
prove the operation of schools were made, and many
of them were drawn from proven programs, such as
the Richey Fundamental School model and the Par-
ents as Teachers program (P.S. 31).
Funding of children's services and education, at
all levels, was given some consideration. Represen-
tatives expressed a need to increase funding for
Headstart and day care programs, as well as using
the taxing authority available to juvenile welfare
boards. The public's misperception that the lottery
has met the funding needs of education remains a
problem. Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO)
funding has not met the needs of primary, secon-
dary, and higher education (P.S. 35).

Preventative and Primary Health Care Afford-
able insurance, indigent care, and specialized serv-
ices to promote elderly access to health care are some
of the problems we face. Two suggestions that would
expand the availability of affordable insurance in-
clude creating a large "public/private funded insur-
ance pool" and allowing voluntary contributions of

Representatives Tom Benjamin, Ben Graber, Carol Hanson, Ray Liberti, and James Hill, Jr.,
contemplate issues related to economic development.



small businesses (P.S. 35). A public/private partner- Substance A
ship is needed to provide health care services to in- entry" for dru
digents. Encouraging "pro bono" services where pro- was a call fo
viders are covered by state insurance coverage, pre- the flow of dc
natal and postnatal services offered at birthing cen- programs wer
ters, and centralized services for elderly and handi- abuse, and ret
capped were suggestions raised (P.S. 35-36). How- considered in
ever, there was a strong feeling that the Legislature
should completely reevaluate the state's health care
policy and health insurance programs.
The Legisl

"Speaker Tom Gustafson deserves great
credit for his decision to adopt the
American Assembly approach his
courage benefited the Legislature as
well as the citizenry."

Health and Rehabilitation Services Mission There it gave fresh
was support for reorganizing the Department of learn about t
Health and Human Services, dividing it into two ing.
separate agencies: social services and health serv- Speaker I
ices. Several administrative changes were also his decision
suggested. First, "merging the 'shelter parents' group proach in for
with the 'foster parents' group," to enable children in tential for cot
their care to stay with one set of care givers, and highly partici
second, revising case management procedures for of the House
health care, elderly and children's services (P.S. 37). as well as th

House members review the Poli
The Criminal Justice System
Florida's overcrowded prisons
have resulted in reduced sen-
tences. The Policy Statement
reflects support for construc-
tion of new prisons plus a
number of policies that result
in longer, more harsh sentenc-
ing for violent or habitual of-
fenders (P.S. 38). In addition,
there was support for voca-
tional education programs,
community confinement pro-
grams for nonviolent offenders,
and crime prevention pro-

buse Because Florida is a "port of
gs coming into the United States, there
r "increase federal assistance to stop
rugs" (P.S. 40). Community education
*e considered necessary to prevent drug
labilitation plus early intervention were
iportant in treating drug abuse.


ative Issues Conference was successful
in a number of areas. It produced
a blueprint to help frame the
House's activities for the next two
years. It fostered a spirit of bi-
partisanship at a time when the
competition between parties is es-
calating, as well as offering the
public a clear view of the issues
and providing insight into how the
Representatives intend to proceed
in the following two years. And
nan legislators a unique opportunity to
he questions that they will be address-

om Gustafson deserves great credit for
to adopt the American Assembly ap-
mulating his agenda. Despite the po-
iflict and controversy, he chose an open,
patory process for developing the goals
. His courage benefited the Legislature
e citizenry. [

cy Statement at the plenary session.



The Joint Center has taken a major step toward
expanding its publication of monographs. The goal
of the monograph series is to address the needs of
scholars, practitioners, and citizen groups with re-
gard to issues critical to environmental and urban
concerns, be they in the area of growth management,
health care, or agriculture. Brief descriptions of the
most recent monographs and publications follow:

edited by Hal Hiemstra and Nancy Bushwick
Plowing the Urban Fringe is an in-depth assess-
ment of pioneering farmland protection programs
implemented by selected states. It provides insight
into why some efforts to protect farmland were
successful and others were not. With an introduc-
tion by John DeGrove, the monograph includes:
"Farmland Protection: Issues and Techniques," by
Lance deHaven-Smith, Teresa Herrero, and James
Nicholas; "Wisconsin: Managing Growth and Lim-
iting Taxes," by Sharon L. Emelock; "California: A
Multi-Level Approach to Districting, Planning, Per-
mitting and Easement Acquisition," by Kathleen
Shea Abrams; "Oregon: Balancing Growth and
Conservation With Mandatory Statewide Planning,"
by Barbara C. Brumback; "Illinois: Controlling
Government Induced Farmland Conversion," by
William Lyons; "New York: Protecting Farming
With Agricultural Districts," by Shirley Sternamen
and Elizabeth Mumby; "New Jersey: A State and
Local Partnership to Protect Farmland," by Barbara
C. Brumback; "Montgomery County, Maryland: A
Transfer of Development Rights Success Story," by
Melissa Banach and Denis Canavan; and "Suffolk
County, New York: Pioneering the Purchase of
Development Rights Method to Protect Farmland,"
by William Lyons. Published by the Joint Center,
this monograph is 160 pages and costs $15.

edited by Westi Jo deHaven-Smith
This monograph was published in concert with
the Joint Center's "New Directions in Planning and
Land Development Regulation" conference held
April 15, 1988. Growth Management Innovations
examines some of the newest, most creative tech-
niques in growth management today and includes:
"Forging Ahead in Growth Management: The Chal-
lenge of Concurrence," by John DeGrove and Lance
deHaven-Smith; "Coordinating Local Government
Comprehensive Planning: A Mandate and Neces-
sity," by Robert Paterson; "American Assemblies: A
Tested Approach for Developing a Growth Manage-
ment Consensus, by Sarah Horiman and Lance
deHaven-Smith; "Alternative Conflict Management
for Environmental and Development Disputes," by
Kathleen Shea Abrams; "Improving the Quality of
Zoning Administration Through the Use of Hearing
Examiners," by Richard A. Brumback and Donald
R. Cooper; "Sources of Revenue and Managing
Growth: An Overview," by Wayne A. Clark; "Spe-
cial Districts: A Structural Approach to Infrastruc-
ture Finance and Management," Lance deHaven-
Smith; "Impact Fees: A Fiscal Technique for Man-
aging Growth," by James C. Nicholas; "Downtown/
Areawide DRIs: The Benefits to Growing Commu-
nities," by Charles L. Siemon, Wendy U. Larsen,
and Arthur Fleming; "Resource Planning and Man-
agement Committees: Implementing Florida's Criti-
cal Area Program," by John M. DeGrove and Westi
Jo deHaven-Smith; "Land Acquisition: Composing
Workable Strategies," by Barbara C. Brumback; and
"Nonregulatory Techniques for Growth Manage-
ment: Locking in the Players," by William J.
Turberville II. Published by the Joint Center, this
monograph is 228 pages and costs $15.

by Lance deHaven-Smith

Environmental Publics is the first book-length
study ever conducted of public opinion on issues
related to regional planning, land use regulation, and
the provision of infrastructure in rapidly growing



communities. The monograph's thesis states that
most people's attitudes about environmental protec-
tion and growth management are rooted in their day-
to-day experiences, not in abstract concerns about
the planet's, or the nation's, ecology.
The author makes this argument by presenting
the results from a number of public opinion surveys
conducted in Florida. A causal train is traced from
the state's environmental problems, through the
ways the public conceptualizes these problems, to
attitudes about particular policies. The conclusion
reached is that the movement for environmental
protection and growth management is a coalition of
many different groups with very narrow and con-
crete concerns. Published by the Lincoln Institute,
this monograph is 109 pages and costs $15.

edited by James C. Nicholas
This monograph examines current factors influ-
encing the provision of capital improvements for
new and future urban growth. Thomas Roberts,
former president of the American Planning Associa-
tion, analyzes the factors contributing to the pres-
sures on infrastructure and discusses the use of
capital improvements programming as the basis for
fiscal policies. Julian Jurgensmeyer, a professor at
the University of Florida, reviews case law on the
validity of impact fees, linking them to local plans.
James C. Nicholas, of the University of Florida,
analyzes Broward and Palm Beach Counties' impact
fee programs. Lance deHaven-Smith, associate di-
rector of the Joint Center and associate professor of
political science at FAU, examines the characteris-
tics of special districts as a management tool in in-
frastructure finance. Special districts in Texas,
California, and Florida are contrasted to illustrate
the various approaches. Steven Weitz, a planner
with the Office of Policy Development at HUD,
analyzes the supply and demand conditions to ex-
plain how alleviating the pressures on general prop-
erty taxes leads to new development. Published by
the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, this monograph
is 98 pages and costs $15.

As part of an ongoing public service effort, the Joint
Center produces and lends video programs concern-

ing various public policy topics. Tape rental is for
two weeks free of charge, excepting the return post-

produced and directed by Steven Banks
This documentary covers the highlights of the
1981 Dade County Community Assembly on En-
ergy Conservation. The tape provides information
and ideas on how a community can involve its citi-
zens in the process of planning and evaluating its
future energy needs (15 minutes, 3/4 inch tape).

produced and directed by Kathleen Shea Abrams
and Michael Munroe
This documentary is based on a 1980 Joint Cen-
ter conference that addressed policy issues related to
offshore oil development, barrier island ownership,
and historical preservation and redevelopment of
coastal communities. In the video, citizens, along
with local, state, and federal officials, discuss policy
options that affect the future of Florida's coast (28
minutes, 3/4 inch tape).

produced and directed by Kathleen Shea Abrams
This documentary addresses the problems facing
Florida's farmlands: the conversion of farmland to
urban uses, the economic incentives for such con-
version, and the need to moderate that loss. In
addition, farmland maintenance programs in Wis-
consin, New Jersey, and Oregon are described (30
minutes, 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch tapes).

produced and directed by Kathleen Shea Abrams
and Michael Munroe
This is a new television documentary about the
lives of two Floridians, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas
and Marjorie Carr. Both came to Florida over 50
years ago and have made Florida and some of its
wild places the center of their lives and their work as
citizen activists, authors, and conservationists (58
minutes, 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch tapes).

FALL 1988


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