Title: Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004680/00001
 Material Information
Title: Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Central Florida Regional Planning Council
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan (JDV Box 76)
General Note: Box 27, Folder 1 ( East Central and Central Florida Regional Planning Council - 1995-1997 ), Item 2
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004680
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

~JL


PROPOSED

Strategic Regional

Policy Plan




+++

Central Florida Regional Planning Council

+++


April 1996


.3







TA


BLE OF CONTENTS


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .....................
STATUTORY CONTEXT .....................
INTRODUCTION .............................
NATURAL RESOURCES ......................
W ater Resources .........................
Trends and Conditions ...............
Alafia River .................
Green Swamp ............. ..
Hillsborough River ...........
Peace River .................
Withlacoochee River ..........
Groundwater Resources ..............
Southern Water Use Caution Area
Wastewater Treatment .........
State Water Supply Goals ............
State Water Quality Goal .............
Legal Basis for Management ..........
Goal ...................................


Table of Contents


April 15, 1996


CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


....... 11
....... 14
...... 14
...... 1-1
...... 1-1
...... 1-1
...... 1-2
...... 1-2
.... 1-4
...... 1-6
. ... 1-7

. .. 1-10

. .. 1-11
..... 1-13
. .. 1-13
..... 1-14
..... 1-15


1









Flood Protection .................. ................................... 1-22

State Flood Protection and Floodplain Management Goals .............. 1-22

Legal Basis for Management .............................. ........ 1-22

Goal ..................................................... 1-24

Natural Systems .................. .. ................................. 1-25

Trends and Conditions ........................................... 1-25

Mapping of Natural Resources of Regional Significance ...................... 1-28

State Natural Systems Goals ........ ............................. 1-28

Legal Basis For Management .................................... 1-29

Goal ...................................................... 1-30

Phosphate Mining ......................... ........................... 1-37

Trends and Conditions .................... ..................... 1-37

Chemical Fertilizer Plants ........................................ 1-38

Regional Goal ................................................ 1-39

Air Quality ........................................................ 1-44

Trends and Conditions ........................................... 1-44

Regional Goal ............................................... 1-47

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ............................................ 2-1

Overview .......................................................... 2-1

A Regional Perspective ................................................ 2-1

The Changing Composition of the Regional Economy ......................... 2-3



Table of Contents 2 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Employment ......................................................... 2-5

Wages and Salaries ................................................... 2-6

Labor Force and Unemployment ......................................... 2-7

Education and Economic Growth ........................................ 2-9

A First Summary ...................................................... 2-9

Regional Goal ...................................................... 2-11

Development Programs ............................................... 2-11

Regional Goal ................................................ 2-13

Tourism ........................................................... 2-13

Regional Goal ................................................ 2-15

Public Investment for Economic Development ............................. 2-16

Regional Goal ..................................................... 2-16

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION .......................................... 3-1

Trends and Conditions ................................................ 3-1

Highway System ................................................ 3-1

Table 1: Regionally Significant Central Florida Highways ............... 3-2

Mass Transit Systems ......................................... 3-3

Emergency Preparedness .......................................... 3-3

High Speed Rail ................................................ 3-4

Trails ................................................... .. 3-4

Aviation ................................................... 3-4



Table of Contents 3 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Table 1: Ten-Year Airport Development Needs
Central Florida Region ............................. 3-5

Transportation Disadvantaged Services ............................... 3-6

Regional Goal ....................................................... 3-6

AFFORDABLE HOUSING ................................................ 4-1

Trends and Conditions ................................................ 4-1

Regional Goal ............................. ........................... 4-5

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS .......................................... 5-1

Introduction ............................................. ........5-1

History ............................................. ...... .5-1

Preparedness ............................................... 5-3

Trends and Conditions ...... .............................. 5-3

Regional ................................................ 5-6

Response .................................................. 5-8

Trends and Conditions ..................................... 5-8

Regional Goal ................ ......................... 5-10

Recovery ............................................... .. 5-12

Trends and Conditions .................................... 5-12

Regional Goal ................ ......................... 5-12

Mitigation .................................................... 5-13

Trends and Conditions .................................... 5-13

Regional Goal .......................................... 5-15


Table of Contents 4 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


_____m____~_______TI__









COORDINATION OUTLINE ................................................ 6-1

Implementation of Specific Strategies Issue Areas ............................ 6-1

Future of the Region ................................................... 6-1

A. Implementation Through Technical Assistance ...................... 6-1

B. Implementation Through the Review of Development Proposals and
Comprehensive Plans ...................................... 6-2

Review of Comprehensive Plans ................ ........... 6-2

Development of Regional Impact Review ....................... 6-2

Natural Resources of Regional Significance ............... 6-3

Regional Transportation .................................... 6-3

Affordable Housing ........................................ 6-4

GLOSSARY ........................... ............................. G-l

BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................ B-1

APPENDIX A: REGIONAL RESOURCES AND FACILITIES LIST ............. AA-1

APPENDIX B: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ................................. BB-1

















Table of Contents 5 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Overview

The Central Florida Region is aptly named as it is located geographically in the center of the Florida
peninsula. Its five counties (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee and Polk) consist of a land area
of nearly 5,000 square miles. Our Region is unique among the eleven regions in the state in that it
is the only one not to contain a coastal county in its boundaries. Primarily rural in nature, with the
exception of northern Polk County's I-4 corridor, the area is agricultural based with small spread out
towns. The region is characterized by a sub-tropical climate with abundant rainfall occurring mainly
in the spring and summer. The combined population for the Central Florida Region for 1995 is
593,103; an increase of just less than 50,000 persons since the 1990 census.


The following are specific
1995:

DeSoto:




Hardee:




Highlands:


Okeechobee:



Polk:



Executive Summary


county descriptions. Statistics are from Florida Statistical Abstract -


DeSoto County has a 1995 population of 26,260 persons with a land
area of 637 square miles, yielding a density of 41 persons per square
mile, which is 47th in the State for density and 48th in the State for
population.

Hardee County ranks 50th in population with a 1995 figure of 22,454
persons and with a population density of 35 persons per square mile;
they rank 48th in the State. Hardee contains 637 square miles in their
county.

Highlands County had 75,860 persons within its borders in 1995. A
land area of 1,029 square miles yields a population density of 74
persons per square mile, which is 38th in the State. Highlands ranks
35th in the State for population.


With a 1995 population of 32,325 and a land area of 774 square
miles, Okeechobee ranks 43rd in population and 46th in population
density (42 persons per square mile).

Polk County has both the largest land area (1,875 square miles ), and
largest population (437,204) of the five counties in the region. This
also means that the population and population density rankings are

1 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








the highest of the counties in the Region. Polk ranks 8th in the State
for population and with their population density of 233 persons per
square mile; that ranking is 19th highest in the State.

The Plan

The Strategic Regional Policy Plan (SRPP) for the Central Florida Region provides a long range
guide for the physical, economic, and social development of the Region. Unlike the regional plan
it replaces, the SRPP is proposed not as a regulatory tool, but as a direction-setting document. Its
focus is on strategically addressing certain systems which make up the Region. The systems or
elements in the SRPP are those mandated by the Florida Legislature. The regional council has the
option to address other issues in the future, through the amendment process. The overall purpose
of the SRPP is to steer the Region toward a more healthy and sustainable future. The SRPP is not
merely a plan for the regional planning council, it is a plan for the Region and all those who are
active participants in shaping its future.

The SRPP contains the following five elements:

S Natural Resources
S Economic Development
S Regional Transportation
Affordable Housing
S Emergency Preparedness

Another major component of the SRPP is the documentation of Natural Resources of Regional
Significance and Significant Regional Facilities. This material is provided in text and mapped form
and may be found in Appendix A. This material provides an excellent overview of the Region's
network of remaining natural systems as they relate to developing urban and agricultural areas.

Natural Resources

The Central Florida Region is completely inland, surrounded by South Florida's coastal population
and resources. It is the point of origin for significant natural resource systems of much of peninsular
Florida. The Green Swamp provides headwater features for five river systems in the jurisdiction of
three water management districts. Two of these river systems provide critical fresh water inputs to
federally designated National Estuary Programs. Another is the principal freshwater source for Lake
Okeechobee and the Everglades. The Green Swamp is the potentiometric high for the principal
ground water resource of the peninsula, the Floridan Aquifer.

These river systems are also the spine of significant ecosystems. These riverine ecosystems
transcend arbitrary jurisdictional boundaries. Another ecosystem, the Lake Wales Ridge, contains
the remnants of a globally unique endangered habitat. The Central Florida Region is inextricably


Executive Summary 2 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









involved in the health of ecosystems throughout much of peninsular Florida.


Over the last decade, the way we look at natural resources has changed considerably. We have
progressed from a focus on individual species to a recognition that species cannot exist apart from
their habitat. We have come to the recognition that individual habitats exist in a larger ecosystem.
We now realize that the viability of individual species cannot be separated from the health of the
ecosystem. Our view has progressed from site to jurisdiction to regional and multi-regional.

Fundamental Regional Natural Resources Goals and Policies

S Assure an adequate supply of water to meet all projected human and natural needs.
S Protect the quality of surface and groundwater.
S Manage storm water as a valuable regional resource.
Promote non-structural surface water management methods to minimize damage from floods
by protecting and restoring the natural water storage and conveyance functions of flood prone
areas.
Preserve, protect and restore natural Florida ecosystems in order to support their natural
hydrologic and ecologic functions.
Advocate a comprehensive resource protection perspective reflecting the interconnectedness
of quality and quantity of surface water, ground water, aquatic and related land resources and
the cumulative effects of activities which impact them.
S Protect and restore regionally significant natural resources.
S Incorporate the protection of regionally significant natural resources in planning for future
growth within the region.
S Mining practices shall not degrade regionally significant natural resources.
S Prevent the degradation of the ambient air quality and improve the present ambient air
quality.

Economic Development

The Central Florida Region is perhaps the State's most diverse. It is a Region comprised of three
sparsely populated rural counties -- DeSoto, Hardee, and Okeechobee -- Highlands, a small,
moderately populated rural county, and Polk, one of the State's largest land area counties. Polk, with
the two largest cities in the Region, Lakeland and Winter Haven, has a population almost three times
the rest of the Region, and is one of Florida's twenty metropolitan areas. Even though it is
urbanizing, citrus, cattle and phosphate mining are still important in Polk. Lying at the core of
Peninsular Florida, the Region is surrounded by over 80% of the State's population.

Polk County produces more oranges annually than California, but in the last five years, the market
value of prime citrus land has fallen from near $20,000 per acre to barely $10,000 an acre for the
same groves. More than half of the total personal income in Highlands County is generated by
"non-labor activities", and its per capital income is less than 83% of that of the State of Florida.


Executive Summary 3 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Okeechobee County led the Region in job creation percentage from 1972 to 1992, but the County
has the lowest per capital income in the Region.

For every indication that the economy of Central Florida is improving, there appears to be a
downside for the economies of the five counties in the region. The nature of recent trends are
analyzed in this section, so we can search for strengths upon which to build a vigorous economic
future

Although there are major qualitative differences among the counties, economic activity in the Region
is, for the most part, driven by activity in Polk County. Approximately 75% of total personal income
in the Region is accounted for by Polk County alone. Highlands County in a distant second place
with 13% of the Region's economic base, and the remaining three counties (DeSoto, Hardee and
Okeechobee) divide approximately equal shares of the residual 12%.

The Region continues to be increasingly reliant on transfer payments, while the State and South
Florida are more dependent on property income. The combined result is approximately the same.
The Region derives 41.2% of its income from the transfer payments and property income combined,
while in all of Florida they make up 41.5% of total personal income. Although the magnitude of
increase is predicted to be lower in the next ten years due to a slowing of retiree in-migration,
forecasts by the University of Florida (BEBR) indicate that the percentage of income derived from
non-labor sources in the Region will increase by an additional three percent by the year 2005.

The Region has been losing high paying jobs in manufacturing and mining, while more and more
people are employed in the lower paying service industries. Thus, growth in wage and salary
earnings per capital has declined. Comparing 1992 per capital wage and salary earnings to those of
1970, shows that while national levels rose by 334% over the period, South Florida levels increased
by nearly 350%, and the Region improved, but by a more moderate rate of 293%. According to
long-term forecasts by the Bureau ofEconomic and Business Research (BEBR) at the University of
Florida, future rates of annual personal income growth during the upcoming ten years are expected
to run 6.6% Statewide and 5.8% in the Region. Thus, per capital income in Florida is expected to
rise from $22,393 in 1995 to $35,663 in the year 2005. Over the same period, expectations for the
Region are for an increase from $17,297 to $25,983. If this prediction is accurate,per capital income
in the Region will fall another five percentage points behind that of Florida.

Fundamental Economic Development Goals and Policies

Unite local economic development endeavors to increase the wealth of the Central Florida
Region.

Cooperate with and support the efforts of county and city economic development agencies
and professionals to attract quality employment for residents of the Region, including foreign
investment where possible.


Executive Summary 4 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Focus the attention of economic development and chamber professionals on the value and
needs of entrepreneurs in the region, in order to direct investment in ideas and technologies
that will bring and hold wealth in the Region.

Sustain county and municipal efforts to attract, develop and diversify business and industry
in their local economies.

Develop a strategy that links all local efforts in the Region to build destinations and attract
visitors from South Florida, Florida and the U.S.

Plan, develop, reinforce and link infrastructure systems to serve business and industrial
location and expansion.

Complete a Tourism Development Strategy that spells out actions to be taken to promote
Central Florida as a destination for eco-tourism, weekend getaways, resort and second home
development, and other associated endeavors.

Undertake a coordinated and concerted marketing program to acquaint the 10,000,000 people
of coastal South Florida with the recreation and leisure time resources of the interior.

Link existing municipal and county water distribution systems to insure the full and efficient
supply of potable water for all urban demands, but especially the requirements of business
activities that create new, quality jobs in the Region.

Link existing municipal and county sewer collection systems to insure the full and efficient
treatment all urban effluent, but especially the requirements of business activities that create
new, quality jobs in the Region.

Regional Transportation

This Region's people rely almost exclusively on their private vehicles to travel the Region, putting
the emphasis of regional transportation on the highway and road systems. The highway system
provides the key connection between other transportation systems in the Region, such as rail and air.
If travel on a commercial air carrier is desired, passengers must leave the Region to reach an airport
which provides this service. The passengers and much of the goods moved by rail must use the
highway network to reach their final destinations.

The existing local mass transit service within the Region is limited to one regularly scheduled bus
system which serves the city of Lakeland. The existing development pattern in the Region is widely
spaced, resulting in relatively long, low-occupancy vehicle trips. This is an inefficient use of the
highway system. If development continues with this pattern of highway use, it can lead to


Executive Summary 5 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








unnecessary congestion. Without any mass transit system in place at the present time, such as bus
service or light rail, congestion already exists in all major commercial areas.

The condition of the major roads in this Region is of great importance during any kind of an
emergency, not only to this Region's citizens, but to those in the surrounding coastal areas.
Evacuation routes that start elsewhere and end here must be clearly marked. But most importantly,
funds must be set aside to improve these routes so that they can carry the amount of vehicles that will
use them during a crises.

The Florida High Speed Rail Transportation Commission has designated the Tampa Bay Area and
Dade County as termini and as areas of the State to be served, with lines running through this
Region. This Region will be involved and directly affected by this regional form of transportation.
The CFRPC will lobby the Commission to locate stations in this Region and to construct lines that
can easily be added on to with north-south connecting lines. The impending construction of the high
speed lines may fuel the fire for the planning of light rail service and bus service that will link the
people throughout the Region.

The Central Florida Region is the only Aviation Planning Region in the State of Florida not served
by commercial air service. However, due to the Region's projected population and economic growth,
overall aviation activity is expected to increase dramatically.

Through the use of Federal Transit Administration (PTA) Section 18 funds, the Central Florida
Regional Planning Council administers the Transportation Disadvantaged program for DeSoto,
Hardee, and Highlands Counties. State-wide criteria is established to determine user eligibility.

It is important that the CFRPC lobby to keep these programs alive. Population pyramids have been
studied for each county and the population will continue to age over the next decade. The citizens
of the Region will continue to need this program.

Fundamental Regional Transportation Goals and Policies

Coordinate future transportation improvements to aid in the management of growth, and
facilitate integration of highway, air, mass transit and other transportation modes.

Provide passenger service from existing residential development in rural areas to urban areas
for the transportation disadvantaged at a reasonable cost to government.

Reduce average vehicle trip lengths on the transportation system, thereby lowering energy
consumption per vehicle and reducing segment volumes.

Development shall only occur in a manner consistent with Florida Statutes requiring the
concurrent provision of adequate transportation facilities.


Executive Summary 6 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










Assist local governments in implementing access management techniques which protect the
through capacity on components of the Florida Intrastate Highway System.

Affordable Housing

Since 1980, two major trends have emerged, one involving wages, and the other involving farm
worker housing. First, wages have not kept pace with inflation in Central Florida, largely because
the majority of new jobs are being created in service, retail and agriculture, the three lowest paying
sectors in the economy. In fact, the average real wage improved by less than onepercent between
1984 and 1994, while the Consumer Price Index increased by more than forty points, and the median
value of owner occupied house in Florida rose almost 71% between 1980 and 1990. Thus, home
buyers and renters at the bottom of the economic scale are falling farther and farther behind. Renters
who can handle a rent payment are faced with the "first, last and deposit" qualification requirement,
which for a modest three bedroom, two bath apartment or house can amount to as much as $1,500.
Buyers in the same financial position might be able to afford a monthly mortgage payment, but
cannot deal with the challenge of twenty percent down and closing costs, let alone the cost of
maintaining the property.

Yet, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Lakeland-Winter Haven
metropolitan area is one of the most affordable areas in the United States. In the first quarter of
1995, it ranked tenth in the nation among areas where a high percentage (81.5% in the local case)
of the homes sold were within reach of the median-income household at the prevailing mortgage
interest rate. "Within reach" means the sales price was about twice the local median income of
$33,100, and the purchaser was able to secure financing at the prevailing mortgage rate.

Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area, with a 1995 median income of $33,100, is statistically more
affluent than the rest of the Region. In 1990 for example, Polk County had a median household
income of $25,216, which was almost $8,000 less than the metro area and $2,000 below the State's
median of $27,483. Polk County's estimated median income for 1995 would only rise to $29,200
with inflation taken into account, and remains well below the metro area median. The lack of
definition, consistency and comparability in statistics related to housing and income has created a
situation where no one really knows whether or not the public policies designed to rehabilitate or
produce affordable housing, or assist the buyers and renters, are actually working.

In DeSoto and Hardee Counties, the first symptoms of the coming crisis were detected in the 1990
U.S. Census results. In DeSoto County forty-five of every one hundred new, permanent residents
who came there during the 1980s, were minorities; Hardee County, whose population grew by only
120 persons during the entire decade, increased its minority population by more than 2,000 persons.
Today, three of every ten residents of Hardee, and one of every four in DeSoto County are either
Non-white and Non-Hispanic or of Hispanic origin. The huge influx of Hispanic residents, in
particular, is due to the planting, tending and harvesting needs of the citrus and truck farming


Executive Summary 7 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








industries.

Decent housing for migrant farm workers is almost nonexistent. The deplorable living conditions
of farm workers were documented at least ten years ago, and were even the subject of a segment on
the television program "60 Minutes". Some efforts to supply new or refurbished housing have been
made, but a large influx of farm worker families seeking permanent residency has changed the
situation for the worse. Nowhere in the Region is any county or community keeping up with the
demand.

Mobile homes are generally less expensive than conventional housing and often require as little
down payment as a car, but they present unique problems in the Region. Ineffective local policies
governing the placement of mobile homes, which are reinforced by the State's misplaced assumption
that permissive regulations and minimum infrastructure makes them affordable housing, only adds
to the depreciation of the housing stock in Central Florida counties. In addition, the spread of mobile
homes dramatically increases the risk of storm damage to a growing portion of the population.

Despite the existence of governmental programs that have been implemented since the last regional
policy plan was written, conventionally constructed affordable housing units are not being developed
in this Region, although the demand for such units remains high. The attractiveness of this Region
to industries that pay low wages has created a market for affordable units for employees who do not
earn enough to purchase or rent expensive housing. The continued viability of the agricultural base
of this Region and the inability of the Region to provide more farm worker housing has created
another need, and market, for affordable units. The only segment of the housing market that has
answered the call for affordable units is the mobile/manufactured housing industry. Mobile homes,
both in planned communities and sold as individual units, have the largest market share in the
affordable category, regardless of their performance in high winds. However, mobile home
communities, which are generally safer than individually sited units due to tougher development
standards, are not being developed to meet the demand for affordable units among the two groups
who need them the most: the farm workers and the low income wage earners.

Fundamental Affordable Housing Goals and Policies

Develop reliable, consistent information on the factors effecting the production and
occupancy of affordable housing in the Region.

Investigate the relationship between income and the price of housing products, to determine
what factors will actually increase the supply of affordable housing reaching those in need.

Evaluate the delivery of affordable housing to the families, households and individuals most
in need.

Aid in the rehabilitation of existing sub-standard affordable units by promoting effective


Executive Summary 8 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








code enforcement throughout the Region as the ends to adding affordable housing stock to
a community.

Provide planning services to municipalities to facilitate adding social and housing amenities
for farm workers.

Aid in the development of new affordable units by providing copies to municipalities of the
latest information on land development regulations that may lower the cost of building
housing units within the Region.


Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness in Central Florida is about protection. It is about preventing the loss of life
and property from emergencies. It is about what local government should be doing to protect its
population, and what the population should be doing to protect itself.

Separated into four phases: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation, this element addresses
issues relating to each phase by looking at potential and known deficiencies in existing programs and
policies. A paramount concern is the severe shortage of adequate emergency public shelter space.
Without either increased shelter space, or policies to reduce the need for evacuation and thus
lowering the population seeking shelter during an emergency, the present deficit will only increase
as the population of southern Florida increases.

Without addressing individual hazards, the emergency preparedness element focuses on mitigating
the causes of the emergency. Whether the emergency is a hazardous materials spill or a hurricane
which threatens the region, emergency preparedness protocols deal with responding to the threat (ie.
Evacuation of threatened areas, mass care shelter operations, and public information about
emergencies).

It is the intent of this element to address pertinent issues relating to the four phases of emergency
preparedness and offer possible solutions to the questions that arise.

Fundamental Emergency Preparedness Goals and Policies

Include emergency management personnel in the planning and development process at the
regional and county level.

S Ensure Hurricane Evacuation Routes and Shelter locations are visually identifiable.

Update Regional evacuation route capacity and condition information for county emergency
management officials.


Executive Summary 9 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Ensure proper Hazardous Materials Training is conducted for public sector employees.

S Encourage private facilities to install public warning systems.

Insure that local governments identify mitigation opportunities, funding mechanisms, and
develop strategies to implement mitigation.

Ensure that regional planning authorities are aware of the importance of hazard mitigation
in the development process.

Encourage enforcement of existing mobile home shelter codes for non-DRI communities.

Mapping of Natural Resources of Regional Significance

The SRPP contains maps of natural resources of regional significance. The State (Rule 27E-
5.001(7)FAC) defines these as follows:

A resource or facility that due to its uniqueness, function, benefit, service delivery area, or
importance is identified as being of regional concern.

A resource or facility that requires the participation or involvement of two or more
governmental entities to ensure proper and efficient management.

A resource or facility that meets either criteria above and is defined to be of state or regional
concern or importance in state or federal laws or rules of state or regional agencies adopted
pursuant to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

The Rule goes on to require that natural resources identified as regionally significant in the Plan must
be mapped.

These maps provide an excellent regional planning tool and identify regional opportunities for better
land use planning. These maps are to be used for regional planning purposes only. These maps are
to be used only in conjunction with the SRPP. Information regarding specifics on how they will be
used and implemented are addressed elsewhere in the Plan.









Executive Summary 10 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










STATUTORY CONTEXT




Strategic Regional Policy Plans, required by Section 186.507, F.S., means a long range guide for
physical, economic, and social development of a comprehensive planning district which identifies
regional goals and policies. The plans are developed through a collaborative process that emphasizes
consensus and coordination between local governments, regional entities, state and federal agencies,
and other appropriate organizations, and the public. The plan is a plan for the region, not merely for
the regional planning council.

The plans are required to identify and address significant regional resources and facilities. As these
plans are strategic rather than comprehensive in nature, they do not need to address all goals and
policies in the State Comprehensive Plan. However, goals and policies included in a Strategic
Regional Policy Plan are required to be consistent with and further the State Comprehensive
Plan.

The Strategic Regional Policy plan cannot establish binding level of service standards for public
facilities and services provided or regulated by local governments. Section 186.507(14), F.S. and
Rule 27E-5.001(3), F.A.C. Further, the Florida Legislature has expressly stated that a council shall
not act as a permitting or regulatory entity. Section 186.502(4) F.S. Consequently, Section
186.507(13), F.S. and Rule 27E-5.003(4) both expressly provide that "standards included in
strategic regional policy plans may be used for planning purposes only and not for permitting or
regulatory purposes. The Regional Planning Council is prohibited from adopting a planning
standard that differs materially from a planning standard adopted by rule by a state or regional
agency, when such rule expressly states the planning standard is intended to preempt action by the
regional planning council. It is clear that the Strategic Regional Policy Plans are intended to contain
standards applicable to planning purposes.

After a good deal of debate about the future role of Regional Planning Council's in Florida's overall
planning and growth management process, the 1993 Legislature made a number of statutory changes
which effect the Council's. Of significance among those changes was the acknowledgment that the
Regional Planning Council is Florida's only multi-purpose regional entity that is in a position to
plan for and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth-related problems on greater than
local issues; and the requirement to develop a SRPP to replace the current Regional Comprehensive
Policy Plan.

In creating the regional planning councils the Florida Legislature has declared that there is a need
for regional planning agencies to assist local governments to resolve their common problems,
engage in areawide comprehensive and functional planning, administer certain federal and state

Statutory Context 11 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








grants-in-aid, and provide a regional focus in regard to multiple programs undertaken on an
areawide basis. Section 186.502(1)(b), F.S. To that end the Florida Legislature has stated "it is
the declared purpose of this act to establish a common system of regional planning councils for
areawide coordination and related cooperative activities offederal, state, and local governments;
ensure a broad-based regional organization that can provide a truly regional perspective; and
enhance the ability and opportunity of local governments to resolve issues and problems
transcending their individual boundaries." Section 186.502(2), F.S. The Florida Legislature has
expressly stated that "a council shall not act as a permitting or regulatory entity." Section
186.502(4), F.S.

Pursuant to Section 186.507(2), F.S. and Rule 27E-5.003 F.A.C., the purposes of the Strategic
Regional Policy Plan include:
1. To implement and further the goals and policies of the State Comprehensive Plan
with regard to the strategic regional subject areas and other components addressed
in the plan.
2. To provide long range policy guidance for the physical, economic, and social
development of a region.
3. To establish public policy for the resolution of disputes over regional problems,
needs, or opportunities through the establishment of regional goals and policies, and
to provide a regional basis and perspective for the coordination of governmental
activities and the resolution of problems, needs, and opportunities that are of regional
concern or scope.
4. To establish goals and policies, in addition to other criteria established by law, that
provide a basis for the review of developments of regional impact, regional review
of federally assisted projects, and other activities of the regional planning council.
In addition, the plan may recommend specific locations or activities in which a
project, that due to its character or location, should be a development of regional
impact within the region.
5. To establish goals and policies to assist the state and the councils in the
determination of consistency of local comprehensive plans with regional and state
comprehensive plans. Strategic Regional Policy Plans shall serve as a basis to review
the resources and facilities found in local government comprehensive plans.
6. To establish land development and transportation goals and policies in a manner that
fosters region-wide transportation systems.
7. To serve as a basis for decisions by the regional planning council.
8. To guide the administration of federal, state, regional, and local agency programs and
activities in a region to the extent provided for by law.
9. To identify significant regional resources and facilities, infrastructure needs, or other
problems, needs, or opportunities of importance to the region.
10. To identify natural resources of regional significance and promote the protection of
those resources.
11. To set forth economic development goals and policies that promote regional


Statutory Context 12 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








economic growth and improvement.
12. To set forth goals and policies that address the affordable housing and emergency
preparedness problems and needs of the region.

Unlike the local government comprehensive plans, the Strategic Regional Policy Plan (SRPP) is not
implemented through a set of land development regulations and accompanied by a capital
improvements program in order to meet the objectives established in the Plan. Instead the Regional
Plan must be implemented as a result of Council's program activities and through the consensus of
local governments in the Region.

The ability of Council to carry out its responsibilities is very much intergovernmental in nature.
Council provides technical assistance, shares information, offers dispute resolution, and carries out
activities which require multi jurisdictional efforts. The power of the SRPP is in its success in
portraying regional/multi-jurisdictional issues, and in proposing strategies to address the issues
which are considered logical and feasible by local governments throughout the Region.

Although Regional Planning Council's are primarily advisory in nature, the successful
implementation of the Regional Plan can occur in a number of ways. Perhaps most importantly, the
SRPP will be implemented as a result of successful implementation of local government
comprehensive plans, which by Statute (Chapter 163) must be consistent with the Regional Plan.
The Regional Plan is also implemented as a result of Council's program activities, which are
summarized in the following section. Finally, the Plan is implemented through the activities of other
organizations and agencies, both public and private, if they consider the Regional Plan to present
good solutions to identified problems.


Statutory Context


13
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


April 15, 1996









INTRODUCTION



"Ifyou want to make enemies, try to change something."

----- President Woodrow Wilson


Nothing says we have to change anything when we draw up the Strategic Regional Policy Plan for
Central Florida, but many people and organizations will see the work as change. The challenge has
been to involve people and organizations, and by doing so, educate them to our aims. The first step
in the process was to establish a means of communicating, so this introduction contains definitions
of terms that can be ambiguous, and clarifies the opportunities and the limits to policy planning.

Making a Run at Some Definitions.

We use words and we think we are communicating. Teachers struggle every day to use the right
words to educate their students; and when you think about it, most communication is aimed a
educating someone else. So, it is basic to any activity that we work with a common understanding
of key words. Unless we establish a common vocabulary, communication deteriorates and education
is impossible.

The meaning of many words change with time, but people learn a word and find it difficult to adjust.
We also use words that seem common to us, but we have never taken time to look them up, and then
we are surprised to learn what else they mean, and how others might be using them. Here, the
binding definitions are stated along with some other ways that words and combinations of words can
be used to convey ideas.

Strategic Regional Policy Plan:

Government plans are full of definitions and so are the laws and rules that "govern" them. The law
on the Strategic Regional Policy Plan (SRPP) contains ten definitions and the rule has twelve, but
what you need to know is what it is and how it effects you, and what makes this plan any different
than the last one that was called a Comprehensive Regional Policy Plan (CRPP).

For openers, the Strategic Regional Policy Plan is unlike the previously required comprehensive plan
for the Region or any of the Comprehensive Plans of counties and cities, because neither the format
nor the outcomes are strictly dictated by the law or the rules. Rather, the Plan that we refer to as the
SRPP must contain goal statements, polices and actions that direct the Region's efforts to deal with
the issues that Regional Planning Council believes are of most importance to the Region at this time,

Introduction 14 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









and perhaps to change the way things are done and offer alternates to achieve future successes.

Officially, the Strategic Regional Policy Plan is "a long-range guide for physical, economic, and
social development of a comprehensive planning district, which identifies regional goals and
policies." (Chapter 186.503(10), Florida Statutes)

Policy:

The word policy includes a very broad range of definitions. In simple terms, it is derived from
Middle English and French to mean "government regulation", and that is the way most of us react
to the word. The second meaning is a written contract, as in insurance policy, but modern usage
takes us to the third meaning, which includes descriptions of procedures and processes, and ways
of explaining how things get done. The staff of the Executive Office of the Governor developed the
rule for the preparation of the SRPP and defined it this way;

"Policy means the ways in which programs and activities are conducted to achieve
identified goals." (Rule 27E-5.002(6), Florida Administrative Code).

Now that's modem, succinct and clear!

The application of policy is not always so simple. Often, policy is directly associated with a
company, a government or an agency, but also with iridividuals. More and more we hear "it's my
policy to do or to be ... such and such", as a substitute for "I believe, I will or I have decided, and
even yes or no". Some might say having a policy or two or three is a good way of dealing with
complexity and change, whether government, business or person. Others would say it's a good way
to guarantee consistency and to diffuse the tense situations governments and individuals face on a
daily basis. What underlies both of these approaches is that policy is somehow a rule and remains
static, even when it does not quite apply to the situation. What policy is, how it is created, how
individuals interpret it, and what effects it has are all part of our investigations, which makes writing
a plan that includes the word policy in its title more than a little challenging.

Strategic (Strategy):

Strategic just means "relating to or marked by strategy." Like policy, the word strategy is no easier
to grasp. It is a noun, the name of something, but its definition is a set of very complex actions.
Webster says that a strategy is,

"The science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces
of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace
or war."

There is that word policy again. But a little farther down among the definitions, we find something


Introduction 15 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









more interesting. It says a strategy is "a complex (set) of adaptations that serve ... an important
function in achieving evolutionary success." Adaptations! Again from Webster, "to adapt implies
modifications according to changing conditions." This extra definition serves to remind us that
change is an essential element in acting to achieve future successes. And from the Governor's
Office;

"Strategic means proactive, future and results oriented with a focus on important long
term priorities, needs and problems of the region." (Rule 27E-5.002(9), Florida
Administrative Code)

A Region:

It may or may not be a surprise to you that regions are not always defined as groups of counties or
other governmental entities. Webster depicts them as areas of the world that are characterized by
climate, biological relationships or communities, and geography. In this light, the Central Florida
Region is a fragment of a region that might best be described as "South Florida". The lower portion
of the Florida Peninsula has a subtropical climate, examples of biota found nowhere else on Earth,
and a land form distinctive from the rest of the State. Beyond these features, there are large numbers
of people who inhabit South Florida and depend upon the natural regional economy that has
developed around them for their sustenance. Isolating Central Florida, which has only five (5)
percent of the population and claims less than five (5) percent of the economy, from South Florida,
would be akin to ignoring the donut and having the hole with your morning coffee; so throughout
the SRPP we have attempted to see the "whole" picture and to deal with the implications of the
surrounding mass as we define the policies for Central Florida.

South Florida:

There are many, many uses of the words "South Florida". It is often a description for the tip of the
Peninsula where we find Miami-Dade, the Everglades and the Keys. There is a water management
district known as South Florida, which stretches from Osceola and Brevard Counties on the north
down through Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades and the Keys, and covers two counties on the Gulf
Coast. In March 1994, the Governor established the Commission for a Sustainable South Florida
and it covers the same lands as SFWMD. There are also a Southwest Florida Water Management
District and Regional Planning Council. We believe that South Florida is the combination of south
and southwestern entities, and much more.

There are geological, hydrological, demographic, economic and geopolitical reasons why South
Florida actually stretches from Pasco County above Tampa across the State to Volusia County and
takes in all of the Peninsula to the Keys. First, deep beneath the surface of the land are the
continental plates; geologic structures that are composed largely of granite and other very hard
compressed rock. Across the Florida Peninsula, some four thousand feet down there is something
known as the Ocala Uplift, which marks the edge of the continental plate of North America. The


Introduction 16 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Uplift is "reflected" in the ground water storage structures and the surface of the land as a divide
between the northern and southern parts of the Florida Peninsula.


Second, we can approximate the geologic-hydrologic divide on the surface by using the boundaries
of counties. The exact combination of counties may be open to question, but the ones that
approximate the line described as the Uplift -- Pasco, Sumter, Lake and Volusia -- form the northern
boundary of South Florida. The map on the following page displays the area covered by twenty-
eight counties. If "our South Florida" were a State, it would be the fifth largest in population with
more than eleven (11) million residents, and it would be greater in land area than twelve other States,
bigger than Maine and only slightly smaller than Indiana. Its sister State, "North Florida ", with
three (3) million residents, would be 30th in population.

Third, the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) estimates
that there are 11,010,988 people in South Florida, which is more than seventy-nine (79) percent of
the entire year round population of Florida. The concentration of so many people at the end of a
peninsula creates demands on land and water resources unlike any other place in the United States.
Elsewhere, for example, States that do not have sufficient water resources within their boundaries
make arrangements with neighboring States to borrow, barter or buy water for urban, industrial and
agricultural users. Being bound by the limits of our broad peninsula, requires Floridians to look to
other solutions.

Fourth, nine million of the eleven million people in South Florida live in the confined space at the
rim of the peninsula, a fact that illustrates how, and perhaps why, people first came to Florida. From
the Spanish Conquistadors to the earliest winter visitors and Caribbean immigrants, people came to
Florida on ships, and much later, they came down Flagler's Railroad. It also reminds us they came
to settle before the interior was conquered, drained and opened to development. The pattern of
settlement has not changed much, and predictions are that it will not, even if Florida someday
becomes home to 90 million people! Put another way, is it likely that any State, regardless of
population, would encourage disinvestment in its established urban centers to develop its
hinterlands? No, too much risk and capital have been spent to build a valuable public and private
infrastructure that supports its business and its future.

And fifth, people came to invest and to keep a connection to the rest of America and the World, in
order to get the things they wanted and needed, and to sell the things they produced. Though our
South Florida economy is many times more complex today, the basic structure has changed very
little. It is an import export economy, largely dependent on the outside.

The People:

Over the past twenty years, the population of the Region has increased by 249,601 persons, which
is an overall change of eighty-four percent (84%). Okeechobee and Highlands Counties experienced


Introduction 17 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








the largest percentage growth during both of the decades between 1970-1990. In contrast, Hardee
County grew by only one percent (1%) from 1980 to 1990, after undergoing thirty percent growth
from 1970 to 1980. Polk County, which has always had the largest population of the five counties
in the region, attracted almost 177,000 new residents, which resulted in the designation of the county
as a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, now known simply as Metropolitan Statistical Areas or
MSAs. The obvious point being that Polk County, particularly the northern half is becoming more
and more urban, while the region remains profoundly rural.

All minorities in the population of the Region, increased by nearly 29,000 people from 1980 to 1991.
More than sixty-two percent (62%) of those minorities (17,942) came to Polk County, increasing
their portion of the County's population to 18.2 percent. The greatest change in the minority share
of the population occurred in Hardee and DeSoto Counties. In DeSoto County, 45 out of very 100
new residents were minorities during the 1980s, while in Hardee County grew by only 120 persons
during the same decade, but minority persons increased by more than 2,000. Today, three of every
ten residents of Hardee, and one in every four residents in DeSoto County are Black or of Hispanic
origin. The huge influx of Hispanic residents, in particular, is due to the planting, tending and
harvesting needs of the citrus and truck farming industries. Hardee and DeSoto Counties also offer
the farm worker population a convenient centralized location to surrounding agricultural areas.

The Region is aging rapidly. It was "younger" by 4.7 years than the Sate of Florida in 1980, but by
1990 the Region was older by 1.9 years. Between 1970 and 1990, the median age increased from
30.6 years to 38.2 years, over 7.5 years on average. Highlands County has maintained the largest
retiree population, and now boasts a population with an unusually high median age of 51.4 years.
Polk County's large population has aged by 6.3 years during the same twenty-year period, and has
the largest percentage of the female population, age 65 and older.




















Introduction 18 April 15, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









1. NATURAL RESOURCES


"We are all controlled by the world in which we live, andpart of that
world has been and will be constructed by men. The question is this:
Are we to be controlled by accidents ,by tyrants, or by ourselves in
effective cultural design? "

B.F. Skinner

The Central Florida Region is the point of origin for significant natural resource systems of much
of peninsular Florida. The Green Swamp provides headwater features for five river systems
(Withlacoochee, Hillsborough, Peace, Kissimmee and Oklawaha) in the jurisdiction of three Water
Management Districts. Two of these river systems, the Peace and Hillsborough, provide critical
fresh water to federally designated National Estuary Programs (NEP's). Another, the Kissimmee,
is the principal freshwater source for Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. The Green Swamp is
the potentiometric high for the principal ground water resource of the peninsula, the Floridan
Aquifer. Collectively, these river systems are also the spines of significant ecosystems -- riverine
ecosystems that transcend arbitrary jurisdictional boundaries. The only other ecosystem in the
Region that is not a riverine system is the Lake Wales Ridge, which contains scrub communities that
are remnants of a globally unique endangered habitat.

Over the last decade, the way we look at natural resources has changed considerably. We have
progressed from a focus on individual species to a recognition that species cannot exist apart from
their habitat. We have come to the acknowledgment that individual habitats exist in a larger
ecosystem. We now realize that the viability of individual species cannot be separated from the
health of the ecosystem. Our view has essentially gone from site to jurisdiction to regional and
multi-regional.

The Central Florida Region is inextricably involved in the health of ecosystems throughout much
of peninsular Florida. Numerous riverine ecosystems originate in the interior, in "central" Florida.
Riverine ecosystems are critical components of coastal estuarine systems. Fresh water from the
interior creates the estuary. It is not lost when it joins the sea. A key to our developing
understanding of ecosystem management is the recognition that coastal and interior systems are
interdependent.

Water Resources

Trends and Conditions

The Central Florida region contains the headwaters of surface water systems that are shared with
surrounding regions. The Peace and Kissimmee river systems are the focus of massive federal and
state resources. Actions within the Central Florida region that affect water quality and quantity


Natural Resources 1-1 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan
I


C









directly affect coastal resources. Policy initiatives addressing coastal concerns impact interior
jurisdictions. These resources must be managed in a manner that reflects the interest of the entire
system.

Alafia River: The Alafia River drains approximately 460 square miles. The river flows 24 miles
through coastal lowlands from its headwaters in a swamp and prairie area south of Mulberry, before
entering the southern end of Hillsborough Bay. This basin is within the Southern Water Use Caution
Area (SWUCA), partly in the Most Impacted Area (MIA), and is facing serious constraints within
the ground water system. As a result of ground water limitations, the main stem and the South Prong
of the Alafia River were identified in the SWFWMD Needs and Sources Plan as potential water
supply sources. Much of the Alafia basin, within Polk County contains agriculture, rangeland and
barren land reflective of phosphate mining and processing activities. A major power plant is under
construction with associated water cropping and landscape reclamation activities.

Concern: Are mine reclamation and power plant construction activities
affecting the baseflow and water quality of the Alafia river system.
Green Swamp:

The Green Swamp is an area of 870 square miles situated in Polk, Lake and Sumter Counties,
roughly in the center of the Florida Peninsula. It is a mosaic of cypress swamps, hardwood forests,
and marshes, with slightly elevated areas of pine flatwoods and sandhills interspersed randomly
throughout.

The Green Swamp is the clearest expression we have of the relationship of surface and groundwater
systems. The Green Swamp is the highest point of the Floridan aquifer. It is the point at which the
Floridan Aquifer comes to the surface, or near the surface, clad only in a layer of sand. It is a critical
resource both ecologically and hydrologically, because it occupies a large land area, and because it
is the headwaters of the Withlacoochee and Little Withlacoochee, the Oklawaha, the Hillsborough,
the Peace and the Kissimmee, in order of flow from largest to smallest.
The Green Swamp is an open space system, lying between two of Florida's largest and fastest
growing population centers. It is a system that filters water, supports a diversity of habitats for plants
and animals, stores flood water, yields cypress, peat and sand for industry, and offers Floridians
unique recreational opportunities. In all, it contributes enormously to the preservation of biodiversity
in Central Florida, and the comfort and very existence of people throughout South Florida.
Development activities such as the construction of I-4 and US 27 have obstructed water and wildlife
movement to the river systems, which has affected the biodiversity of the Florida peninsula.

Surface water in the central part of the Florida peninsula, rising in the Green Swamp moves out in
all directions through the five river systems. Ground water in the central part of the Florida
Peninsula moves outward in all directions from the Green Swamp. The swamp is the potentiometric
high of the Floridan aquifer, but what is often referred to as the "Polk High" occurs in the
southeastern corer of the Green Swamp.


Natural Resources 1-2 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








The total groundwater in the Floridan aquifer is estimated to have about one fifth the volume of the
Great Lakes. Much of this quantity is needed to maintain the Floridan's hydrologic pressure against
saltwater intrusion, and is thus unavailable for direct use. This large amount of ground water was
once thought to be a virtually inexhaustible resource. A difficulty in development of the freshwater
resource, and a matter of concern, is the underlying and surrounding saltwater zone on which the
less dense freshwater floats. As the freshwater is drawn off by wells, the mass of freshwater that acts
to repel the movement of saltwater is correspondingly reduced. This reduction may allow both
lateral and upward movement of saline water within the aquifer toward the point of withdrawal. A
one foot decrease at the potentiometric high in the Green Swamp results in roughly a forty foot
movement at the underlying saltwater interface. Although a very large body of freshwater exists, it
is easily contaminated by saltwater through excessive or improperly managed withdrawals.

The potentiometric level maintained in west-central Florida by the Green Swamp "high" causes
ground water to flow outward to surrounding areas where the water is withdrawn for potable use.
The potentiometric level can be defined as the height to which ground water, under pressure in the
aquifer, would rise if unconfined. In general, during the dry season, the potentiometric surface
ranges from approximately 125 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) in the southeastern portion of the Green
Swamp, to 70 of 80 feet MSL in the western reaches of the area. It has been estimated that the
average ground water outflow from the Green Swamp is equivalent to 83 million gallons per day.
Large scale ground water withdrawals from the Floridan aquifer near the Green Swamp area would
have the potential to lower the potentiometric surface of the Floridan aquifer. Other effects may also
occur such as: a reduction of the ground water outflow from the Floridan aquifer; reduction of stream
flows; a reduction of the Swamp's potentiometric pressure; drainage of marsh areas and wetlands;
and, increased sinkhole occurrences.

Concern: Will pumpage from the City ofLakeland's existing wellfield to the Green
Swamp Area of Critical State Concern impact the potentiometric high of the
Swamp and therefore create unacceptable environmental impacts to overall
natural systems.

The potential of the Green Swamp area to serve as a source of public water supply has been
considered in response to development pressures in the surrounding Tampa and Orlando
metropolitan areas. However, the SFWMD's Needs and Sources Plan, which identified regional
sources to meet demand through the year 2020, did not include any sites within the Green Swamp.
It was determined that there were more suitable sources, in closer proximity to demand centers, to
meet water supply needs for the next thirty years. Additionally, Polk County Comprehensive Plan
Policy 2.132-E7 prohibits the County from permitting any new regional well fields in the Green
Swamp Area of Critical State Concern.

Concern: Are current state and local growth management strategies effective in
protecting the hydrologic characteristics of the Green Swamp?



Natural Resources 1-3 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Concern: Can linkages between the Green Swamp and the river systems that have been
obstructed by development activities be restored?

Hillsborough River: The Hillsborough River originates in the Green Swamp near the origin of the
Withlacoochee River, and flows to Hillsborough Bay. During certain hydrologic conditions the
flows of the Withlacoochee and the Hillsborough interchange near the Polk County line. The
Hillsborough River is, and will continue to be used as a potable water supply source. The
Hillsborough River and the associated Tampa Bypass Canal supplies about 75% of the drinking
water for the City of Tampa. Hillsborough river water quality and quantity plays an important role
in the health of the Tampa Bay estuary.

Concern: By protecting the Green Swamp potentiometric high, are we
protecting flow of the Hillsborough River?

Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee: The Kissimmee River system contains the Upper Chain
of Lakes and the Kissimmee River Valley. The chain of lakes at the north end of the system form
the headwaters of the Kissimmee River, which eventually discharges into Lake Okeechobee and is
a major source of surface water flow into the lake. The Kissimmee river was channelized during the
1960s to improve flood protection to the central Florida area. The 103 mile long, shallow,
meandering river was replaced with a 56 mile long, 30 foot deep channel. This resulted in the
drainage of 43,000 acres of floodplain wetlands. The SFWMD is currently engaged in an effort to
reintroduce flows to remnant river oxbows and restore 26,500 acres of wetlands in the river
floodplain. Construction of this project is expected to be completed in 2009.

Lake Okeechobee is the second largest natural freshwater lake completely within the contiguous
United States, occupying approximately 730 square miles. The lake is a water supply for agricultural
and urban users. The lake receives water primarily from rainfall and from the Kissimmee River,
Taylor Creek and Fisheating Creek basins. Historically, during extremely wet periods, lake levels
rose sufficiently to overflow the banks and allow sheet flow southward into the Everglades. Today,
the lake is mostly surrounded by levees, which were constructed to provide flood protection to
adjacent areas. Water levels are managed according to a regulation schedule for flood protection and
water supply purposes. Water levels above a certain stage require release according to a regulation
schedule for flood control purposes. Changes in lake stages have adversely affected the plant and
wildlife community of the littoral zone.

In recent years, the lake has exhibited evidence of accelerated eutrophication, which has been
attributed to high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the lake water. Dairy farms north of the lake
were identified as the primary source of phosphorus. The SFWMD adopted its Works of the District
Rule (Chapter 40E-61, F.A.C.) as a result of the Lake Okeechobee Surface Water Improvement and
Management (SWIM) Plan. This rule limits the phosphorus loads entering the lake from non-dairy
uses. The Department of Environmental Protection implemented the Dairy Rule, which uses Best
Management Practices, to divert and treat water draining from the dairies. Studies of vegetation in


Natural Resources 1-4 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









the lake's littoral zone indicate a diverse wetland plant community that provides habitat for aquatic
birds and other marsh wildlife.

While the majority of this basin is within the boundaries of the South Florida Water Management
District, a sizeable portion encompasses the Lake Wales Ridge area within the Southwest Florida
Water Management District (SWFWMD). Dotted with many lakes, the watershed is experiencing
a decrease in lake levels, which may be due to years of below average rainfall, ground water
withdrawals and drainage projects from previous decades. Conservation should be the primary water
supply focus in this watershed to offset lake level impacts from ground water withdrawals.

Concern: Are we maximizing water conservation by agricultural, industrial,
commercial, and residential water users?

Given the low lake levels in the watershed, flooding is currently improbable. Lake edges have a
strong potential for development activity. Restoration of historical water levels may result in
flooding of poorly located development activities.

Concern: Can we protect and restore the natural water storage and conveyance
functions offloodprone areas? Are we doing enough to assist local
governments to minimize damage from floods in developed areas?

Major water contamination problems occurred in the ground water system in the Kissimmee River
watershed largely due to agricultural activities. Current measures seek to prevent contaminated
ground water in newly constructed wells and to hook residents up to central water supplies where
available. A surface water component of this problem may be the encroachment of contaminated
ground water where the aquifer discharges to surface waters. Increasing development pressures
around the numerous lakes has created pollution problems related to septic tanks and storm water
runoff.

Concern: Maintain and protect water quality in lakes and other surface water
systems, including the prevention ofcontamination of surface waters
from contaminated ground water?

The Highlands Ridge contains some of the last remaining pristine scrub communities in the State.
Communities that are globally unique. In addition to providing habitat for numerous listed flora and
fauna species, the deep sands of these sites provide important recharge and storm water treatment
benefits. The lakes in this watershed have attracted a large human population due their beauty and
climate moderating effects. Crooked Lake, for example, is a designated Outstanding Florida Water.
Preservation of these aesthetic and economic amenities is important to the biota of the area.

Concern: Are we doing enough to restore, preserve and protect scrub
communities and lakes in the Lake Wales Ridge area?


Natural Resources 1-5 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Concern: How can we promote and encourage water conservation and reuse
by agricultural, industrial, commercial, and residential water users,
and develop non-potable supplies for mining and agricultural
interests to offset potable ground water use?

Peace River: The Peace River originates in the Green Swamp and some of the numerous lakes of
central Polk County. It becomes a defined stream at the confluence of Saddle Creek and the Peace
Creek Drainage Canal north of Bartow and flows southwest for approximately 105 miles to Charlotte
Harbor. The Peace River is the major source of fresh water to the Charlotte Harbor estuary.
Charlotte Harbor is a SWIM priority water body. Numerous lakes and large areas of poorly drained
swamps in the headwaters of the Peace River act as important recharge areas for the Floridan
Aquifer.

The Peace River is a source of potable water and will be increasing used a a major water supply
source. Shell Creek, near its confluence with the Peace, has been impounded for drinking water.
The Peace/Manisota Water Supply Authority is operating a plant in De Soto County producing
potable water for its member jurisdictions. Since recent information has shown a long-term trend
in decreased river flows, it is imperative that this source be protected from overdraft and degradation
to ensure its viability into the future.

Concern: How do we maximize water conservation and reuse, and ensure an
adequate supply of water from the Peace River for appropriate
reasonable and beneficial uses, now and in the future, while
protecting and maintaining water quality and river and estuarine
flows?

The headwaters of the Peace River are formed by large marshes or lakes and the river itself has wide
flood plains and a meandering main channel. The system is rainfall driven with little influence from
ground water springs. There is tidal flooding along the coast and in the lower reaches of the river.
Additionally, the Peace River is crossed by numerous bridges which become potential dams during
flood events.

Flood damage occurs where there is development in flood prone areas. Retaining natural flood
attenuation properties of flood prone areas and channel conveyance must be the focus of flood
protection in the Peace River basin. Significant urban development has already occurred in portions
of Polk County. Additional urbanization may also occur in Wauchula, Arcadia and southern De
Soto County. Local governments authorize land uses so they are the first line of defense in
prevention.

Concern: Assist local governments to minimize the potential for damage from
floods by protecting and restoring the natural water storage and
conveyance functions offlood prone areas and the river channel?


Natural Resources 1-6 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










Many surface water bodies within the Peace River basin exhibit fair to poor water quality, and are
impacted by a variety of point and nonpoint source discharges associated with development. Others
(e.g., Shell Creek, Horse Creek, Joshua Creek, and Prairie Creek) currently possess good water
quality and are crucial to the maintenance of current and future potable water supplies. The worst
water quality problems originate in the upper portion of the basin. Lake Parker, Lake Hancock and
their tributaries have some of the poorest water quality in the State. In addition, there are identified
contaminant plumes in the area's ground water which may pose a future surface water threat.

Prior to 1972, phosphate mining activities were not required to reclaim mined lands and restore
landform and drainage features. Numerous tributaries to the Peace River have been destroyed
through older mining activities. Restoration of the hydrologic function of these historical tributary
drainage sub basins is important to restoration of historical flow levels of the Peace River.

Concern: Are we doing enough to protect and restore water quality of lakes in
developed areas, the Peace River and coastal and recharge areas
through implementation of SWIM and other management plans, by
working with local governments and the public, and enforcement of
regulations?

Concern: How can we restore tributaries of the Peace River which were
impacted by phosphate mining activities?

The Peace River watershed begins in the Green Swamp, an Area of Critical State Concern and the
potentiometric high of the Floridan Aquifer. The basin contains some of the last remaining examples
of scrub habitat, along with significant riverine flood plains, and other freshwater wetlands. In
addition to providing habitat to numerous listed species, these areas provide important recharge,
runoff attenuation and water quality treatment benefits.

Concern: Protect, preserve and restore important upland, wetland and
estuarine systems, including areas of the Green Swamp and scrub
ecosystems where feasible. Establish and maintain minimum flows
in the Peace River to ensure the health of Charlotte. Harbor?


Withlacoochee River: The Withlacoochee River originates in the Green Swamp near the junction
of Lake and Polk counties. The Withlacoochee River flows west and north for approximately 157
miles and drains 2,090 square miles of west central Florida before discharging into the Gulf of
Mexico. Due to its relatively large drainage basin and substantial baseflow from ground water
discharges, the Withlacoochee River at Lake Rousseau is considered a potential productive surface
water supply source.



Natural Resources 1-7 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Concern: Are development controls in the Green Swamp effective in protecting
the quantity and quality offlow in the Withlacoochee River?

Groundwater Resources:

Ground water is the chief source for all water uses within the Region. In four of the counties, Polk,
Highlands, Hardee and DeSoto, there are generally three distinct aquifers; the surficial, intermediate
and Floridan. In areas where these three aquifers exist together they are separated by confining
layers that restrict the vertical movement of water between the aquifer systems. The Floridan aquifer
is the most productive of the three aquifers. Industrial/mining, agricultural and public supply water
uses account for the majority of withdrawals from the Floridan aquifer.

Polk County has the highest water use of any county within the SWFWMD. Water use in the County
is primarily associated with agricultural and mining/dewatering activities. During 1990, Polk County
used an average of 396 million gallons each day. This figure represents approximately 24 percent
of the average daily water use for the entire SWFWMD. While mining/dewatering water use is
projected to decrease, power generation and agricultural water uses are projected to increase
substantially. However, it is Polk that is the only county in the SFWMD where overall water use is
projected to decrease over the next twenty years. This projection may be attributed to conservation
practices and water use efficiencies becoming more widely adopted and recent trends for citrus to
migrate further south to avoid the threat of future freezes.

A major, somewhat unusual source of groundwater contamination in Polk County has been unlined
phosphogypsum stacks. Some of these stacks have had sinkholes develop into the ground water
system. Others have leached contaminants. Although newer stacks are lined and have monitoring
systems, the older stacks remain a potential source for additional ground water contamination. This
situation will remain at least until the stacks have completed closure activities.

Hardee County used an average of 87.4 million gallons of water each day in 1990. This is expected
to increase to 129.9 MGD in 2010. Agriculture is the County's dominant water user, accounting for
approximately 94% in 1992. A major issue for Hardee County is the magnitude of the projected
increase in water use demand for mining, because a large part of the County is currently owned by
phosphate mining interests and mining has only begun. Significant mining of these lands is
anticipated as phosphate reserves are depleted in Polk County.

DeSoto County used an average of 123.9 MGD in 1990. This is projected to increase to 199.9 MGD
by the year 2010. Agriculture and mining reflect the bulk of the increase. Currently, ground water
is the source for most potable water consumption in DeSoto County. Most of that is drawn from the
surficial or intermediate aquifer as the Floridan aquifer at this location is highly mineralized.

Okeechobee County had a nonagricultural demand of 1,700 million gallons per year (MGY) in 1990.
This is projected to increase to 2,640 MGY in 2010. The agricultural demand for the same time


Natural Resources 1-8 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









period is projected to increase from 20,640 MGY in 1990 to 23,750 in 2010. There is one major
centralized potable water supply system within the county. It includes the city and a previously
developed private system.

Ground water is the primary source of supply in unincorporated Okeechobee County. The Floridan
Aquifer System is the principal source of irrigation and stock water, accounting for 74% of SFWMD
permitted use. Water quality in the Floridan aquifer tends to decline with depth and distance to the
south. In the central and northern portion of the county, Floridan water is of good quality, requiring
little or no treatment for potable use. Waters in the southern and eastern portions of the county may
contain chloride concentration in excess of 1,000 mg/1, and require desalination for potable use.

The surficial aquifer system also provides potable ground water in the county. Productivity in the
aquifer tends to increase with depth, but most wells yield less than 100 gallons per minute. Water
from the surficial aquifer is generally potable with minimal treatment, except in the southeast portion
of the county, where chloride concentrations in excess of 250 mg/1 have been measured. Lake
Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River are the primary sources of surface water in the county. With
the exception of the City of Okeechobee, which uses water from Lake Okeechobee for public water
supply, surface water is used solely for agricultural irrigation and livestock.

Highlands County consumed an average of 144.2 MGD of fresh water in 1990. This is projected to
increase to 200.2 by the year 2010. Again, the agricultural sector accounts for almost all of the
projected increase. The upper Floridan aquifer is the most productive of the County's three aquifers
and ground water is the major source for most water uses. A major issue for Highlands County is
the conservation and future utilization of its existing water resources. Ground water and surface
water levels on the Highlands Ridge have steadily declined in recent years. Lake level declines are
a particular concern.

The SFWMD has designated the Lake Istokpoga-Indian Prairie Basin of Highlands County a
Restricted Allocation Area. Additional surface water allocations over and above existing allocations
will not be allowed in this area. SFWMD's Basis for Review for consumptive use permitting
strongly discourages additional increases to current permitted surface water withdrawals.

In addition to designating the Lake Istokpoga-Indian Prairie Area a Restricted Allocation Area, the
SFWMD has designated it a Critical Water Supply Problem Area. To address water supply problems
throughout the Kissimmee Basin, including eastern highlands County, the SFWMD will develop the
Kissimmee Basin Water Supply Plan. This plan will offer solutions to water supply problems,
including the provision for minimum flows and levels of water for the environment, and water to
meet the demands of urban and agricultural areas.

The SWFWMD declared the Highlands Ridge area of Polk and Highlands counties a Water Use
Caution Area (WUCA) in 1989. Designating this area a WUCA set into motion specific
requirements for all users to conserve water resources. This WUCA has since been incorporated in


Natural Resources 1-9 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


-m-9









to the Southern Water Use Caution Area.


Southern Water Use Caution Area

Most of Polk County, along with all of Hardee and DeSoto, and part of Highlands County, is located
within the Southern Ground Water Basin (SGWB) of the SWFWMD, an area that is experiencing
ground water level declines. This area is also within the Southern Water Use Caution Area
(SWUCA), a "Critical Water Supply Problem Area" that reflects the serious demands placed on
existing resources. Projections indicate that significant increases in agricultural and thermo-electric
power generation water use within the SWFWMD are expected.

The portion of Polk County within the SFWMD is in the least problematic area of that District.
Water resources in this area are not now critical, nor are they anticipated to become critical over the
next twenty years.

The Southern Water Use caution Area (or SWUCA) evolved from recognition by the District that
the entire Southern Ground Water Basin (including the Eastern Tampa Bay, and Highlands Ridge
WUCA's) is a unified water resource system that must be addressed accordingly. As the result of a
multi-year hydrologic study, the District determined that ground-water withdrawals from the
Floridan aquifer within the southern Water Use Caution Area (SWUCA) exceed the sustainable
yield, or "safe yield" of that aquifer. The District believes the resulting effects of exceeding safe
yield include salt-water intrusion and lowered lake levels. To prevent further adverse effects
resulting from excessive withdrawals, the district adopted rules that, (1) allow no new quantities to
be produced from the Floridan aquifer within the SWUCA until the aquifer levels have risen to a
point that results in no further aquifer or environmental degradation, and (2) require existing ground-
water users to increase water conservation efforts. For the SWUCA, major provisions of the adopted
rule are as follows:

1. Provides that new ground water quantities are permitted only when the
potentiometric level in the Floridan aquifer level is above the minimum level
established in 40D-8.628 for a sustained period.

2. Provides incentives for the development, delivery and use of alternative sources of
water, such as reclaimed water and storm water.

3. Provides for redistribution of existing permitted quantities of Floridan aquifer ground
water within the SWUCA boundaries.

4. Requires increased efficiency of irrigation uses, and phases the efficiency
requirements over a 10-year period.

5. Requires decreasing per-capita rates for public supply uses, and phases the decrease


Natural Resources 1-10 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









over a 10-year period.


6. Requires metering of withdrawals in the area not encompassed by the Highlands
Ridge and Eastern Tampa Bay Water Use Caution Areas for permits of 100,000
gallons per day and greater annual average daily quantity.

The adopted SWUCA rule has been challenged by a number of parties including Hardee and DeSoto
Counties. The rule will not be in effect until the challenge is resolved.

The designation of the SWUCA and adoption of district regulations to protect the water resource
clearly illustrates the integration of water resources between the coast and central Florida. The
regulations have been in force for a short time. As the regulations are applied, the regulatory impact
on other resource issues will become clearer. Smaller inland communities have fewer alternatives
to draw upon than larger coastal communities. Recent experience indicates that these regulations
may have the consequence of encouraging the use of private wells and septic tanks rather than
centralized community utility systems. Consequently, water resource management objectives may
come into conflict with growth management objectives.

Concern: Are we effectively coordinating growth management and water resource
protection objectives.


Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater in central Florida is treated and disposed of by a variety of methods. Most incorporated
units have municipal wastewater treatment plants. Some cities and counties operate municipal scale
plants and a variety of package plants of differing sizes. Many developments operate package plants
for individual developments. Counties issue utility franchises to private firms. Individual septic
tanks are the most common method of treatment at lower residential densities. Polk County alone
has over 189 wastewater treatment plants of differing sizes. There are more than 170,000 septic
tanks in the county. There are forty trucking companies involved in sludge disposal in Polk County.

Smaller package plants, owned and operated by individual developments have been a problem.
Inefficient design, poor operation and maintenance, and lack of oversight has contributed to water
quality violations and government sanctions. Cities and counties are often pressured by regulatory
agencies to take over smaller package plants, or incorporate the development into municipal
collection systems.

In the DRI process, it has been the policy of the CFRPC to discourage utilization of developer
operated treatment systems. Residential wastewater is most safely and efficiently treated in large
municipal or multi-jurisdictional systems. Where that option is not feasible, larger, government
operated and maintained package plants can be an appropriate treatment alternative. Individual


Natural Resources 1-11 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









septic tanks can be a viable solution at low residential densities provided they are well maintained
and are located on well drained soils not subject to flooding.

The most common method of wastewater treatment in central Florida are septic tanks. A septic
system, properly designed, installed and maintained can be an economical and efficient method of
disposing of wastewater from lower density residential development. Septic systems must be
constructed on appropriate, well drained soils. The drain field must be of sufficient size to discharge
the quantity of effluent discharged by the household. Finally all septic tanks must have accumulated
sludge removed on a regular basis. The sludge must be disposed of safely .

Properly designed septic systems located on well drained soils fail if they are not properly
maintained. When accumulated sludge is not removed, it gradually fills much of the tank. Effluent
entering the tank is then discharged directly to the drain field without treatment, clarification or
settling of solids. Although the system may appear to be functioning properly for some time,
inadequately treated effluent is being discharged and contaminants may be impacting the underlying
aquifer. Eventually, when the drain field becomes so clogged that the effluent backs up into the
home, the homeowner recognizes the failure and attempts to correct the problem. Unfortunately,
much of the problem may actually remain undetected underground, and gradually moves down
gradient within the water table, potentially contaminating wells or connecting surface waters. The
literature is clear that septic systems fail long before clogged toilets force corrective action.

Nationally, septic tanks and cesspools have been documented to be the second largest source of
groundwater contamination. This discharge source ranks highest in total volume of wastewater
discharged through soil to groundwater, (more than 1 trillion gallons per year) and is the most
frequently reported cause of groundwater contamination. The overflow of septage or sewage,
primarily from septic tanks or cesspools, is responsible for 41% of disease outbreaks and 66% of the
illness caused by contaminated groundwater. Bacteria in wastewater include Salmonella, Shigella,
enteropathic Escherichia coli, Vibrio, and Mycobacterium. Associated diseases are typhoid and
paratyphoid fever, gastroenteritis, cholera, tuberculosis, dysentery and diarrhea. Bacterial migration
of more than 30 meters (100 feet) is common.

There are over one hundred different types of infections caused by viruses present in human feces.
Associated diseases include gastroenteritis, meningitis, poliomyelitis, conjunctivitis, hepatitis,
diarrhea and upper respiratory illness. Viruses appear even more mobile than bacteria, with
documented viral migration distances of up to 400 meters (1300 feet).

Phosphorous and nitrogen released from septic tanks can contribute to eutrophication of water
bodies, if introduced into surface waters. Phosphate ions, however, readily undergo biological
utilization, chemisorption and precipitation reactions in soil solutions, and their concentration
normally decreases with distance from the source more rapidly than does the concentration of the
less reactive nitrate ion. Nitrate concentration also is of concern, because of its association with
methemoglobinemia in humans and livestock and because of its possible association with


Natural Resources 1-12 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, and teratogenesis.


Residential development has been permitted within the central Florida region on flatwoods soils,
which have a seasonal high water table at or near the surface for much of the year. Due to previous
agricultural drainage practices to improve pasture characteristics, many of these areas exhibit
artificially improved dry weather drainage characteristics. However, given typical rainy season
conditions, these soils quickly exhibit their naturally saturated characteristics.

Florida permitting criteria, as implemented by the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative
Services, allow construction of mounded septic system drain fields in areas with a seasonal high
water table at or near the surface for much of the year. A substantial amount of fill is brought in with
the intention of providing sufficient separation between the drain field and ground water levels.
Unfortunately, this system can become saturated, even if sufficient separation is provided, due to
capillary action within the soils, which elevate the water table up into the mound.


State Water Supply Goals

Florida shall assure the availability of an adequate supply of water for all competing uses
deemed reasonable and beneficial and shall maintain the functions of natural systems and
the overall present level of surface and ground water quality. Florida shall improve and
restore the quality of waters not presently' meeting water quality standards (State
Comprehensive Plan, s. 187.201(8)(a), F.S.).

It is the intent of the Legislature that future growth and development planning reflect the
limitations of the available ground water or other available water supplies (s. 373.0395,
F.S.).

The encouragement and promotion of water conservation, and reuse of reclaimed water, as
defined by the department are State objectives (s. 403.064, F S., and s. 373.205, F.S.).


State Water Quality Goal

It is declared to be the public policy of this state to conserve the waters of the state and to
protect, maintain, and improve the quality thereof for public water supplies, for the
propagation of wildlife and fish and other aquatic life, and for domestic, agricultural,
industrial, recreational, and other beneficial uses and to provide that no wastes be
discharged into any waters of the state without first being given the degree of treatment
necessary to protect the beneficial uses of such water (s. 403.021(2), F.S.).




Natural Resources 1-13 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Legal Basis for Management


Florida Statutes and rules contain an abundance of general guidance on protection and management
of water resources and related natural systems, including the following provisions pertinent to water
supply:

Ensure that new development is compatible with existing local and regional water supplies.
(S. 187.201(8)5. F.S.)

Reserve from use that water necessary to support essential non-withdrawal demands,
including navigation, recreation, and the protection offish and wildlife. (s. 187.201(8)(b)14.
F.S.)

Encourage the development of local and regional water supplies within water management
districts instead of transporting surface water across district boundaries (s. 187.201(8) F.S.)

It is the policy of the state that the citizens of Florida shall be assured of the availability of
safe drinking water. (s.403.851, F.S.)

It is the intent of the Legislature that future growth and development planning reflect the
limitations of the available ground water or other available water supplies. (s. 373.0395,
F.S.)

The encouragement and promotion of water conservation, and reuse of reclaimed water, as
defined by the department, are state objectives. (s. 403.064, F.S.; also s. 373.250, F.S.)

To obtain a [consumptive use] permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the
applicant must establish that the proposed use of water: (a) Is a reasonable-beneficial use
as defined in s. 373.019(4); (b) Will not interfere with any presently existing legal use of
water; and (c) Is consistent with the public interest. (s. 373.223, F.S.)

Assure availability of an adequate and affordable supply of water for all reasonable-
beneficial uses. Uses of water authorized by a permit shall be limited to reasonable-
beneficial uses. (s. 62-40.301(1)(a), F.A.C.)

Provide for the management of water and related land resources (s. 373.016(2) (a), F.S.)

Champion and develop sound water conservation practices and public information
programs. (s. 62-40.301(1)(c), F.A.C.)

Encourage the use of water of the lowest acceptable quality for the purpose intended. (s. 62-
40.301(1)(e), F.A. C.)


Natural Resources 1-14 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Encourage demand management and the development of alternative water supplies,
including water conservation, reuse of reclaimed water, desalination, storm water reuse,
recharge, and aquifer storage and recovery. (s. 62-40.310(1)(g), F.A.C.)

In implementing consumptive use permitting programs, a reasonable amount of reuse of
reclaimed water shall be required within water resource caution areas, unless objective
evidence demonstrates that such reuse is not economically, environmentally, or technically
feasible. (s. 62-40.416(2), F.A.C.)

Protect aquifers from depletion through water conservation and preservation of the
functions of high recharge areas. (s. 62-40.310(1)(h), F.A.C.)

It is the intent of the Legislature that utilities develop reclaimed water systems, where
reclaimed water is the most appropriate alternative water supply option, to deliver reclaimed
water to as many users as possible through the most cost-effective means, and to construct
reclaimed water system infrastructure to their owned or operated properties and facilities
where they have reclamation capability. (s. 373.1961(2), F.S.)

It is the intent of the Legislature that the water management districts which levy ad valorem
taxes for water management purposes should share a percentage of those tax revenues with
water providers and users, including local governments, water, wastewater, and reuse
utilities, municipal, industrial, and agricultural water users, and other public and private
water users, to be used to supplement other funding sources in the development ofalternative
water supplies. (s. 373.1961(2), F.S.)

The governing boards ofthe water management districts where water resource caution areas
have been designated shall include in their annual budgets an amount for the development
of alternative water supply systems, including reclaimed water systems, pursuant to the
requirements of this subsection. (s. 373.1961(2) (a), F.S.)

In the performance of and in conjunction with, its other powers and duties, a water
management district shall not deprive, directly or indirectly, any county wherein which
water is withdrawn to the prior right to supply reasonable and beneficial needs of the county
or any of the inhabitants or property owners therein. (s. 373.1961(5), FS.)



Goal 1.1: Assure an adequate supply of water to meet all projected human and natural
needs.




Natural Resources 1-15 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Indicators:


a. Reduction in per capital water use; percentage of groundwater monitoring wells showing
deterioration in water quality or lower water levels; and, number of local wellhead protection
programs.

b. Plans, programs and practices which provide the water supply needed to restore and maintain
the region's natural ecosystems.

c. Average per capital consumption of water.

Policies:

1.1.1 Assist local governments in establishing Level of Service (LOS) standards consistent with
a commitment to reduce per capital water consumption. s. 187.201(8)(b)11, F.S.

1.1.2 Advance the use of water conserving plumbing fixtures for all new construction and
remodeling. s. 187.201(8)(b)11, F.S.

1.1.3 Advance the use of drought-resistant native and non-native plants in landscaping,
preservation of existing native vegetation, and the use of rain sensor devices for irrigation
systems. s. 187.201(8)(b)l 1, F.S.

1.1.4 Help local governments to devise measures which develop widespread citizen compliance
with water shortage restrictions. s. 187.201(8)(b)1, F.S.

1.1.5 Use technical assistance available from the water management districts in formulating and
implementing water conservation plans.

1.1.6 Assist local governments and state agencies in developing consistent thresholds for the
planning and development of water supply sources on a regional basis. s. 187.201(8)(b)3, F.S.

1.1.7 Use local and regional water availability information contained in water management district
water supply studies in land use planning and development decisions.

1.1.8 Help local governments identify development decisions that are consistent with the delivery
of adequate potable water supplies. sl87.201(8)(b)5, F.S.

1.1.9 Assist state agencies and local governments in developing alternative water supply strategies
consistent with appropriate water management district water supply plans, including the use
of reclaimed water, desalination, storm water, or other alternative sources to ensure
continued water availability. s. 187.201(8)(b)1, F.S.


Natural Resources 1-16 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









1.1.10 Help public supply utilities to use water management district approved methodologies for
making water supply projections.

1.1.11 Develop priority strategies for water demand reduction which include, water conservation
education, landscaping, rate structures and water saving devices, s. 187.201(8)(b)1, F.S.

1.1.12 Facilitate linkages between alternative water suppliers (e.g. reuse water providers) and end
users, s. 187.201(8)(b)11, F.S.

1.1.13 Assist local government in the scientific delineation of wellhead protection areas and
adoption of local ordinances to implement their protection. s. 187.201(8)(b)1, F.S.

1.1.14 Avoid development actions that are incompatible with the location of current and future
public supply wells. s. 187.201(8)(b)1, F.S.

1.1.15 Facilitate coordination among adjacent local governments to implement wellhead protection
programs where protection areas overlap jurisdictions. s. 187.201(8)(b)1, F.S.

1.1.16 Support water resource regulation based on equitable allocation and ecologically sustainable
yield, using a comprehensive and balanced management approach, s. 187.201(8)(b)14, F.S.

1.1.17 Encourage the use of the lowest quality water reasonably available, suitable and
environmentally appropriate to a given purpose. s. 187.201(8)(b)11, F.S.

1.1.18 Assist local governments and water management districts in linking District Water
Management Plans and the State Water Plan with local comprehensive plans and
development regulations. s. 187.201(8)(a), F.S.

1.1.19 Promote environmentally acceptable effluent disposal alternatives, toward the goal of
achieving 100 percent reuse throughout the region. s. 187.201(8)(b)13, F.S.

1.1.20 Encourage use of the most practical, economically feasible and efficient irrigation methods
available and the timely replacement or improvement of less efficient systems. s.
187.201(8)(b)11, F.S.

1.1.21 Minimize and mitigate adverse impacts to wetlands and river systems by major water users.
s. 187.201(8)(b)14, F.S.

1.1.22 Assist state agencies and local governments in identifying and preventing new groundwater
withdrawals that would significantly increase salt water intrusion, interfere with existing uses
of water, or cause damage to regionally-significant ecosystems. s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.



Natural Resources 1-17 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


I 1









1.1.23 Encourage water use efficiency and conservation measures such as, but not limited to the
following:

S xeriscape principles;
the design of sewage treatment facilities to achieve 100 percent reuse of water;
S water saving devices, irrigation systems and low volume plumbing fixtures;
S water conservation-favorable utility rates;
S consistent per capital water use measurement methodology; and
water and wastewater reuse systems, s. 187.201(8)(b)11, F.S.

1.1.24 Any proposal for the inter-district transfer of water shall weigh the environmental, economic
and social implications, and be considered only after local sources, and demand management
measures have been developed to the greatest extent feasible. s. 187.201(8)(b)3, F.S.

1.1.25 Assist local governments in adopting development standards that protect groundwater
recharge characteristics by encouraging open space areas, clustered development and
increased use of pervious materials. s. 187.201(8)(b)3, F.S.


Regional Goal 1.2: Protect the quality of surface water in the region.

Indicators:

a. Number of point sources meeting standards.
b. Rate of pollutant loading to principal rivers in region.
c. Diversity and abundance of benthic fauna.
d. Number of water bodies whose quality improves or remains the same.

Policies:

1.2.1 Implement plans to prevent, abate and control surface water and groundwater pollution so
that the resource meets state standards. s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.2.2 Support the achievement of the pollutant loading targets to be established by the Charlotte
Harbor National Estuary Program for the Charlotte Harbor watershed, and the pollutant load
reduction goals of the applicable Water Management district for the remaining parts of the
Region. s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.2.3 Assist state agencies and local governments in identifying and avoiding dredge and fill
activities or other alterations that result in water quality degradation in or adjacent to
regionally-significant natural systems such as riverine habitats. s. 187.201(8)(b)7, F.S.



Natural Resources 1-18 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









1.2.4 Assist state agencies and local governments in reducing pollutant loading from permitted
point sources and the number of sources which negatively impact the quality of receiving
waters, s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.2.5 Avoid land use and transportation planning and development decisions resulting in
unacceptable degradation of existing surface water quality, s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.2.6 Develop strategies to reverse significant storm water pollution. s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.2.7 Support management of agricultural runoff with Best Available Control Technologies and/or
Best Management Practices to minimize its impact upon receiving waters. s.
187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.2.8 Ensure use of the most appropriate method of wastewater treatment.

At urban residential densities, use a municipal or multi-jurisdictional system where such a
system is reasonably available.

At urban residential densities, where a municipal system is not available, use a package plant,
provided efficient operation and appropriate maintenance can be guaranteed. For efficient
operation and maintainence, package plants should have a minimum capacity of at least
100,000 gallons per day.

At lower residential densities, where a municipal system or package plant is not available,
a properly designed, installed and maintained septic system can be used as an economical and
efficient method of disposing of wastewater.

Avoid the installation of new septic tank systems on soils with a seasonal high water table,
as identified and defined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or in areas likely
to be inundated. All septic systems must meet or exceed HRS standards and be appropriately
maintained. s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.2.9 Avoid the utilization of small package plants for sewage treatment when connection to
regional or municipal systems is feasible. s. 187.201(8)(b)13, F.S.


Regional Goal 1.3: Protect the quality of groundwater in the Region.

Indicators:

a. Number of antiquated gasoline tanks removed or repaired.
b. Number of unlined gypsum stacks meeting closure standards.


Natural Resources 1-19 April 25.1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Policies:


1.3.1 Implement plans to prevent, abate and control groundwater pollution so that the resource
meets appropriate standards, s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.2 Advance programs to monitor and minimize inflow and infiltration into fractured or ruptured
sanitary sewer lines, in order to preserve treatment capacity and prevent adverse impacts on
groundwater by eliminating outflow and exfiltration. s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.3 Assist local governments in identifying and avoiding land use planning and development
decisions resulting in substantive degradation of existing groundwater quality. s.
187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.4 Assist local governments in developing strategies within comprehensive plans and land
development regulations that are consistent with Surface Water Improvement and
Management (SWIM) plans, Aquatic Preserve plans and the National Estuary Program
(NEP) to restore and protect water quality, s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.5 Advance pollutant load reductions through such methods as wastewater and storm water
reuse and retrofitting for storm water treatment. s. 187.201(8)(b)13, F.S.

1.3.6 Ensure drainage improvement projects meet pollutant load limitations of receiving water
bodies, s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.3.7 Assist local governments in the establishment of dedicated storm water funding mechanisms,
such as storm water utilities. s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.3.8 Pursuant to Rule 29G-3, F.A.C., facilitate the use the regional dispute resolution process to
coordinate comprehensive planning and implementation of land development regulations to
improve or protect water quality in shared water bodies, s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.9 The Council shall facilitate coordination between the Department of Transportation, Water
Management Districts, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and local government programs
to minimize the impacts of transportation systems on surface water quality. s.
187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.10 Advance the development of centralized sewer systems, especially in identified septic tank
problem areas and areas planned for or experiencing urban development densities. s.
187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.11 Assist local governments in the implementation of comprehensive waste management
programs that ensure the proper management and disposal of solid, hazardous, and toxic


Natural Resources 1-20 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









wastes. s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.12 Assist local government in the adoption of land uses and land development regulations that
are compatible with the protection of ground water quality in areas susceptible to
contamination. s. 187.201(8)(b)9, F.S.

1.3.13 Promote proper use of pesticides and fertilizers through education and/or regulation. s.
187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.14 Ensure appropriate storm water treatment for runoff discharged to drainage wells, existing
sinkholes, stream-to-sink basins, and areas prone to sinkhole formation. s. 187.201(8)(b)12,
F.S.

1.3.15 Avoid development actions that will cause functional disruption of wetland and recharge
functions. s. 187.201(8)(b)14, F.S.

1.3.16 Water management systems built as a result of development within or adjacent to regionally
significant natural resources should mimic the natural freshwater flows, both in quantity and
quality, into such areas. s. 187.201(8)(b)4, F.S.

1.3.17 Support the development of SWIM Plans, Water Supply Plans, and other regional plans
which provide for water resource management and long-range planning. Such plans should
complement local government land use plans, s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.18 Assist in the establishment of regional wetland mitigation banks which optimize ecological
system functions. s. 187.201(8)(b)10, F.S.

1.3.19 Support measures which set out to control and eliminate invasive exotic plant species from
canals, lakes, rivers and wetlands, s. 187.201(10)(b)10, F.S.


Regional Goal 1.4: Manage storm water as a valuable regional resource.

Indicators:

a. Quality of urban storm water.
b. Adoption by local governments of the storm water management strategies.

Policies:

1.4.1 Support the initiatives and restoration projects identified in the SWIM plans for storm water-
related issues. s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.


Natural Resources 1-21 April 25.1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









1.4.2 Implement appropriate storm water management strategies identified in the adopted Charlotte
Harbor National Estuary Program's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.
s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.4.3 Implement water reclamation and reuse alternatives for storm water disposal to surface water
bodies, as appropriate, s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.4.4 Support the preparation and implementation of comprehensive basin wide storm water
management master plans. s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.

1.4.5 Encourage multi-purpose facilities for storm water management which complement open
space, recreation and conservation objectives. s. 187.201(8)(b)12, F.S.


Flood Protection

State Flood Protection and Floodplain Management Goals

Require local governments, in cooperation with regional and state agencies, to adopt plans
and policies to protect public and private property and human lives from the effects of
natural disasters. (s. 187.201(7)(b)25, F.S.)

Encourage the development of a strict floodplain management program by state and local
governments designed to preserve hydrologically significant wetlands and other natural
floodplain features. (s. 187.201(8)(b)8, F.S.)

Legal Basis for Management:

Florida Statutes contain a variety of expressions of intent regarding public safety and protection of
human lives and property from the effects of floods and other natural disasters. The WMDs are
specifically authorized by Chapter 373, F.S. to construct and operate flood control structures, and
a major benefit of land acquisition programs implemented by DEP and the WMDs is the reservation
of significant floodplain and flood prone areas from future development. However, local
governments (cities, counties, and special districts) have the primary responsibility for controlling
land uses in privately-owned flood prone areas. While DEP and the WMDs regulate how
development projects in floodplains and flood prone areas are constructed, operated and maintained,
their powers to directly control land uses are restricted primarily to properties owned by the agencies.
The thrust of their efforts is to use rulemaking authorities under the Water Resources Act (Chapter
373, F.S.) To implement legislative intent related to water, and where possible, to support goals and
policies expressed in the State Comprehensive Plan (Chapter 187, F.S.). Examples include the
following:



Natural Resources 1-22 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Protect and restore the ecological functions of wetlands systems to ensure their long-term
environmental, economic, and recreational values. (s. 187.201(10)(b)7, F.S.)

Promote restoration of the Everglades system and of the hydrological and ecological
functions of degraded or substantially disrupted surface waters. (s. 187.201(10)(b)8, F.S.)

Develop and implement a comprehensive planning, management, and acquisition program
to ensure the integrity of Florida's river systems. (s. 187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.)

Protect and use natural systems in lieu of structural alternatives and restore modified
systems. (s. 187.201(8)4, FS.)

Consider, in land use planning and regulation, the impact of land use on water quality and
quantity; the availability of land, water, and other natural resources to meet demands; and
the potential for flooding. (s. 187.201(16)(b)6, F.S.)

Avoid transportation improvements which encourage or subsidize increased development
in coastal high-hazard areas or in identified environmentally sensitive areas such as
wetlands, floodways, or productive marine areas. (s. 187.201(20)(b)12, F.S.)

To develop and regulate dams, impoundments, reservoirs, and other works and to provide
water storage for beneficial purposes. (s. 373.016(2)(c), F.S.)

To prevent damagefrom floods, soil erosion, and excessive drainage. (s. 373.016(2)(d), F.S.)

Encourage nonstructural solutions to water resource problems and give adequate
consideration to nonstructural alternatives whenever structural works are proposed (s. 62-
40.310(3)(a), F.A. C.)

Manage the construction and operation offacilities which dam, divert, or otherwise alter the
flow of surface waters to minimize damage from flooding, soil erosion, or excessive
drainage. (s. 62-40.310(3)(b), F.A.C.)

Encourage the management offloodplains and other flood hazard areas to prevent or reduce
flood damage, consistent with establishment and maintenance of desirable hydrologic
characteristics and associated natural systems. (s. 62-40.310(3)(c), FA. C.)

Encourage the development and implementation ofa strict floodplain management program
by state, regional, and local governments designed to preserve floodplain functions and
associated ecosystems. (s. 62-40.310(1)(d), F.A.C.)

Avoid the expenditure of public funds that encourage or subsidize incompatible new


Natural Resources 1-23 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









development or significant expansion of existing development in flood prone areas. (s. 62-
40.310(3)(e), F.A.C.)

Minimize flood-related emergencies, human disasters, loss ofproperty, and other associated
impacts. (s. 62-40.310(3)(f, F.A.C.)

Goal: 1.5 Promote non-structural surface water management methods to minimize
damage from floods by protecting and restoring the natural water storage and
conveyance functions of flood prone areas.

Indicators:

a. Reduction in structural damage from flooding, and number of permits issued in flood zones.

Policies:

1.5.1 Help local governments, with assistance of the water management districts, develop and
implement storm water management programs based on watershed basins, which include:

a. basin master plans;

b. drainage and storm water management control criteria including appropriate required
"best management practices" and non-structural techniques such as using wetlands
and floodplains for detention and cleansing of storm water runoff;

c. coordination with storm water management systems and utilities of neighboring
jurisdictions;

d. appropriate and continued maintenance of storm water management and treatment
facilities; and,

e. public education regarding nonpoint source management and watershed protection.
s. 187.201(16)(b)6, F.S.

1.5.2 Coordinate comprehensive planning and implementation of land development regulations
within floodplains to achieve consistency among local governments in flood protection and
protection of water quality, habitat, and floodways. s. 187.201(16)(b)6, F.S.

1.5.3 Facilitate coordinated planning for acquisition, development rights purchase, or conservation
easements for regionally significant floodplains. s. 187.201(8)(b)4, F.S.

1.5.4 Assist local government in the adoption of land use designations and other land development


Natural Resources 1-24 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









regulations that minimize the potential for flood damage in flood prone areas. s.
187.201(8)(b)8, F.S.

1.5.5 Assist local governments in the adoption of level of service standards for storm water
management that are attributes of a basin and include both water quantity and water quality.
s. 187.201(8)(b)4, F.S.

1.5.6 Support redevelopment projects to meet new development standards for flood protection.
s. 187.201(8)(b)8, F.S.

1.5.7 Assist local governments in the adoption of land use designations and regulations that are
compatible with the operation and maintenance of regional and local flood control systems.
s. 187.201(8)(b)8, F.S.

1.5.8 Protect the functions of flood-prone areas and related natural systems by discouraging
channelization or other alterations of natural surface water regimes, s. 187.201(8)(b)4, F.S.

1.5.9 Help local governments to require that new costs for flood protection in flood-prone areas
be borne as a cost of development, s. 187.201(8)(b)8, F.S.


Natural Systems

Trends and Conditions

Since the adoption of the Comprehensive Regional Policy Plans, Florida has undergone
revolutionary changes in the way in which we consider natural systems and listed species. The 1993
Legislature merged the Department of Environmental Regulation and the Department of Natural
Resources creating the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP was charged with
developing a strategy to protect the functions of entire ecological systems.

The theme DEP articulates for that purpose is stewardship. Stewardship, as an idea, conveys a
strong sense of ownership in, and responsibility for, Florida's land, air, water and other resources.
Stewardship applies to all the citizens of Florida.

The result of this change is the concept of ecosystem management. It recognizes that all elements
of our environment -- natural areas, urban communities, and managed areas such as farms and timber
land -- have value to our quality of life. DEP's definition of ecosystem management is an integrated,
flexible approach to management of Florida's biological and physical environments--conducted
through the use of tools such as planning, land acquisition, environmental education, regulation,
economic incentives, and pollution prevention--designed to maintain, protect, and improve the
state's natural, managed, and human communities.


Natural Resources 1-25 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









The central focus of the ecosystem management initiative is place-based management. Place-based
management focuses on areas or places of sufficient size to address major hydrological (both surface
and groundwater) and ecological connections on a regional scale. However, it recognizes that
management activities at all levels within the ecosystem, from homes and neighborhoods to regional
initiatives, affect the system. Further, it recognizes that urban areas are an important part of
ecosystems and must be addressed. Place-based management seeks to coordinate all management
efforts within an ecosystem so they are complementary and build upon one another.

Ecosystem Management is proposed as a flexible approach that allows action to be based on current
knowledge with the recognition that new knowledge will reshape our understanding and
management of ecosystems. It is important that ecosystem management solutions be integrated, as
appropriate, into local government comprehensive plans, strategic regional policy plans and the State
Land Development Plan.

Ecosystems do not recognize political or jurisdictional boundaries. They are generally regional and
interregional in nature. In recognition of that fact, DEP has developed a preliminary statewide
management framework of Ecosystem Management Areas (EMAs) Ecosystem Management Areas
are broad areas, including the urban components of those areas, often based on drainage basins or
watersheds, that are big enough to allow major hydrological and ecological connections to be
addressed on a regional scale.

Within the Central Florida Region four EMAs have been proposed; the Greater Charlotte Harbor -
Peace River E.M.A., the Lake Wales Ridge E.M.A., the Greater Kissimmee and Okeechobee Basin
of the South Florida E.M.A., and the Alafia Basin of the Greater Tampa Bay E.M.A. This structure
recognizes the interregional environmental linkages previously discussed. The Peace River Basin
is a critical component of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. The Kissimmee River
is a critical component of the Everglades restoration program. The Lake Wales Ridge is a globally
unique endangered habitat.

Given the clear direction set by the State and the major inter-regional environmental issues within
central Florida, the Ecosystem Management Area structure is a reasonable method of organization
for the identification and assessment of natural resources within the region.

The Central Florida Region has one of the smallest percentages (5.6%) of conservation lands of any
region in Florida (statewide average is 19.6%). Highlands, Polk, Okeechobee, DeSoto, and Hardee
counties all have a much smaller percentage of conservation lands than the statewide average for
individual counties. In sharp contrast to these figures lies the fact that this region contains some of
the rarest and most biologically rich lands remaining in Florida. The region contains Strategic
Habitat Conservation Areas identified by the FGFWFC for southern bald eagle, Florida scrub jay,
Florida sandhill crane, Audubon's crested caracara, Florida grasshopper sparrow, red-cockaded
woodpecker, wood storks and other rare wading birds, and endemic scrub communities. Many of
the important remaining natural areas are threatened by expanding citrus operations, phosphate


Natural Resources 1-26 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








mining, and residential development. The Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas are considered to
be biodiversity hotspots, indicating existing habitat which may be shared by assemblages of listed
species. These areas are often include private property, and the presence of the habitat reflects the
stewardship of the property owner.

Proper management of the Green Swamp is one of the most significant issues within the central
Florida region. The Green Swamp consists of approximately 500,000 acres of rivers, swamps,
uplands and forests located in Lake, Sumter, Pasco, and Polk counties.

Portions of the Green Swamp were designated an Area of Critical State Concern (ACSC) by the
State in 1974. The ACSC designation was intended to afford protection to the area until adequate
local regulations could be developed. To fully protect the area's natural resources, existing local
regulations should be strengthened.

The Green Swamp Task Force was assembled by the Polk County Commission in cooperation with
the Nature Conservancy. The Task Force included representatives of agencies and property owners
with direct interest in the resources of the Swamp. Their report, completed in 1992, outlines
measures necessary to protect the natural functions of the Green Swamp. Recommended policies
included low residential densities, prohibition of development within the 100 year flood plain,
stringent open space requirements, and a prohibition of sludge and septage disposal.

In 1994 legislation was enacted to provide $30 million over three years to purchase development
rights from property owners in the ecologically sensitive parts of the Swamp. The law creates a 10
member Green Swamp Land Authority, which includes Polk County, the SWFWMD and the
SJRWMD, to identify how to best balance ecological concerns with private property rights.

The SJRWMD has identified 80% of that District's acreage within the Green Swamp for acquisition
within the SOR/P2000. Project lands currently owned or scheduled to be acquired in Polk County
under the SWFWMD's SOR/P2000 Programs include those associated with the Green Swamp
Riverine Corridor, Withlacoochee Riverine Corridor "A", and the Withlacoochee/Hillsborough
Riverine Corridor "D". The Alston Tract has been evaluated and approved for acquisition.

The SWFWMD has also purchased or scheduled for purchase the Upper Lake Marion Creek
Watershed. Much of the flood plain of the Peace River from Bartow to Charlotte Harbor is under
evaluation, or has been evaluated and approved for purchase.

The SFWMD has designated approximately 13,500 acres of the Lake Marion Creek drainage basin
for acquisition through the SOR program. This acquisition adjoins the 3,800 acres of the Upper Lake
Marion Creek watershed proposed for acquisition by the SWFWMD and includes the 1,324 acre
Horse Creek Scrub proposed for acquisition through the CARL program.

The SWFWMD has also proposed acquisition of 6,142 acres along Catfish Creek for acquisition


Natural Resources 1-27 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









through the SOR program. This project, combined with the Catfish Creek CARL Project and the
SFWMD's Kissimmee Chain of Lakes SOR Project, will create a natural corridor extending from
Lake Hatchineha to Lake Pierce.

The Kissimmee River Restoration will restore approximately 32,000 acres of the original 43,000 acre
Kissimmee River system. The project area encompasses approximately 77,000 acres in Polk,
Highlands, Osceola, and Okeechobee Counties. To date, approximately 19,000 acres have been
acquired.

Mapping of Natural Resources of Regional Significance

The SRPP contains several maps in an attempt to map what are considered to be "natural resources
of regional significance". The State (Rule 27E-5.001(7)FAC) defines these as follows:

A resource or facility that due to its uniqueness, function, benefit, service delivery area, or
importance is identified as being of regional concern.

A resource or facility that requires the participation or involvement of two or more
governmental entities to ensure proper and efficient management.

A resource or facility that meets either criteria above and is defined to be of state or regional
concern or importance in state or federal laws or rules of state or regional agencies adopted
pursuant to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

The Rule goes on to require that natural resources identified as regionally significant in the Plan must
be mapped.

These maps provide an excellent regional planning tool and identify regional opportunities for better
land use planning. These maps are to be used for regional planning purposes only. These maps are
to be used only in conjunction with the SRPP. Information regarding specifics on how they will be
used and implemented are addressed elsewhere in the Plan.

State Natural Systems Goals

Conserve forests, wetlands, fish, marine life, and wildlife to maintain their environmental,
economic, aesthetic, and recreational values ( 187.201(10)(b)l., F.S.).

Reserve from use that water necessary to support essential non-withdrawal demands,
including navigation, recreation, and the protection of fish and wildlife (s.
187.201(8)(b)14.F.S.).

[Florida Reorganization Act of 1993] It is the policy of the Legislature: ... To protect the


Natural Resources 1-28 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









functions of entire ecological systems through enhanced coordination of public land
acquisition, regulatory, andplanning programs (s. 94-356, 2(c), Laws ofFlorida).

The Legislature hereby declares the policy of the state to be management and preservation
of its renewable marine fishery resources, based upon the best available information,
emphasizing protection and enhancement of the marine and estuarine environment in a
manner as to provide for optimum sustained benefits and use to all the people of this state
for present and future generations ( 370.025(1), FS.).

Legal Basis For Management

In addition to the provisions cited as goals, the legal basis for managing Florida's natural systems
involves a broad array of statutory and rule provisions, including the following:

Florida shall protect and acquire unique natural habitats and ecological systems, such as
wetlands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and virgin longleaf pine forests, and restore
degraded systems to a functional condition. (s. 187.210(10)(a), F.S.)

[The Department of Environmental Protection shall] Adopt by rule a state water policy,
which shall provide goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of
programs, rules, and plans relating to water resources. This state water policy shall be
consistent with the state comprehensive plan and may include such department rules as are
specifically identified in the policy. (s. 403.061(33) and s. 373.026(10), F.S.)

To provide for the management of water and related land resources. (s. 3 73.016(2) (a), FS.)

To preserve natural resources, fish, and wildlife. (s. 3 73.061(2) (f), F.S.)

[Everglades Forever Act] It is the intent of the Legislature to facilitate the surface water
improvement and management process, to assist the district and the Department of
Environmental Protection in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, and to
provide funding mechanisms which will contribute to the implementation of the strategies
incorporated in the Everglades Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan...(s.
373.4952, F.S.)

Within each section, or the water management district as a whole, the department or the
governing board shall establish...:

(1) Minimum flows for all watercourses in the area. The minimum flow for a given
watercourse shall be the limit at which further withdrawals would be significantly
harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area. (s. 373.042(1), F.S.)



Natural Resources 1-29 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








The minimum flow and minimum water level shall be calculated by the department
and governing board using the best information available. When appropriate,
minimum flows and levels may be calculated to reflect seasonal variations. (s.
373.042, F.S.)

Utilize, preserve, restore, and enhance natural water management systems and
discourage the channelization or other alteration of natural rivers, streams and
lakes. (s. 62-40.310(4)(c), F.A.C.)

Protect the water storage and water quality enhancement functions of wetlands,
floodplains, and aquifer recharge areas through acquisition, enforcement of laws,
and the application of land and water management practices which provide for
compatible uses. (s. 62-40.310(5)(a), F.A.C.)

Emphasize the prevention ofpollution and other water resource problems. (s. 62-
40.310(5)(b), F.A.C.)


Goal 1.6: Preserve, protect and restore natural Florida ecosystems in order to support
their natural hydrologic and ecologic functions.

Indicator: Acres of protected ecosystems, and changes in viable wetland acres as a result of
development activities.

Policies:

1.6.1 The Central Florida Regional Planning Council will advocate a comprehensive resource
protection perspective reflecting the interconnectedness of quality and quantity of surface
water, ground water, aquatic and related land resources and the cumulative effects of
activities which impact them. s. 94-356, 2(c), Laws of Florida

1.6.2 The Central Florida Regional Planning Council will help increase public awareness by
serving as a planning resource to environmental education programs that may be established
for this purpose.

1.6.3 Facilitate the protection of greenways, wildlife corridors, and significant habitat systems
through acquisition or other means such as conservation easements and management
agreements. s. 187.201(10)(b)10, F.S.

1.6.4 Assist local governments in developing land use designations and other land development
regulations that maintain and protect habitat functions, s. 187.201(10)(b)10, F.S.



Natural Resources 1-30 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









1.6.5 Locate infrastructure routes such as new roadway corridors or roadway expansions,
transmission lines and pipelines to avoid impacts to environmentally sensitive areas. s.
187.201(10)(b)1, F.S.

1.6.6 The ecological functions of wetland systems will be protected to ensure their long-term
environmental, economic, and aesthetic values. s. 187.201(10)(b)7, F.S.

1.6.7 Assist local governments in identifying and adopting compatible land use designations
adjacent to conservation lands, s. 187.201(10)(b)1, F.S.

1.6.8 Strongly emphasize avoidance and minimization of environmental impacts as preferable to
mitigation. s. 187.201(10)(b)1, F.S.


Regional Goal 1.7: Protect and restore Natural Resources of Regional Significance

Indicators:

a. Acreage of regionally-significant natural resources protected from degradation.

b. Resource permitting rules which incorporate the protection of native habitat and listed
species, and address the issue of cumulative impacts.

c. Change in the status of state and federally listed species.

Policies:

1.7.1 Protect and preserve regionally significant natural resources as documented on the Map of
Regionally Significant Natural Resources. s. 187.201(10)(a), F.S.

1.7.2 Impacts to regionally significant natural resources shall be allowed only in cases of
overriding public interest. When they cannot be avoided, impacts shall be to the minimum
extent possible. Mitigation may be approved only when it is demonstrated and/or
documented that the mitigation will successfully recreate the specific resource. Secondary
impacts shall be considered in determining the acreage to be mitigated. s. 187.201(10)(a),
F.S.

1.7.3 Mitigation by habitat re-creation shall employ native plant material which replaces natural
value and function. Monitoring shall be required for a sufficient time to ensure success, a
minimum 85 percent coverage of desired species. Yearly maintenance and replanting shall
be provided. s. 187.201(10)(b)7, F.S.



Natural Resources 1-31 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


_








1.7.4 Mitigation for allowable impacts to regionally significant wetland areas shall be performed
within the same drainage basin, s. 187.201(10)(b)7, F.S.

1.7.5 Mitigation by restoring disturbed habitat of a similar nature, including the removal of exotic
plant species, may be acceptable. s. 187.201(10)(b)7, F.S.

1.7.6 Facilitate the maintenance and improvement of native plant communities and viable wildlife
habitats determined to be Natural Resources of Regional Significance, specifically, those
native habitats and plant communities that tend to be least in abundance and most productive
orunique. s. 187.201(10)(b)10, F.S.

1.7.7 Mining activities may be permitted in regionally significant natural areas only when it has
been demonstrated/documented that the areas can be successfully restored, consistent with
the requirements of permitting agencies and when no permanent adverse environmental
impact will result. Reclamation standards shall be consistent with the protection of the
public interest and the conservation of natural resources, and should ensure that the mining
company has existing ability and technology to perform restoration activities that can fully
restore both the form and function of the conservation areas impacted. Reclamation should
begin immediately, and should continue to progress until reclamation is completed. s.
187.201(10)(b)1, F.S.

1.7.8 Assist state agencies and local governments in protecting natural resources and ecosystem
values from surface and groundwater withdrawals that significantly impact the natural
seasonal flows, water levels and hydrology.

1.7.9 Maintain a minimum horizontal buffer necessary to preserve the natural value and function
of the regionally significant natural resource.

1.7.10 Provide and maintain adequate long-term monitoring of native plant communities and listed
species' populations to provide a sound data base and to identify trends upon which future
regulatory and acquisition decisions can be based.

1.7.11 Avoid hardening of unaltered shorelines or other structural lining of natural waterways or
shorelines, except when required by watershed and/or storm water management plans. s.
187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.

1.7.12 Protect, preserve and restore the natural functions of riverine systems. Prohibit new
development in riverine floodways as identified by FEMA. s. 187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.

1.7.13 Avoid channelization through regionally significant natural systems such as estuarine,
riverine and special habitats; solely to create new lands for development; or to create new
navigation access. s. 187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.


Natural Resources 1-32 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Regional Goal 1.8: Protect and maintain the natural resources of public and private lands
which are managed for conservation purposes.

Indicators:

a. Buffer zones established to protect regionally significant conservation lands.
b. Acres designated for conservation of regionally significant natural resources.

Policies:

1.8.1 Protect regionally significant parks, green ways, preserves and conservation lands from
incompatible land uses. s. 187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

1.8.2 Support the restoration of natural features in the region's parks and open space system. s.
187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

1.8.3 Support land acquisition programs, less than fee development rights purchase, conservation
easements, and other programs that protect natural resources, provide habitats for listed plant
and animal species, and provide for appropriate recreational opportunities. s.
187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

1.8.4 Facilitate cooperation among governments with shared resources, including development of
common methods for: ensuring adequate sites for water-dependent uses; preventing surface
and groundwater pollution; controlling surface water runoff; protecting plant and animal
resources; providing adequate management of protected areas; reducing exposure to natural
hazards; optimizing acquisition and restoration efforts; and ensuring appropriate public
access, s. 187.201(10)(b)1, F.S.


Regional Goal 1.9: Incorporate the protection of regionally significant natural resources in
planning for future growth within the region.

Indicators:

a. Adopted riverine management plans.
b. Established regional wildlife corridors and core areas.

Policies:

1.9.1 Promote the principals of ecosystem management for the protection of regionally significant
natural resources. s. 187.201(10)(a), F.S.



Natural Resources 1-33 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








1.9.2 Discourage development in the 100-year floodplain. s. 187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.

1.9.3 Implement floodplain management strategies to prevent erosion, retard runoff and protect
natural functions and values, s. 187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.

1.9.4 Discourage the installation of new septic tank systems within urban areas, within public
treatment plant/local collection and transmission system expansion areas and in areas likely
to be inundated by a 100-year flood event, s. 187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.

1.9.5 Land use decisions shall be consistent with federal and state listed species protection and
recovery plans, and adopted habitat management guidelines. s. 187.201(10)(b)4, F.S.

1.9.6 Establish and maintain regional wildlife corridors, Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas, and
the Florida Green ways Plan, in coordination with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish
commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Water Management Districts
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local governments. s. 187.201(10)(a), F.S.

1.9.7 Assist state agencies and local governments in the adoption and implementation of
coordinated riverine management plans. s. 187.201(10)(b)9, F.S.

1.9.8 Plan park and recreational facilities and the acquisition of open space and facilities for future
recreational use in a manner consistent with the protection of environmental and natural
resources, energy efficiency, water conservation, and the orderly extension and expansion
of compatible public facilities and services. s. 187.201(10)(b)12, F.S.

1.9.9 Endorse programs which provide financial and technical support to projects related to fish
and wildlife species and habitat research and restoration in the Central Florida region. s.
187.201(10)(b)1, F.S.

1.9.10 The Region shall actively encourage the state to return revenues collected within the region
from the various resource related licenses and fines for expenditure within the region. s.
187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

1.9.11 The RPC will promote the protection, conservation and restoration of those regional
resources listed in Appendix A. The RPC will aid in the identification and designation of
additional significant natural resources based on input from the WMD's and local
governments, s. 187.201(10)(b)1, F.S.

1.9.12 To ensure continued identification of environmentally sensitive lands, maintain current
copies of regional and local plans which identify environmentally sensitive lands. Such plans
include the WMD's Five Year Save Our Rivers Plans, the WMDs' aquifer recharge reports,
the SFWMD's Kissimmee River Restoration Plan, the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish


Natural Resources 1-34 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Commission's Environmentally Sensitive Lands mapping efforts, and local governments'
land acquisition plans. s. 187.201(10)(a), F.S.


Regional Goal 1.10: Protect Native Upland Ecosystems

Indicators:

a. Amount of native upland acreage preserved/protected.
b. Number of management plans implemented.

Policies:

1.10.1 A sufficient amount of native acreage should be preserved or protected which will allow the
proliferation of species dependent upon such habitat. s. 187.201(10)(a), F.S.

1.10.2 Developments of Regional Impact should be designed to preserve intact ground cover, under
story and canopy of large native upland areas. Such upland preserve areas should be
designed to interconnect with other preserve areas, including wetland preserves. A
management plan for such areas should be developed and implemented s. 187.201(10)(b)10,
F.S..

1.10.3 The RPC will support measures which set out to control and eliminate invasive exotic plant
species from native upland areas, s. 187.201(10)(a), F.S.

Regional Goal 1.11: Ensure the Survivability of Protected Animal and Plant Species

Indicators:

a. Number of protected plant and animal species given an upgraded status from "threatened"
or "endangered".

b. Amount of upland and wetland habitat preserved upon which listed species are specifically
dependent.

Policies:

1.11.1 Sufficient upland and wetland acreage will be preserved or protected in order to sustain the
population of the numerous protected species within the region. s. 187.201(10)(b)3, F.S.

1.11.2 Promote the development and implementation of habitat preservation plans. s.
187.201(10)(b)3, F.S.


Natural Resources 1-35 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Regional Goal 1.12: Protect or conserve Natural Resources of Regional Significance.

Indicator:

a. Amount of NRRS acreage protected or conserved.

Policies:

1.12.1 Utilize public/private partnerships in the acquisition or conservation of Natural Resource of
Regional Significance areas. s. 187.201(10)(b)13, F.S.

1.12.2 Develop and implement habitat management and funding guidelines that use public and
private mitigation funds for the protection or acquisition of NRRS areas. s.
187.201(10)(b)13, F.S.


Regional Goal 1.13: Provide public awareness of and public access to publicly owned Natural
Resources of Regional Significance.

Indicators:

a. Number oftrailheads to NRRSs
b. Miles of paths/boardwalks
c. Number of educational seminars per year
d. Number of public information brochures produced and distributed

Policies:

1.13.1 Lands purchased for preservation or designated as environmentally sensitive should be
protected from inappropriate recreational activities. s. 187.201(10)(b)3, F.S.

1.13.2 NRRS areas in public ownership should have adequate public access points for uses not in
conflict with the purpose of the area. s. 187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

1.13.3 NRRS areas in public ownership should provide appropriate recreational activities which are
consistent with environmental enhancement and preservation. s. 187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

1.13.4 Materials should be available at NRRS areas which explain the site and state reasons for its
importance. s. 187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.


Natural Resources


1-36
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


April 25. 1996








1.13.5 Encourage the development of a variety of recreational opportunities, including the
appropriate utilization of unique natural features and scenic areas. s. 187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

1.13.6 Provide adequate park and recreational facilities, equitably and geographically distributed
for projected numbers of people in the region. s. 187.201(10)(b)12, F.S.

1.13.7 Hold regionally significant recreation and park sites inviolate against diversion to other uses,
except in cases of overriding public interest. s. 187.201(10)(b)12, F.S.

1.13.8 Encourage the expansion of public access on public lands, as appropriate, for activities which
do not jeopardize the value of the lands for the preservation and management of native
species. s. 187.201(10)(b)2, F.S.

Phosphate Mining

Trends and Conditions

The mining of phosphate rock has been carried out within central Florida for over 100 years. The
industry has grown from small operations which disturbed a few acres of land to its present day size
in which the total acreage mined averages 6000 acres per year, with the production of about 40
million metric tons of rock. The phosphate industry owns 466,440 acres in central Florida, over half
of which is in active mining areas. By 1990, a total 6f 218, 229 acres had been mined; 149,130
before July 1, 1975.

Two main waste products are generated during the beneficiation and processing of phosphate rock:
sand tailings and phosphatic clays. Tailings are commonly used to backfill mine cuts, then the
overburden stockpiled nearby is spread over the tailings to produce a stable land form with a variety
of potential uses. The phosphatic clays are pumped as a 3 to 5% solids slurry to large, diked areas
where the clay solids slowly settle and the supernatant water is removed through spillways and
reused in the mine operations. The waste clay settling ponds occupy from 20 to 40% of the land area
mined, so that a significant portion of mined land will not be available for load-supporting,
construction uses. Until recently, clay ponds required 10 to 15 years to consolidate to a 15-20%
solids level and to crust over enough to support cattle. However, various techniques have been
developed to shorten this time requirement to 3 to 5 years. In 1990, 19 operating mines had 57,146
acres of active and inactive clay ponds with a projection of 20,000 additional acres needed for future
operations.

Throughout most of the years of phosphate mining in central Florida there was no requirement that
mined lands be reclaimed. The State of Florida mandated that all land mined after July 1, 1975 must
be reclaimed. The State further established a severance tax program to assist in the reclamation of
pre-1975 mined lands. By 1990, 41% (28,248 acres) of post-1975 mined land had been reclaimed.
In addition, 58% (86,624 acres) of pre-1975 lands had been reclaimed and released.


Natural Resources 1-37 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Eleven of the 19 phosphate mines operating in 1990 will have mined out their reserves by the year
2000. It is probable that four to six companies will be mining in central Florida past the year 2010.
Phosphate rock production will peak at about 40 million metric tons, then gradually decline to
around 20 million tons by the year 2010. Companies are now planning the utilization or disposition
of their land areas which are being reclaimed and released by permitting agencies.

Chemical Fertilizer Plants

Over the last 40 years the techniques of mining phosphate rock have not changed substantially in
kind, only in magnitude. However, the chemical processing of the phosphate rock has undergone
a transition from small normal superphosphate plant operations to large phosphoric acid-based plants
producing finished products such as di-ammonium phosphate, triple superphosphate and mono-
ammonium phosphate. There are currently 11 fertilizer plants and one animal food supplement
plant within central Florida producing over 12 million tons of finished products annually.

The technology switch to wet process phosphoric acid based products brought with it an unwelcome
by-product, phosphogypsum. Approximately five tons of phosphogypsum (calcium sulfate di-
hydrate) are produced per ton of recovered phosphoric acid anhydride. Phosphogypsum requires
sizeable disposal/storage areas. The 11 chemical plants have four inactive storage piles in addition
to the active piles at each site. In 1990 their were 4,872 acres in gypsum storage, 25% of the total
plant acreage. It is estimated that there are over 600 million tons of gypsum stored in Florida with
about 30 million tons added each year.

13 of the 15 gypsum stacks are older, unlined, facilities. These facilities are a documented source
of ground water pollution. Pollution plumes in the vicinity of operating chemical plants have been
controlled due to their proximity to the zone of capture of plant production wells.

Integrated Habitat Plan

In 1992 the Bureau of Mine Reclamation published a document entitled : A Regional Conceptual
Reclamation Plan for the Southern Phosphate District of Florida. This document contains an
analysis of the environmental and socio-economic factors existing within a nine county region of
west-central Florida, and provides the framework for a region-wide landscape planning effort. The
purpose of this effort was to plan for the maintenance and protection of the environmental resources
within the phosphate mining district. The document sets out the concept of an Integrated Habitat
Network/Coordinated Development Area (IHN/CDA) which has generated wide acceptance, and is
an example of the ecosystem management and greenways approach.

The Integrated Habitat Network/Coordinated Development Area concept provides an unique
opportunity for the CFRPC, FDEP, local government and the phosphate mining companies to
demonstrate that with sensible regulation and good stewardship, a goal of effective environmental
protection in concert with a viable mining industry can be realized. Through streamlining of existing


Natural Resources 1-38 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










regulatory processes this effort will plan, construct, and manage for the protection of regional water
resources, a balance of intensive and non-intensive land uses, as well as plant and animal
communities. Several phosphate companies are already participating in IHN/CDA efforts. Other
entities are using the IHN/CDA document as a reference in their planning efforts, including the
Florida Greenways Coordination Council, the Office of Greenways and Trails, the Office of
Ecosystem Management, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Army Corps of
Engineers, the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, the Florida Department of
Transportation, the Central Florida Regional Planning Council, an several local governments.

It is the policy of the FDEP that the tenets of the IHN/CDA concept be considered in the decision-
making process for all regulatory, planning, and management functions relating to mining and
mitigation of mining activities in the phosphate mining district.

State Mining Goal

Florida shall protect its air, land, and water resources from the adverse effects of resource
extraction and ensure that the disturbed areas are reclaimed or restored to beneficial use
as soon as reasonably possible. (State Comprehensive Plan, s. 187.201(14)(a), F.S.)

Regional Goal 1.15: Mining practices shall not degrade regionally significant natural
resources.

Indicator:

a. Mining and reclamation plans which meet the intent of the policies of this Goal.
b. Old lands reclamation projects which restore pre-mining hydrology and resources.

Policies:

1.15.1 No mining activities shall be allowed within a buffer zones, however, certain mining support
activities will be allowed within buffer zones provided the natural hydrological and
ecological regimes of preservation areas are maintained.

1.15.2 Endangered species shall be protected.

1.15.3 Wildlife habitat and forestry are viable end land uses and as such shall be provided for in
reclamation plans.


Regional Goal: 1.16: All disturbed lands, including nonmandatory, shall be reclaimed or put
to productive use, within a time frame established by statute, except those lands which have
been successfully reclaimed by nature.


Natural Resources 1-39 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Policies:


1.16.1 The post-mining reclamation shall be determined and controlled by projected land
use as determined by the region and local governments in accordance with applicable
local, state, or federal regulations.

1.16.2 Mining companies sha 11 commit to post-mining land uses to be accomplished within
a binding time frame including, but not limited to, a productive, tax generating land
use for decommissioned waste clay ponds.

1.16.3 Approval of a reclamation plan shall be predicated upon the post-mining land uses
identified and committed to by a mining company.

1.16.4 Land use decisions pertinent to DRI/ADA matters shall be made only by the RPC,
and local governments, and the Governor and Cabinet, acting as the Land and Water
Adjudicatory Commission, under Section 380.07, F.S.

1.16.5 Projected land use decisions shall be made with approximately equal consideration
given to all needs; however, protection and/or restoration of the environment shall
be given primary consideration.

1.16.6 Agencies shall develop incentives for reclamation of nonmandatory lands.

1.16.7 Innovative and interim land uses shall be considered at any stage of a review.

1.16.8 Wildlife habitat and forestry are viable end land uses, and as such, shall be provided
for in reclamation plans.

1.16.9 DRI Development Orders and Mine Reclamation Plans should further the concept
of the IHN/CDA.

1.16.10 Provide information and guidance to state agencies and local governments
concerning the IHN/CDA concept.


Regional Goal: 1.17 Full scale reclamation practices and plans shall reflect only proven best
available technology. Experimentation to further reclamation
technology shall be encouraged.





Natural Resources 1-40 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Policies:


1.17.1 The timing of reclamation shall be set as reasonably as possible within mining operations
constraints, but expeditious restoration of the environment shall always be the primary
interest and concern.

1.17.2 Measures shall be employed to ensure and enforce the development of technology that
promotes faster, more reliable, and better consolidation and reclamation of waste clays.

1.17.3 All mined/disturbed areas must be returned to a reasonably compatible condition with
surrounding areas.

1.17.4 Reclamation must be compatible with natural topography.

1.17.5 Soils must be returned to proper load-bearing capacities, and stability, as appropriate for the
planned end land use.


Regional Goal: 1.18 The taxable value and revenue-producing capacity of decommissioned
waste clay ponds shall increase.

Policies:

1.18.1 Approval of any proposed mining activities shall be predicated upon the exclusive use of the
most efficient use of clay storage areas such as the stage-filling method.

1.18.2 Any reclamation practice which has or would have the effect of rendering a decommissioned
waste clay pond to be economically nonproductive shall be forbidden. The use and
definition of the term "economically nonproductive" shall be the exclusive prerogative of the
appropriate affected local government.


Regional Goal: 1.10 Ensure the distribution and use of severance tax funds benefits the
jurisdictions impacted by phosphate mining.

Policies:

1.19.1 The CFRPC shall work with local governments and the local legislative delegation to alter
the annual distribution and handling of severance tax funds to return a larger percentage of
those funds to the county within which severance occurred.

1.19.2 Identify potential uses of servance tax funds.


Natural Resources 1-41 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









1.19.3 Assist local governments and the local legislative delegation in identifying opportunities to
return a larger percentage of severance tax funds to the county within which severance
occurred.


Regional Goal: 1.20: Natural Resources of Regional shall be protected from encroachment
by mining activities.

Policies:

1.20.1 Avoid mining within the 100-year floodplain of any regionally significant watercourse or
water body except in those circumstances where viable wetland systems are absent. In no
case will the CFRPC recommend approval of a DRI development order or amendment
authorizing mining within the 25-year floodplain of any regionally significant watercourse
or water body.

1.20.2 Areas determined to be preservation or conservation within an adopted DRI development
order shall not be disturbed in any manner relative to mining or mining support operations.

1.20.3 Avoid tradeoffs or mitigation for preservation areas.


Regional Goal: 1.21: Water consumption by mining operations shall continue to decrease to
the maximum extent feasible.

Policy:

1.21.1 Mines shall utilize innovative water reuse systems as opposed to increased groundwater
withdrawals.


Regional Goal: 1.22: Inhabitants of the region shall be protected from any proven adverse
effects on their health caused by mining, as shown by epidemiological
evidence and toxicological interpretations.

Policies:

1.22.1 Radiation exhalation rates for mined lands shall be in accord with appropriate
federal, state and local standards.

1.22.2 The radiation concentration of any water that originates on or passes through a
mining site and is discharged from that site, shall meet all applicable standards of


Natural Resources 1-42 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








federal, state and local governing bodies and agencies.


1.22.3 Design mining practices to protect regionally significant natural resources from the
adverse effects of resource extraction.

1.22.4 Promote landscape reclamation, including, but not limited to establishing functional
and diverse ecological communities, achieving a balance of human uses and natural
lands, engineering post-reclamation hydrology compatible with regional hydrology,
and establishing post-reclamation land use compatible with the reclamation
technique, as part of any mining plan.

1.22.5 Efforts should be made in reclamation plans and activities to coordinate developed
areas, operational mine areas, preservation areas, and mandatory, non-mandatory and
unreclaimed lands within each watershed into a comprehensive watershed plan to
promote and enhance watershed health and viability.

1.22.6 Utilize vegetation native to the Central Florida region for mining reclamation and
mitigation.

1.22.7 Implement a regional mining clearinghouse or data center to facilitate the
coordination of regional information' on phosphate mining activities and the
coordination of reclamation and future land use planning.

1.22.8 Encourage development and implementation of the integrated habitat plan.

1.22.9 Encourage the production of phased reclamation schedules.

1.22.10 Development permits shall include a maintenance and monitoring plan to prohibit
mining in areas which are geologically or hydrologically unsuited for the extraction
of minerals.

1.22.11 Within mining plans, require the preservation of sufficient contiguous upland areas
adjacent to the 25-year floodplain for the purpose of establishing/maintaining wildlife
corridors, green ways, buffering the floodplain and promoting healthy wetland
systems' values and functions. Protect these areas from adverse adjacent mining
activity impacts, erosion, and vegetation loss.

1.22.12 Prior to any land clearing for mining activities, the habitats of species listed in 39-
27.003-.005, F.A.C. and 50 CFR 17.11-12 should be identified and mapped with an
opportunity to review by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, the
U.S. fish and Wildlife Service and the local government. Also, a habitat protection
plan based on the identified habitat areas should be reviewed by FGFWFC, the U.S.


Natural Resources 1-43 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Fish and Wildlife service and the local government. The plan should be in effect
throughout the mining and reclamation period.


Air Quality

Trends and Conditions

There are thousands of man-made and natural substances found in the air, and many of these can
cause health problems for humans. For over twenty years efforts have been made to control the
release of harmful substances into the air. In the Clean Air Act of 1970, Congress pinpointed six
pollutants which were the most widespread and posed the most immediate danger to human health.
These pollutants ozone, particulate, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and lead -
are known as criteria air pollutants. Congress and the U.S. EPA set outdoor health standards for the
criteria pollutants, and federal law requires every community across the nation to meet these health
standards. However, many communities were slow to enact regulations to clean up their air. The
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 addressed this problem, and required non-attainment areas
(those that do not meet federal health standards) to take strong measures to clean up their air. Areas
that failed to do so by the deadlines in the amendments faced sanctions from the federal government
including the potential loss of highway funds.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Clean Air Act established the
maximum ambient pollution levels for the six major air pollutants. These levels are known as the
Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The primary standards were
established to protect the health of the general public. The secondary standards were established to
protect the welfare of the general public by protecting vegetation, materials, and aesthetics.
Measurements of individual criteria pollutants are compared to the primary and secondary standards
in order to determine "compliance" or "exceedance". An "exceedance" occurs when the observed
ambient air quality measurement is greater than the NAAQS. Areas can be designated as either
"attainment" or "non-attainment" areas and is based on ambient air quality measurement compared
to the NAAQS. Areas which experience a pattern of exceedances are designated as non-attainment
areas. Areas which do not violate the NAAQS are classified as attainment areas.

The central Florida region's air quality is currently considered to be attainment or unclassifiable for
all criteria air pollutant currently regulated, certainly is not pristine. Central Florida does not have
the breezes associated with coastal areas which facilitate the dispersal of pollutants; rather it is more
of an air stagnation area with the potential for pollution problems to increase. The region itself is
bordered by three recent non-attainment areas (NAAs) for ozone: Hillsborough, Orange, and Palm
Beach Counties, and one NAA for total suspended particulate matter: Hillsborough County.
However, as of February 1996, these areas reached attainment. It should be noted that the entire
region is located within a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) area. Although most of the
region has no predicted air quality problems for the immediate future, due to its location between


Natural Resources 1-44 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










the two past NAAs, Polk County is considered to have a potential for future air quality problems.

Polk County is a locus for heavy industry, having power generating plants, and numerous chemical
processing and manufacturing industries. It is also considered to be a target for residential,
commercial, and further industrial growth. An increase in air quality degradation could lead to a
possible non-attainment classification in the future. The result would be more stringent state and
federal requirements which would affect both industry and the general populace of Polk County.

The number of facilities and sources of air pollution in Polk County is increasing at an accelerated
rate. In February of 1992, The FDEP permitting records indicated Polk County has approximately
757 FDEP permitted air emission sources and 156 facilities. In October of 1994, FDEP permitting
records showed 862 permitted air sources and 190 facilities, an increase of 13.8% and 21.8%,
respectively. Many industries in this region do release pollutants considered either serious enough
in nature and/or quantity to require permits. Even though some industries are within their permitted
emissions limits, local controversies and conflicts over pollutant emissions do arise between such
an industry and its surrounding neighbors. Residents have complained of odors and dust. Fluoride
and ammonia emissions from phosphate chemical plants are another example.

The region also experiences a sporadic addition to its constant air pollution emissions. The use of
oil burners in citrus groves to prevent freeze damage to the crop and vegetation, although rather
uncommon and highly seasonal, can produce temporary, localized, but intense air pollution events.
The replacement of this method of freeze prevention with microjet systems is alleviating the
emissions problem.

There are two problems that will increase pollutant emissions and both are related to the growth
expected in Polk County. New growth causes increases in traffic, and decreases in Levels of Service
on existing transportation networks. This has been designated by FDEP as the single biggest future
source of air pollution in Florida, even though new cars are equipped with better emissions control
devices. The major pollutants identified with transportation impacts on ambient air quality are
carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), lead, and hydrocarbons. The
first two have definite adverse impacts on human health, SOx and NOx contribute to acidic
precipitation, and the last two combine in the upper atmosphere to form ozone. Carbon monoxide
ambient air concentrations can be predicted and computer modeled within certain parameters, for
traffic impacts, thus pointing the way to transportation design improvements that could be made to
prevent or mitigate a potential problem. Other types of automobile emissions control are possible.
One would be the use of and enforcement of a spot check program for catalytic converter tampering,
of which, Florida has a very high rate. Another would be a form of passive control: the use of
revegetation schemes where feasible. The major emitters of sulfur and nitrogen oxides are power
generator plants for electric utilities and fertilizer manufacturers. Many of the phosphate chemical
plants now have electric cogeneration operations that use heat recovery systems. This system does
not consume fossil fuels, and has helped to reduce the emissions from electric utility plants.



Natural Resources 1-45 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









The other problem concerns the trend of mixed use developments towards the inclusion of the
so-called "light" industries. The general perception of industrial air polluters is that of a heavy
process-type, smokestack industry, many of which are located in this region. However, certain
"light" industries can release small amounts of highly toxic and/or hazardous air pollutants that can
create serious health problems. Many times these industries are located within major development
projects that abut previously established residential areas, culminating in serious land use conflicts.

Another future air quality issue is the disposal of hazardous wastes by on-site incineration. This
procedure can lead to the possible release of toxic air pollutants, under the guise of hazardous waste
cleanup, as incineration is effective only for certain types of wastes. Combustion of other types
simply transfers hazardous substances into the atmosphere.

Recently located and future power plant facilities in the region include:


Florida Power Corporation




Tampa Electric Company




Destec Energy, Inc.



CSW/Ark Energy, Inc.



Mission Energy, Inc.


Panda Energy, Inc.


Ark Energy, Inc.


3,200 megawatts at build out (470 megawatt at first
phase), located in Fort Meade, utilizing Natural Gas
for fuel with a first phase completion date of
November 1999.

1,100 megawatts at build out (250 megawatt at first
phase), located at SR 37 at CR 640, utilizing coal and
coal fuel for fuel with a first phase completion date of
Fall 1996.

212 megawatts, located at SR 630 west of Fort
Meade, utilizing Natural Gas for fuel, completed in
1995.

123 megawatts, located south of Bartow on SR 555,
utilizing Natural Gas for fuel, completed in August
1994.

150 megawatts, located off Recker Highway in
Aubumdale, utilizing Natural Gas for fuel, completed.

75 megawatts, located off McCue Road in Lakeland,
utilizing Natural Gas for fuel, completion date 1997.

102 megawatts, located on US 17- south of Bartow,
utilizing Natural Gas for fuel, completed in June
1995.


Natural Resources


1-46
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


Anril 25. 1996


~--~-~~ -~~---~








Ridge Generating Station, Inc. 40 megawatts, CR 542, just east of K-ville Road,
utilizing tires and wood waste from the county's
Northeast Landfill, Completed.

Although the FDEP has identified new growth, which causes increases in traffic, and decreases in
Levels of Service on existing transportation networks the biggest single source of air pollution in
Florida, the abundance of power generating plants is a great concern in the region. The major
pollutants identified with transportation impacts on ambient air quality are carbon monoxide, ozone,
sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), lead, and hydrocarbons. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides are
the two major pollutants generated from power plants. The combined impact of sulfur and nitrogen
oxides from these two sources demands that existing monitoring to prevent any further degradation
of the ambient air quality continues.

The main agency responsible for the control of stationary or mobile source air emissions is FDEP,
which also has the main permitting responsibility. However, the pollution potential from some
members of the phosphate industry is great enough that a small number of these sources also operate
under federal permits from the U.S. EPA..

Ambient air monitoring is conducted by FDEP, on a sampling network that is outdated and under
equipped. Polk County has a local monitoring system, however, as of this writing, its future is in
doubt.


Regional Goal: 1.23: Prevent the degradation of the ambient air quality and improve the
present ambient air quality.

Indicators:

a. Ambient air pollutant concentrations, obtained from air monitoring data.
b. Emissions inventories of criteria pollutants.

Policies:

1.23.1 Developments of Regional Impact shall identify and mitigate transportation-related
adverse impacts on air quality created by them.

1.23.2 A developer proposing a Development of Regional Impact shall provide computer
models of traffic impacts to air quality acceptable to the Regional Planning Council,
when requested.

1.23.3 New development or redevelopment approval shall include a road improvement
program and commitment for construction of listed roadway improvements that


Natural Resources 1-47 April 25. 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








would assure project-related impacts are fully mitigated and that an acceptable level
of service is maintained by construction of identified improvements concurrent with
project phasing.

1.23.4 Transportation plan development and project reviews shall contain provisions for
methods which reduce air polluting emissions.

1.23.5 New development or redevelopment project plans shall include provisions for
revegetation.

1.23.6 Best management practices which minimize unconfined emissions generated by
construction activities shall be undertaken in conjunction with clearing and
contouring work.

1.23.7 Open burning of land clearing debris shall be prohibited in those urban areas that
have an established resource recovery facility.

1.23.8 The use and development of alternate and/or renewable energy sources wherever
possible shall be mandated to alleviate increased demand, and hence increased
pollution from utilities and transportation.

1.23.9 State, regional, and local plans and programs shall have provisions for public transit
systems as an alternative transportation mode for maintaining air quality standards
when feasible..

1.23.10 The disposal of hazardous waste by incineration within this region shall be
prohibited, unless it can be proven beyond doubt that a public health hazard will not
result.

1.23.11 The ambient air monitoring network within this region shall be updated and
expanded to meet present needs for both area coverage, and pollutant type.

1.23.12 The enforcement of the present air quality standards shall improve.

1.23.13 Encourage the FDEP in cooperation with the appropriate counties to provide and
operate air quality monitors in attainment areas to determine baseline ambient air
conditions and trends for criteria pollutant.

1.23.14 The use of low-volume irrigation, flood irrigation, or other non-polluting systems on
citrus groves should replace the use of oil burners as soon as feasible.

1.23.15 New development which releases toxic/hazardous substances into the air shall be


Natural Resources 1-48 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










adequately buffered from residential, institutional, or recreational land uses.

1.23.16 Develop procedures and strategies to assess control measures and to ensure
maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards.


Regional Goal 1.24: Land use and transportation planning shall incorporate strategies to
improve air quality in the Central Florida region and associated air
shed.

Indicators:

a. Strategies identified in local government comprehensive plans.
b. Individuals using mass transit or other alternatives to the single-occupant vehicle.

Policies:


Give priority to transportation system enhancements, including multi-modal
planning, mass transit, car pooling and non-motorized access alternatives that reduce
air pollution, energy consumption, and the use of single occupant vehicles.

Encourage feasibility studies and the use of alternative technology high-occupancy-
vehicles (HOV).

Encourage feasibility studies for HOV to connect with the State of Florida's Hi-
Speed Rail system, where applicable.

Support those roadway improvements which provide long term air quality benefits.

Promote Congestion Management Strategies, Traffic Control Measures and other
programs which serve to reduce single-occupant vehicle trips and reduce vehicle
miles traveled.

Encourage the retrofitting of energy generators to reduce such facilities emissions.

Develop agricultural Best Management Practices to minimize the airborne releases
of nutrients and chemicals.

Encourage the development of innovative and cost-effective pollution prevention and
control technologies.


Natural Resources


1-49
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


April 25. 1996


1.24.1


1.24.2


1.24.3


1.24.4

1.24.5



1.24.6

1.24.7


1.24.8










Regional Goal 1.25: Reduce emissions of nitrogen and other pollutants to improve surface
water and sediment quality in the Central Florida region.

Indicators:

a. Amount of nitrogen oxides produced by electric generators, and other stationary and mobile
sources, affecting the Central Florida region.
b. Rate of nitrogen loading to major water bodies within the Central Florida region.

1.25.1 Develop agricultural Best Management Practices to minimize the airborne releases
of nutrients and chemicals.

1.25.2 Encourage the use of Best Available Control Technology to minimize the amount of
nitrogen oxides produced by electric generators, and other stationary and mobile
sources, affecting the Central Florida region.

1.25.3 Developments of Regional Impact shall identify and mitigate transportation-related
adverse impacts on water quality created by them.

1.25.4 Encourage the consideration of water quality impacts in the permitting of stationary
sources.

1.25.5 Encourage the retrofitting of energy generators to reduce such facilities emissions.

1.25.6 Encourage the development of innovative and cost-effective pollution prevention and
control technologies.


















Natural Resources 1-50 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










2. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."
--- Charles Dickens
Overview:

Unemployment in Central Florida is the lowest it has been in fifteen years, excluding 1988 and 1989,
but during that time, per capital income in the Region slipped from 88% of Florida's per capital
income in 1980 to less than 81% today. In the five counties of the Region, nearly 50,000 new jobs
were created in the last ten years, but three of every five new jobs are ones that pay the lowest wages.

Polk County produces more oranges annually than California, but in the last five years, the market
value of prime citrus land has fallen from near $20,000 per acre to barely $10,000 an acre for the
same groves. In Highlands County residents enjoy the highest per capital income of any county in
the Region; however, more than half of the total personal income in Highlands County is generated
by "non-labor activities", and its per capital income is less than 83% of that of the State of Florida.
Okeechobee County led the Region in job creation percentage from 1972 to 1992, but the County
has the lowest per capital income in the Region.

For every indication that the economy of Central Florida is improving, there appears to be a
downside for the economies of the five counties in the region. The nature of recent trends are
analyzed in this section, so we can search for strengths upon which to build a vigorous economic
future.

A Regional Perspective:

The Central Florida Region is perhaps the State's most diverse. It is a Region comprised of three
sparsely populated rural counties -- DeSoto, Hardee, and Okeechobee -- Highlands, a small,
moderately populated rural county, and Polk, one of the State's largest land area counties. Polk, with
the two largest cities in the Region, Lakeland and Winter Haven, has a population almost three times
the rest of the Region, and is one of Florida's twenty metropolitan areas. Even though it is
urbanizing, citrus, cattle and phosphate mining are still important in Polk. Lying at the core of
Peninsular Florida, the Region is surrounded by over 80% of the State's population.

Although there are major qualitative differences among the counties, economic activity in the Region
is, for the most part, driven by activity in Polk County. Approximately 75% of total personal income
in the Region is accounted for by Polk County alone. Highlands County in a distant second place
with 13% of the Region's economic base, and the remaining three counties (DeSoto, Hardee and
Okeechobee) divide approximately equal shares of the residual 12%.


Economic Development 2-1 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Looking back over the past twenty years, there are a number of factors that have combined to
influence the current economic position of the Region. First, due to its strategic location between
Orlando and Tampa, two of the State's fastest growing metropolitan areas, Polk County, in particular,
has benefited enormously by being included in the "labor shed" of both. The proximity to expanding
labor markets has made parts of the County bedroom communities to the metros, and created more
job opportunities for residents of the Region living close to them. The advantages of such a location
are referred to in economic development terms as adjacencyy". Adjacency not only benefits Polk
County, but to a much lesser degree, DeSoto profits from its proximity to Sarasota and Fort Myers,
and Okeechobee enjoys its relationship with the Treasure Coast.

Second, the Region has experienced a large influx of retirees, both elderly and "early", many of
whom have brought with them relatively stable sources of disposable income. Their arrival has
strengthened the Region's ad valorem tax base somewhat, but because increases in retirement income
are almost always tied to the cost of living, their presence does little more than prop up per capital
income. Most do not earn a regular wage; many have a strong preference for mobile home living;
and, as a group, they increase the demand for expansion in the retail and services sectors of the job
market.

Third, the Region has been loosing high paying jobs in manufacturing and mining, while more and
more people are employed in the lower paying service industries. Thus, growth in wage and salary
earnings per capital has declined. Comparing 1992 per capital wage and salary earnings to those of
1970, shows that while national levels rose by 334% over the period, South Florida levels increased
by nearly 350%, and the Region improved, but by a more moderate rate of 293%. According to
long-term forecasts by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) at the University of
Florida, future rates of annual personal income growth during the upcoming ten years are expected
to run 6.6% Statewide and 5.8% in the Region. Thus, per capital income in Florida is expected to
rise from $22,393 in 1995 to $35,663 in the year 2005. Over the same period, expectations for the
Region are for an increase from $17,297 to $25,983. If this prediction is accurate, per capital income
in the Region willfall another five percentage points behind that of Florida.

Concern #1: What can be done to keep pace in Central Florida with the rate of increase
ofper capital income in Florida?

Fourth, the Region has experienced an influx of farm workers searching for permanent residency,
since the mid- 1970s. Farm worker families have less income than the average worker, so their
arrival tends to flatten or stagnate income growth rates.

With the events of the last twenty years, have not only come changes in the composition of Region's
economic base, but also in the ways income is generated. The most pronounced of these changes
has been a decreased reliance on the agricultural and phosphate sectors of the economy, and a
strengthening reliance on "non-labor" related sources of income, which includes retirement,
investment and rental income.


Economic Development 2-2 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Taking an average of the annual rates of growth in totalpersonal income over this period, shows
that while the U.S. grew at an average rate of 8.6% annually, South Florida grew at an average rate
of 11.4%, and the Region grew at an average rate of 10.5%. On the face of it, it looks like
impressive growth for the Region, but because of the high rates of in-migration of elderly retirees
and farm worker families into Central Florida, growth in per capital income paints a dramatically
different picture of the progress actually made. Between 1969 and 1992, it is clear that while U.S.
per capital income rose at an average rate of 7.5%, and Florida's improved at an average rate of 7.7%,
per capital income in the Region grew at an average rate of 7.4%. During a period of more than two
decades, a small difference in growth rates can become greatly magnified. Regional per capital
incomes were as high as 89% of the State in 1978, but by 1992 the proportion fell to only 81.5%.
Nominal per capital income, nominal is not adjusted for inflation, stood at $20,105 nationally in
1992, at $19,711 in Florida, and $16,102 in the Region.

Concern #2: Is there anything the public agencies can do to develop policy that would stop
the decline in per capital income in the Region?

The Changing Composition of the Regional Economy:

A look at the changing character of the Region's economy over the last two decades against the
economic history of the United States, provides an illuminating picture of just what kind of progress
has taken place in the Region, and how little things have changed in its rural counties. Employment
and income in the retail, services, government, and financial, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sectors
of the regional economy are all increasing their shares of non-farm earnings. The shares of the
economy claimed by agriculture, mining, manufacturing, construction, communications and every
other sector are shrinking. This section concentrates on the decline of the agriculture sector and the
rising importance of income derived from "non-labor" activities.

Agriculture remains one of Central Florida's base industries, despite the fact that as a percentage of
total economic activity its role is less significant than in the past. A base industry is one that
provides the means to import income and wealth into the Region from the outside. Today, it is often
referred to as a "value-added" industry. Personal income data from the U.S. Department of
Commerce shows that in the Central Florida Region as a whole, farm related income made up
approximately 4.5% of total personal income in 1992. Although this is less than half the 1972 figure
of 11.5%, it remains more than four times higher than that of both Florida and the U.S. As a point
of comparison, the last time that farm related income constituted 4.5% of total personal income in
the United State was in the middle 1950's.

The reasons for the Region's dependence, yet decreasing reliance, on agricultural related economic
activities stems from any number of ingredients. The most obvious reason is that much of the land
is best suited for growing citrus and pasturing livestock, especially since urban pressures are far less
intense in Central Florida than in the coastal areas of the Peninsula. The decline is economic rather
than physical.


Economic Development 2-3 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Individually, the counties of the Region are highly dependent on farm income. As compared to the
aggregate 1992 Regional level of 4.5%, farm income accounts for 12% of total income in DeSoto,
18% in Hardee, 7.5% in Highlands, 13% in Okeechobee, and even 2.5% in Polk County. All of
Polk's rural sister counties remain in the top ten counties most dependent on farm related income in
Florida. You have to look back prior to the 1930's to find a time when agriculture comprised more
than a 10% share of U.S. personal income.

Agriculture's shrinking "piece of the action" is best illustrated by the fact that there has been very
little growth in the actual dollar value of income generated by agricultural production in the Region.
Another reason typifies the risk in practicing agriculture. Freezes occurred during the 1980's and
destroyed three citrus crops and a significant number of the Region's citrus trees. To complicate the
situation further, the adoption of certain environmental policies shifted economic windfalls and
wipeouts to farmers in the Region as well, like the "clean up of Lake Okeechobee", which resulted
in the loss of almost half of the dairy industry in Okeechobee County, even though some of the farms
later relocated to Hardee and DeSoto Counties. The result has been a stagnation of the Region's
agricultural income growth over the past twelve years. Personal income data, in fact, shows that
total 1992farm income was approximately equal to the total 1980farm income in the Region.

Concern #3: If as it appears, per capital income for workers in agriculture is extremely
low, is farm related income subject to the National trend toward a widening
gap between rich and poor? And if so, what can be done to raise farm
worker wages?

The shrinking percentage of farm income as a portion of personal income is explained in two other
ways. First, it is the natural result of relatively strong rates of national expansion in non-farm labor
and proprietor earnings, and second, the declining importance of agriculture in the Region's economy
is a function of the powerful rise in non-labor income sources during the 1980's. Non-labor income
is derived from interest on investments, rent, and "transfer payments", which include pensions,
annuities and social security, not from holding ajob that pays a regular wage. The influx of elderly
retirees into the Central Florida Region over the past twenty years has dramatically increased the role
of transfer payments and property income as sources of personal income. Retirees are not the only
ones to blame, however, because income producing investments in real estate are also included in
this category of income.

This trend has been most pronounced in DeSoto, Highlands and Okeechobee Counties where transfer
payments now make up more than 25% of total personal income. Highlands County has also
experienced strong growth in the property income (Dividends, Interest and Rent), which has risen
to 28% of total personal income. In fact, in Highlands County only 47% of all personal income is
generated by labor related activities. The same phenomenon has taken place in Polk County as well,
but to a lesser extent. During the past twenty years the proportion of property income as a percentage
of total personal income rose from 13.8% in 1972 to 18.3% in 1992. Over the same period, transfer
payments climbed from 12.8% to 20.3%, for a combined total of 39.1%.


Economic Development 2-4 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









The Region continues to be increasingly reliant on transfer payments, while the State and South
Florida are more dependent on property income. The combined result is approximately the same.
The Region derives 41.2% of its income from the transfer payments and property income combined,
while in all of Florida they make up 41.5% of total personal income. Although the magnitude of
increase is predicted to be lower in the next ten years due to a slowing of retiree in-migration,
forecasts by the University of Florida (BEBR) indicate that the percentage of income derived from
non-labor sources in the Region will increase by an additional three percent by the year 2005.

Employment:

Growth in the retail and service sectors is primarily a response to the market demand for goods
and services required by the Region's people and businesses. In other words, as the population
grows, the economy grows, and these sectors grow fastest. The leading retail sectors in the
Region include; grocery stores, department stores, and eating and drinking places, which are all
among the top ten individual employment categories as a percentage of total Regional employment.
But also, in the top ten ranking by SIC are public school teachers, contract farm labor, medical
services, and temporary help. To gain insight into the employment growth, second quarter 1984
data was aggregated and compared by division to the second quarter of 1994. This data is
compiled by the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security from federal
unemployment insurance program records. Although the Regional employment totals across all
data sources do not exactly coincide, they are the ohly available post-1992 sources of county
employment by sector. On a sector basis, the fastest growing industries in the Region have been
Private Agriculture (40.0%), Government (47.5%), Direct Services (50.8%), and Transportation,
Communications and Public Utilities (42.3%).

Although job creation is always a preferred position to the alternative, the problem with the past
ten years of growth is that almost 60% of the new jobs created in the Region came from the three
lowest wage earning industries (Agriculture, Retail, Services). All else remaining the same, when
you extend this trend, it quickly becomes evident that the net result is a pronounced reduction in
the Region's average effective real wages. This trend will lead to a situation in which you have
more people employed, accompanying lower unemployment, but low total real wage and salary
earnings.

Unfortunately, during the past ten years, the Region has also experienced reductions in
employment in the goods producing sectors, which further compounds the wage issue. Durable
Manufacturing and Mining employment fell by 10.1% and 29.3% respectively between 1984 and
1994. Construction jobs were 0.6% off their 1984 levels, but non-durable manufacturing jobs
have lost 7.6%. In all, there was a loss of 3,647 jobs across these higher paying industries in the
past decade. This defines the classic dilemma for economic development in Florida. Supplying
more jobs for a low skilled work force means jobs pay lower wages and do not add "value" to the
economy.


Economic Development 2-5 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Concern #4: Can the value of retail, services and agricultural employment be increased
in the Region, or would that simply cut into the disposable income of
retirees and the individual employed in those sectors?

Based on BEBR's 1994 long-term forecast, during the next ten years (1995-2005) the fastest
growing employment sectors of the Regional economy will be services and retail trade, which will
each expand by approximately 28%. Contrary to past trends, however, there are expectations for
solid gains in both construction (20%) and manufacturing (6.5%). On the other hand, employment
in the Region's mining industry is expected to fall by an additional 6% over the next ten years.
These rates of employment growth and decline closely follow the rates predicted for Florida, but
there is a notable divergence in anticipated employment growth in the FIRE (finance, insurance
and real estate) sector. Statewide, there will be a 30% increase in jobs in this sector from 1995
and 2005, but the Region is predicted to grow at a significantly slower rate of 19% over the same
period. The reason for this prediction is probably obvious when you acknowledge the growing
success of Tampa and Orlando, and other major metro areas, in attracting financial and insurance
back-office operations. Another way to interpret the forecast is to admit that growing metro areas
are powerful magnets for corporate concentration, and to accept the fact that the Region lies in the
"hinterlands" where only those locations, both residential and commercial industrial, with almost
direct access to 1-4 will benefit from new industry and job creation.

Wages and Salaries:

The five highest paying industries in the Region during the second quarter of 1994 were; security
and commodity brokers, non-metallic mining, chemicals manufacturing, utilities and
communications, engineering and management services. At the bottom of the list were harvesting,
motion pictures, eating and drinking places, and berry farming. The top five industries for wage
growth in the past ten years were; employment agencies, non-metallic mineral processing, surety
insurance, non-metallic mining, and agricultural chemical manufacturing. Wage rates across the
board look encouraging, because in many cases they have risen by more than fifty percent in ten
years, but again they are "nominal", so an adjustment for inflation is necessary before we can say
how well off we are. To do this, we start by computing an estimate of the weighted average wage
rate for comparable periods in 1984 and 1994. This approach allows us to capture the net effects of
the changing composition of employment in the Region. In nominal terms, average wage rates were
$14,752 for the second quarter of 1984, and $21,191 for the same quarter of 1994. To account for
the inflationary effects on wage levels over the ten year period, the Consumer Price Index for each
period was applied to produce real average wages in terms of 1982 dollars. The results show that
the increase in the Region's real average wage was 0.6%from 1984 to 1994, which amounts to
a rise in real wages from $14,253 to $14,347.

Concern #5: What forms of diversification in the economy of the Region will lead to
growth in real wages?



Economic Development 2-6 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


I








Labor Force and Unemployment:


The dominant source of labor in the Central Florida Region is harbored in Polk County. While the
resident population base in Polk provides most of the Region's total work force, the percentage has
been falling over the past fourteen years. According to Local Area Unemployment Statistics
provided by the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security, in 1980, the County's
labor force represented 79% of the Region's total labor market. Since that time, relatively strong
labor force growth in Highlands and Okeechobee Counties, along with a recessionary period that
lasted longer in Polk County, have whittled the advantage down to its 1994 level of 76%.

Average annual rates of labor force growth in the Region over the 1981 to 1994 period ran from
a low of 2.0% in Hardee to a high of 4.7% in Okeechobee County, with the Region as a whole
running at annual rates of approximately 2.6%. As a point of comparison, the rate for Florida
over the same period averaged 3.4%. Although Okeechobee and Polk Counties had 1994 growth
rates that were moderately above the State, the remaining counties have been either flat or
declining during each of the past three years.

DeSoto County has experienced consecutive declines in its labor force every year since 1991 due
to falling labor force participation among its working age population, even though its working age
population is growing. In 1994, DeSoto labor force participation rates stood some 7.0% below
their 1991 level of 67%. There is nothing to indicate that this trend will turn around, so
predictions are that participation rates will likely drift back to their "normal" level of around 55%.
On the other hand, it is difficult to explain why labor force participation rates have been running
exceptionally high in Okeechobee County in the past five years. During 1994, the county's
participation rate peaked at 78%, some 13% above its long term average of 65%.

It was demonstrated earlier that due to the large agricultural presence in the regional economy, the
Central Florida Region has historically had notably higher rates of unemployment by comparison
to most other regions of the State. During the early to mid-1980's, when both the agricultural and
mining industries were in a slump, Regional unemployment rates consistently ran above 10%.
Following this period, unemployment rates for the Region have remained two to three percentage
points above Florida's. There is recent evidence that this trend may be subsiding, due to the
changing composition of employment away from agricultural and mining related activities. Polk
County, at least, has made significant strides in reducing joblessness and appears to be on track
to converging with statewide unemployment levels.

By a wide margin, the most chronic and severe unemployment problems exist in Hardee County.
During the past fourteen years, there have only been three years in which unemployment levels
have dipped below 10%. In fact, during the most recent three years of available data,
unemployment has remained above 14.0%. After a number of years in the late 1980s and early
1990s of below statewide levels of unemployment, beginning in 1992, DeSoto County has also
experienced a dramatic rise in joblessness. Unemployment rates of 9.9% in 1993 were more than

Economic Development 2-7 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








double the rates experienced only five years earlier. It is interesting to note that this rapid rise in
unemployment occurred at a time when the County's labor force was, in fact, in decline.

As mentioned earlier, much of the Central Florida Region is situated in the labor sheds of larger
metropolitan areas. Of particular importance, is the proximity of Polk County to the Orlando and
Tampa Bay labor markets. Information on commuting patterns in 1990 indicates that in 1989
approximately 16,600 workers, or slightly greater than 7.8% of the Region's labor force, worked
outside the Region. The most significant counties for attracting Regional workers were
Hillsborough (30.8%), Orange (31.9%), Osceola (18.7%), and Charlotte (6.2%). With respect
to the types of jobs held by these individuals, the most frequent occupations were in sales (11.7%),
supervisors (10.7%), cleaning (10.4%), construction (10.1%), transportation (8.7%), and
executive and administrative (6.7%) employment.

In addition to exporting labor to other markets, the Region also imports approximately 5.0% of
its total employment base. The workers who come into the Region are a different breed than those
we export. On a net in-flow basis, the largest divergence occurs in white-collar occupations, such
as, executive and administrative, lawyers and justice, health technicians, mathematicians and
computer operators, managers, and engineers and architects. The Region supplies Hillsborough,
Orange and Osceola Counties with an additional source of primarily lower skilled workers, and
draws skilled workers who fill a portion of the Region's higher paying jobs. The net result is an
indication of a transfer of wealth out of the Region. Unfortunately, this data does not provide
insight into the central question.

Concern #6: Does the Region have an adequate supply of labor to meet the
demand for highly skilled and professional jobs?

There are a number of possible answers. One is that the jobs come with firms expanding into the
Region who employ a staff that does not wish to move here. When the power companies were
making plans for new generating stations in Hardee and Polk Counties, they predicted that the
skilled positions at the plants would come from the Tampa area. Another explanation is that as
regional firms modernize and refit for the future, the people with the experience are found with
larger national and international firms, and they are usually found in the metropolitan areas. Once
recruited, the result is the same, because in many cases, professional and technical people value
the broader choices in education, entertainment and cultural activities that Tampa and Orlando
offer. Or simply, the explanation may be that we do not train these people here, so the supply
must to come from somewhere else.

Another aspect of the "wealth drain" is the growing trend for the location of district and regional
operations and franchises in the Region. One clear indication of this trend is the location of
distribution and warehousing in northern Polk County near 1-4, some of which is locally owned,
but much of which is controlled by national corporations. The decline of the mining, agriculture
and manufacturing sectors of the economy means that greater dependence for creation of value

Economic Development 2-8 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








added industries is shifted to privately owned companies, such as, Publix, medical facilities and
the aggregate of hundreds of small businesses to retain the profits of business activity. District
and regional operations and franchises provide employment to people in the Region, but the profits
(the wealth) goes to places like Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and overseas to Tokyo and
London.

Education and Economic Growth:

There is little doubt that the Region's work force is at a distinct disadvantage compared to its
surrounding labor markets. Educational attainment data from the 1990 Census shows that 34.1%
of the Region's population over age 25 have some college education or hold at least one degree,
as compared to 47.8% for all of Peninsular Florida. Recently, it was reported that although more
young people are graduating from high school in Central Florida, fewer people in the Region
have bachelor degrees. The differences become progressively more divergent for higher levels
of educational attainment. Only 4.1% of the people in the Region have graduate or professional
degrees, compared to 11.2% in South Florida. Other Florida Department of Education data shows
that SAT scores for students in the Central Florida are lower than both Peninsular and Florida
averages.

Although there are efforts being made in the community to remedy these problems, it is paramount
for the future growth of quality employment that these measures be brought closer in line to those
of the surrounding labor markets. Based on demographic forecasts by the Florida Consensus
Estimating Conference (1994), annual growth in the Region's working age population will
continue at its current rate of approximately 2.0% through the year 2000 before trending down
to 1.25 % by the year 2010. This same general trend is expected to take place around the State
during the next fifteen years. Assuming that labor force participation rates remain steady, which
may take a leap of faith in some counties, from a supply side perspective, lower rates of labor
force growth will be a constraining factor on future economic growth for both Florida and Region.


A First Summary:

The analyses in this study have dealt with total personal income, per capital income, labor and
employment, changes in the sectors of the regional economy, wages and earnings, job creation,
wealth and education. So, how can we distill it down to what we need to know? One way is to
say that from the study we now know that, total personal income is greater than it was twenty-five
years ago; that per capital income is almost five times what it was in 1969 and has increased by
$4,500 in the last ten years; and that more people are working now than in 1970, or any year
since. We can also feel confident that there are more jobs, higher wages on average, and that
some sectors of the economy are growing faster than others. The problem is that some sectors are
retracting, and wealth and educational attainment are stagnate.


Economic Development 2-9 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









As much as the income and jobs numbers have increased, the study proves that the Region has
barely kept pace with inflation, and has indeed lost ground when compared to most of our South
Florida neighbors, the State as a whole, and the U.S. High rates of population growth mask the
fact that more aggregate dollars in our regional economy does not mean more wealth. More
people simple means that the money must be divided among more of us. Our per capital income
has drifted to 81% of the State's from 89% in 1978, and the real average hourly wage in the
Region has only risen a nickel an hour in ten years!

Most of the study to this point has compared the Region to Florida, the United States, and in a few
cases to South Florida. This is the way it is normally done, but all of these "places" are very
urban, so of course, a region as rural as Central Florida will not have incomes, wages, wealth or
the education the urban places have. It might make more sense to compare us to a group of rural
counties in North Florida, but unless they are Big Bend counties with the paper industry, they will
not stand a chance against us with our citrus, phosphate and proximity to Tampa and Orlando.
We would look great.

We have also compared ourselves to our past, which may be the most valid measure of our
progress. That was the basis of the section on agriculture, but there are other comparisons about
agriculture that are less rigorous, but far more telling. For instance, according to Lee Tillman,
a planning council executive director and member of the Board of the National Association of
Development Officials (NADO), only 16% of farm households nationwide derive their income
from farming. "Service industries employ 29% of rural Americans, and manufacturing industries
employ 21%."

We know in our own Region that services employ over 26% and manufacturing 13.5%, less in
both cases than the national averages cited the previous paragraph. If Polk is excluded from the
regional averages, the numbers change dramatically. In DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands and
Okeechobee Counties together, services employ 32.5% and manufacturing only 7.7%,
significantly higher and lower numbers. What does it mean? It means that the four counties are
more isolated from manufacturing investment and jobs than the average rural county in the United
States. It also means that they are more dependent on services employment, which is low wage
employment. Polk County employs 30.6% in services and 17.3% of its work force in
manufacturing. Using these measures and setting aside the County's 2.5% agricultural
employment, Polk looks a lot like an average rural county in America.

Polk County's advantage is its location, its adjacency to Orange and Hillsborough Counties, but
even that has not made the County fully urban. Overall, these comparisons simply reinforce how
suburban its largest county is, and how rural all of the Central Florida Region is. It is our history.
Everything points to it being our future, but the perhaps the future of rural Florida is different than
the past. Perhaps there are other markets and other activities that can be undertaken that will
create new definition of what rural regions and communities do to grow and attract investment and
entrepreneurs to build their economies around their natural environment and their rural quality of

Economic Development 2-10 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








life. Perhaps the setting is a product in itself that is sought by more than ten million South Florida
neighbors who have yet to discover the benefits of a few days away from the beach and the
attractions. Tapping the market ten million people create with innovations of our own appears to
be the key to future growth and increased wealth in Central Florida.

State Comprehensive Plan Goal for the Economy: Florida shall promote an economic climate
which provides economic stability, maximizes job opportunities, and increases the per capital income
of its residents.

Regional Goal 2.1: Unite local economic development endeavors to increase the wealth of
the Central Florida Region.

Indicators:

a. Increasing per capital income.
b. Rising real average wages.

Policies:

2.1.1: Cooperate with and support the efforts of county and city economic development
agencies and professionals to attract quality employment for residents of the Region,
including foreign investment where possible.

2.1.2: Focus the attention of economic development and chamber professionals on the value
and needs of entrepreneurs in the region, in order to direct investment in ideas and
technologies that will bring and hold wealth in the Region.

2.1.3: Actively seek federal and state grants, loans and loan supports for the development
of infrastructure throughout the Region.

2.1.4 Actively seek business development and expansion capital from federal and state
program established for that purpose, but also work to develop more sources of
business investment programs within the Region.

Development Programs:

The Central Florida Regional Planning Council has also been an Economic Development District
(EDD) since 1976 when four counties qualified as "distressed" under the criteria established by the
U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. Polk County qualified for
this dubious distinction in 1980. Although all of the counties are distressed in some way, the
advantage of the designation as an EDD has made possible the award of grants and low interest loans
throughout the Region for infrastructure improvements to support the location of industrial


Economic Development 2-11 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








development. The ongoing budget disagreement in Washington, which began in the fall of 1995,
have placed the EDA and its programs in jeopardy. Funding is certain to be cut, but the depth is
unknown. The Planning and Technical Assistance Grant, which funds one staff position at the
Regional Planning Council, has been automatically extended for December 31, 1995 to March 31,
1996 and then to June 30, 1996.

The major purpose of the economic development activities under the EDA Program are; (a) to
prepare an Overall Economic Development Program plan, which describes the economic conditions
in the Region, sets priorities for funding, and qualifies projects in the Region for Federal grants and
loans that result in permanent job creation; (b) to provide technical assistance to local governments
in the preparation and filing of applications for funding; and to track progress in business
operations around the Region. The EDD prepares a bimonthly newsletter and coordinates activities
with chambers of commerce and economic and industrial development boards and agencies. In the
past two years, financial assistance and staff support has been provided to the Florida Heartland
Rural Economic Development Initiative (FHREDI) in marketing the rural counties of the Region and
supporting organizational endeavors.

The counties and cities of the Central Florida Region are represented by at least seventeen chambers
of commerce and nine economic, industrial and downtown development organizations. They are a
powerful force in attracting and developing businesses in their areas. One common characteristic
of the lion's share of businesses that have come into. the Region in the last decade is that they
represent regional or district offices; distribution, wholesaling, and warehousing operations; and
corporately held franchises and branches of larger U.S. regional and national, and international firms.
Perhaps this pattern is unavoidable, given our location outside the metropolitan areas of South
Florida. These business provide jobs for residents of Central Florida, but as was pointed out earlier,
the wealth of the parent companies is invested elsewhere.

There are many examples of local businesses that have thrived and have reinvested heavily in their
communities and the Region. What is important is that every development organization concentrate
more now than in the past on developing new businesses that retain wealth in the Region, which
admittedly is a far are more difficult assignment than getting a branch bank, a Hardee's or a Wal-
Mart Distribution Center. The pay off in the long run, however, is far greater.

Concern #7: Can public and private economic development interests create a
diversification strategy that will inspire entrepreneurial opportunity, reduce
risk, and improve the chances of the success for small and large businesses
and investors in the Region?

Economic development organizations and chambers of commerce are essential players in the process
of growth and prosperity. The counties and cities of the Region must continue to sustain their efforts
and to provide increasing investments in their activities. Only Polk County levies a tourist
development tax, known as a "bed tax". Whenever possible, local governments, and especially


Economic Development 2-12 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








counties, should enact lawful user fees and tourist development taxes to expand their local efforts
to build and diversify the regional economy.

Regional Goal 2.2: Sustain county and municipal efforts to attract, develop and diversify
business and industry in their local economies.

Indicators:

a. The number of new businesses opened in the Region.
b. The number of new and successful businesses owned by residents of the Region.

Policies:

2.2.1: Sponsor at least two events each year for the exchange of ideas and the coordination
of economic and industrial development efforts among the chambers of commerce
and the industrial and economic development agencies of the Region.

2.2.2: Establish a formal regional organization of chambers of commerce and economic
development professionals.

2.2.3: Conduct research on the Internet and in periodicals for businesses that are
decentralized and are looking for micro business partners, and act as a clearinghouse
to rapidly disseminate information to local governments, agencies, chambers and
individuals in the Region.

2.2.4: Provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking financial
and educational services for business start up, expansion and diversification, by
connecting them to experienced advisors and trainers.

Tourism:

Tourism fills a major economic role in all of Florida. Year round residents initially came to the
State on business, on vacation, or for the season, then decided to make Florida home. According
to a recent survey, the beaches remain the top attraction for both domestic and international
visitors, and the attractions spread across Central Florida are second. The Central Florida Region
is not known for theme parks and large attractions and has only the new Fantasy of Flight, located
on I-4 just east of Polk City, in addition to the Region's original attraction Cypress Gardens,
which was transferred from corporate to private ownership in 1995. The second attraction in the
Region was Circus World, which became Boardwalk and Baseball, but it was dismantled by
Anheuser-Busch in 1992. Bok Tower and its botanical gardens are a noted attraction, as are the
annual racing events at Sebring and the four Major League Spring Training sites, but they are
certainly not attraction in the true Florida mold. Another finding of the survey was the desire by
many visitors who stay up to a week in the Orlando and Tampa areas to explore "the real

Economic Development 2-13 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








Florida". This rising interest in other forms of tourism is encouraging for the Region, which
historically has drawn tourists to recreational pursuits in its natural resources. On a regional
basis, tourism is considered the "third industry" behind citrus and phosphate mining, although
wages and salaries and business income do not exactly confirm this perception.

Tourists and winter visitors are drawn to certain natural resource attractions in the Region, like
Winter Haven's Chain of Lakes, the Peace River, the Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee,
plus the Region's three State Parks at Lake Kissimmee and the Van Fleet Trail in Polk County
and Highlands Hammock in Highlands and Hardee. The Van Fleet Trail opened in 1992 and
registered about 9,000 visitors a year for its first two years of operation. At the other two parks
attendance declined between 1991 and 1994 by sixteen and forty-two percent! Statewide, during
the same time period, attendance at State Parks has fallen off less than three percent.

Lake Okeechobee is a particularly popular place for fishing and boating and lures thousands of
winter residents. The Kissimmee River has also been popular with fishermen and winter campers.
In 1987, the Kissimmee River Resource Planning and Management Committee completed a
strategy for tourism and economic development for the Kissimmee-Okeechobee region that
focused on Highlands, Okeechobee, and Glades Counties. One element of the strategy was aimed
at preparing communities for development. Another proposed that the three counties coordinate
the establishment of a regional organization to promote tourism and economic development. Out
of the committee's recommendations has come today's Greater Lake Okeechobee Tourism
Alliance (GLOTA), which includes two coastal counties outside the Region and the South Florida
Water Management District as active participants.

Tourism generates jobs. Overall, Florida saw an increase in employment in tourist related
industries of almost 122 percent between 1980 and 1993, the latest reporting year. In 1993,
929,018 Floridians were holding jobs in the tourism industries, but jobs of this kind were far
fewer in the Central Florida Region than in neighboring regions of South Florida. In fact, only
two percent of the jobs in amusement and recreation and 2.8 percent of the jobs in eating and
drinking places were in the Region. By comparison, four percent of the people reside in the
Central Florida Region. Some of the obvious reasons for the deficit are; the small number of
employment intensive attractions, the total absence of beaches, and the lack of a major airport in
the Region. Others reasons, which may be less apparent, include; the passive nature of scattered
sites in small towns, and perhaps most of all, the Region's assets, whatever they may be, are
unknown even to the 10,000,000 people who reside within an hour and a half of South Florida's
interior.

Concern #8: How can the Region increase the number of visitor days potentially
available in the South Florida market area.

The Florida Department of Commerce conducted a 1984 survey of visitors arriving by air and
auto, which included a survey of visitors arriving in Polk County by auto. It revealed several
interesting things. Florida is a preferred meeting site, because business can be combined with

Economic Development 2-14 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









pleasure, as a result business and meeting visitors often return as leisure visitors, and vacationers
come back on business. The State had approximately 90% repeat visitors who arrived by air or
auto, and over 80% of Polk County's visitors who arrived by auto had been to the county before,
and were returning on vacation or to visit friends or relatives. Yet, according to the Commerce
Department survey, Polk County drew no one visiting on business. One reason is that business
travelers who arrive by air stay near Tampa and Orlando's International airports, which are only
an hour away from literally all of Polk County. And, if pleasure is part of the trip, the
metropolitan areas offer more and better known options.

There is a need for a thorough inventory of recreation and tourism assets in the Region, and the
development of a strategy to develop and promote them. An essential element of the strategy is
to conduct market research to answer crucial questions about trends in local and regional tourist
markets, such as demand, absorption levels, the demographics of current and potential visitors,
and seasonality, and to investigate the effectiveness of current advertising and marketing
strategies. Other regions of the State have completed similar studies and have begun to build and
destinations within their small towns and rural areas that are attracting large numbers of first time
visitors to Florida.

Regional Goal 2.3: Develop a strategy that links all local efforts in the Region to build
destinations and attract visitors from South Florida, Florida and the U.S.

Indicators:

a. Completion of Tourism Development Strategy.
b. Annually increasing numbers of visitor days in the Region.

Policies:

2.3.1: Undertake and complete an inventory of tourism assets in the Region.

2.3.2: Establish a Tourist Development Committee made up of representatives of the
"industry" from all parts of the Region.

2.3.3 Complete a Tourism Development Strategy that spells out actions to be taken to
promote Central Florida as a destination for eco-tourism, weekend getaways, resort
and second home development, and other associated endeavors.

2.3.4: Undertake a coordinated and concerted marketing program to acquaint the
10,000,000 people of coastal South Florida with the recreation and leisure time
resources of the interior.




Economic Development 2-15 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Public Investment for Economic Development:


Modem infrastructure and commercial and industrial sites ready for development are often praised
as the two essential ingredients for successful economic development. Perhaps, but a great deal of
activity and negotiations precede the decision to build, and it is not just trade shows, target industry
plans and industry recruiting. Both the private and public sectors plan, design and finance
subdivisions, roads, water and sewer systems. Success in managing the growth of counties,
municipalities and the combined communities they create is more than one site with all the
improvements in place. Infrastructure is too expensive to make it available to far flung locations,
and too expensive to duplicate through needless competition.

In the rural counties of the Region, urban services are available from the municipalities and in areas
near the highest concentrations of development. Large scale developments may have private
systems, and there is no "central utility", except perhaps in the agreement between Okeechobee City
and the County to provide potable water. In Polk County, the situation is different. The County is
a utilities provider in unincorporated areas outside municipal Utility Services Areas. Conflicts arise
as development expands to the edges of the Utility Services Areas, and available capacity to serve
development is often not the factor that determines whether the county of a city will capture the new
customers.

Regional Goal 2.4: Plan, develop, reinforce and link infrastructure systems to serve business
and industrial location and expansion.

Indicators:

a. Number of cooperative, interlocal agreements for linking and transfer of capacities to meet
development proposals.
b. Number of business and industrial locations and expansions the require only hook up and
impact fees payments, rather than construction of utilities to meet their requirements.

Policies:

2.4.1: Link existing municipal and county water distribution systems to insure the full and
efficient supply of potable water for all urban demands, but especially the
requirements of business activities that create new, quality jobs in the Region.

2.4.2: Link existing municipal and county sewer collection systems to insure the full and
efficient treatment all urban effluent, but especially the requirements of business
activities that create new, quality jobs in the Region.

2.4.3 Plan, budget and invest in local roadway links that facilitate intermodal access.



Economic Development 2-16 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








3. REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION


This Region's people rely almost exclusively on their private vehicles to travel the Region, putting
the emphasis of regional transportation on the highway and road systems. The highway system
provides the key connection between other transportation systems in the Region, such as rail and air.
If travel on a commercial air carrier is desired, passengers must leave the Region, probably via the
highway system, to reach an airport which provides this service. The passengers and much of the
goods moved by rail must use the highway network to reach their final destinations.

Trends and Conditions

Highway System. The CFRPC is located within FDOT District One. The District One Planning
Department has revised the techniques in use by other FDOT Districts to assess, at a planning level
of detail, level-of-service (LOS) conditions on the State Highway System. 1994 LOS Spreadsheets
and traffic count data have been provided for all counties within the CFRPC.

The LOS spreadsheets are intended to provide a "reasonable" estimate of overall level of service for
a section of highway (including delays encountered by traffic passing through a series of
intersections). They do not, however, provide information on traffic conditions at individual
intersections. More detailed "traffic operations" techniques need to be used to analyze intersection-
specific conditions.

The Department has produced a "rough" estimate of traffic growth trends that have been experienced
over the past 15 years. Based on the average trend, a "traffic trend projection" for a five year period,
as well as for the years 2010 and 2020 has been estimated for each roadway segment. Future
committed lanes have been indicated.

Based on the FDOT District One revised techniques, other than single segments of US 98, SR 37,
and US 92 in Lakeland, there are currently no failing (LOS E or F) links anywhere in the region.
Further, with the exception of a small segment of SR 70 in Arcadia at LOS D, there are no links
operating below LOS C outside of Polk County.

For 2010, an additional segment of US 98 and US 92, a segment of Combee Road, SR 544 and a
small segment of US 27 north of US 17/92 are projected to fail in Polk County. Outside of Polk
County, a segment of US 27 south of Avon Park, a small segment of US 17 in Arcadia, a small
segment of US 17 in Wauchula, and a small segment of SR 70 in Okeechobee are the only links
projected to fail.

The revised methodology provides a much more optimistic result than previous FDOT projections.
Further, the revised methodology has not been accepted by the FDOT Central Office. It is not in use
by any other FDOT District.



Regional Transportation 3-1 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan










The CFRPC regularly requires that a detailed traffic analysis and monitoring program be carried out
through the DRI process. This analysis is performed in a manner consistent with Rule 9J-2.045, F.
A. C., the Transportation Uniform Standard Rule. The CFRPC's main objective is to ensure that
regionally significant roadways operate at an acceptable level of service. This level of service is
typically LOS D, unless the FDOT has adopted a higher level of service for the subject facility. The
analysis often involves coordination with an adjoining regional planning council, in another FDOT
District. It is a concern of the CFRPC that FDOT LOS methodologies be consistent among FDOT
Districts. We are concerned that this may not currently be the case.



Table 1: Regionally Significant Central Florida Highways


Highway From To Notes

US 17 Charlotte County line Polk County line 2 lanes in parts of Bartow and Winter
Sr___________(becomes 17-92) Haven. LOS D&F in Winter Haven
County Line SR 60 I-4
Road

US 27 Glades County line Lake County line

US 98 SR 70 (Okeechobee) US 27 (Highlands)

US 98 US 27 Pasco County line 2 laneinarea ofFt.Meade andDade
City
US 98/441 Martin County line SR 70 (Okeechobee) 4 lanes in Okeechobee City

US 441 SR 70 Osceola County line 4 lanes in Okeechobee City

US 92 Hillsborough County line US 17 (Polk) 6 lanes in Lakeland, LOS D & F in
Lakeland area
I-4 Hillsborough County line Osceola County line

SR 31 Charlotte County line SR 70 (DeSoto)

SR 60 Hillsborough County line Osceola County line 2 lanes in Bartow, LOS D in Bartow.

SR 62 Manatee County line US 17 (Hardee)

SR 64 Manatee County line US 27 (Highlands)

SR 70 Manatee County line Highlands County line 4 lanes in Arcadia

SR 70 Highlands County line St Lucie County line 4 lanes and LOS F in Okeechobee

SR 72 Sarasota County line SR 70

Kings
Highway Charolotte County line SR 70
Highway


Repinnal Trannnnrtatinn


Anril '7 10QQ


CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


---~-----------YvV. -~.luY ,,








Mass Transit Systems. The existing local mass transit service within the Region is limited to one
regularly scheduled bus system which serves the city of Lakeland. The existing development pattern
in the Region is widely spaced, resulting in relatively long, low-occupancy vehicle trips. This is an
inefficient use of the highway system. If development continues with this pattern of highway use,
it can lead to unnecessary congestion. Without any mass transit system in place at the present time,
such as bus service or light rail, congestion already exists in all major commercial areas.

Large segments of the population, such as the elderly who have given up driving, teens, and the poor,
are cut off from the services and amenities of the Region without mass transit service. The owners
of older commercial centers and the promoters of sporting events, competing for the same group of
costumers that have flocked to the new malls, have failed to unite behind a mass transit system of
any kind. Such a system could be specific to shopping areas and sports complexes and could
radically increase their customer base.

In addition, little has been done to promote and encourage mass transit systems that would transport
this Region's citizens to the courts and county and State offices located in the county seats. This
lack of any system encourages discrimination of a specific nature; that is, discrimination of those
citizens without a private vehicle.

Emergency Preparedness. The condition of the major roads in this Region is of great importance
during any kind of an emergency, not only to this Region's citizens, but to those in the surrounding
coastal areas. Evacuation routes that start elsewhere and end here must be clearly marked. But most
importantly, funds must be set aside to improve these routes so that they can carry the amount of
vehicles that will use them during a crises.

A 49 mile segment of the I-4 corridor, from Hillsborough County through Polk County to the
Osceola County line is one of the oldest segments of interstate highway system in the State, being
built in the late 1950's and early 1960's. This is the primary evacuation route to Central Florida from
the West Coast and the principle evacuation route for Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. A
segment of 1-4, near the Hillsborough and Polk County line flooded during the Fall of 1988 during
a very heavy rain. As a result, I-4 was closed at SR 579 for eastbound traffic for several days. In
response to this problem, FDOT commissioned a study to improve the I-4 corridor.

The 1-4 Multi modal Interstate Master Plan Study for Polk County (1-4 Master Plan) is to
provide documented information necessary to maintain and improve interstate travel integrity on I-4
from the Hillsborough/Polk County line to the Polk/Osceola County line. The primary goal of the
1-4 Master Plan was to assess the feasibility of a Multi modal corridor. Rail transit as well as high
occupancy vehicle (HOV) demands were assessed. The improvements suggested by the I-4 Master
Plan would satisfy the 2020 horizon year traffic needs. This study will evaluate and upgrade the
system to six and eight lanes in Polk County by the year 2020. However, in the meantime, if
flooding were to occur again during a "wet" hurricane, or other period of heavy rain, rapid movement
of the evacuating population through Polk County would not be possible.


Regional Transportation 3-3 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Other roadways/evacuation routes in the Central Florida Region have segments where flooding is
possible. FDOT's Five Year Work Plan for District One (November, 1994), contains plans to
upgrade many of these roadways through Polk County; however, flooding in the other counties will
continue to be a serious issue. Alternate evacuation routes are designated for some of the primary
evacuation routes, although many of the routes would not have any other roads available in case of
flooding. Emergency management and law enforcement officials determine alternate routes in these
circumstances.

High Speed Rail. The Florida High Speed Rail Transportation Commission has designated the
Tampa Bay Area and Dade County as termini and as areas of the State to be served, with lines
running through this Region. This Region will be involved and directly affected by this regional
form of transportation. The CFRPC will lobby the Commission to locate stations in this Region and
to construct lines that can easily be added on to with north-south connecting lines. The impending
construction of the high speed lines may fuel the fire for the planning of light rail service and bus
service that will link the people throughout the Region.

Trails. Bike trails have not been constructed in the Region, although surrounding regions have them.
Currently the City of Lake Wales is considering designating the right-of-way for trails adjacent to
residential subdivisions in the US 27-Eagle Ridge Mall area. Numerous subdivisions line US 27
and teens would benefit from access to the mall area by bike trails.

The CFRPC supports the construction of bike trails in a master plan system to link all five counties
to each other and to the surrounding counties.

Aviation. The Partnership of Florida Airports and Communities, Florida Department of
Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration are the lead agencies studying the aviation
issues in the State of Florida. This group of agencies completed a study titled "The Florida Aviation
System Plan, Statewide Summary 1992-2010." This study was done for Florida's 103 publicly-
owned airports. The Plan was written to: ensure that Florida's airports work together effectively as
a state-wide transportation system; provide linkages to the global air transportation system; and,
effectively interface with regional surface transportation systems.

The Florida Aviation System Plan has three goals. First, it must forecast the dollar needs and timing
of airport enhancements necessary to ensure a viable system of airports to serve Florida. Second,
it must provide justification for budgeting and appropriation of funds for planned airport
enhancements. Third, it must guide the investment of public funds in Florida's publicly-owned
airports.

At the writing of this report, the Central Florida Region is the only Aviation Planning Region in the
State of Florida not served by commercial air service. However, due to the Region's projected
population and economic growth, overall aviation activity is expected to increase dramatically.



Regional Transportation 3-4 April 25,1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









This Plan forecasted the following impacts and needs of Central Florida Region:

* Commercial passenger service, which was expected to begin in 1995, has not. FDOT's Plan
projects that by the year 2010, over 37,000 passengers will be flying out of regional airports.

* Aircraft operations are projected to increase by 25 percent from 1995 to 2010, growing from
500,000 in 1990 to nearly 672,000 by 2010.

* The number of aircraft based at regional airports is expected to increase from 1990 levels of
about 670 to nearly 950 by 2010.

* The annual air cargo tonnage shipped from the region by 2010 is estimated to be
approximately 195 tons per year.

The following table outlines the development needs of the regional airports over the next ten years.

Table 1: Ten-Year Airport Development Needs
Central Florida Region


Regional Transnortatinn


April 25 1996


CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan


TYPE OF PROJECT COST % OF COST

Land Acquisition $13.2 million 19%
Facility Preservation $1.4 million 2%
Security/Access/Rescue $12.5 million 18%
Terminals/Aprons/Hangars $3.5 million 5%
Runways/Taxiways $38.7 million 56%

TOTAL $69.3 MILLION 100%


Reioa rasprato A ri ? r%. I Q








Transportation Disadvantaged Services


Definition of Disadvantaged Persons: "Those persons who, because of physical or mental
disability, income status, age, or children who are disabled or high-risk or at-risk as defined in
Chapter 411.202, F.S. or people who for other reasons are unable to transport themselves or to
purchase transportation and are, therefore, dependent on others to obtain access to health care,
employment, education, shopping, social activities, or other life-sustaining activities."

The state of Florida has addressed the transportation needs for its elderly, economically
disadvantaged, and disabled citizens by enacting legislation, Chapter 427, Florida Statutes. This
legislation mandates that all recipients of federal, state, and local transportation funds must
coordinate their funds in order to provide eligible citizens transportation to life-sustaining activities.
In each of Florida's 67 counties, a specialized transportation system exists and provides door-to-door
transportation service to those who meet eligibility criteria.

Through the use of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 18 funds, the Central Florida
Regional Planning Council administers the Transportation Disadvantaged program for DeSoto,
Hardee, and Highlands Counties. State-wide criteria is established to determine user eligibility.

It is important that the CFRPC lobby to keep these programs alive. Population pyramids have been
studied for each county and the population will continue to age over the next decade. The citizens
of the Region will continue to need this program.


Regional Goal 3.1: Coordinate future transportation improvements to aid in the
management of growth, and facilitate integration of highway, air, mass
transit and other transportation modes.
Indicators:

a. Amount of increase of service area.

Policies:

3.1.1 MPOs shall plan for extensions of service areas of the existing public transit systems.


3.1.2 Support extension of rail lines within the Region that will lead to reduced levels of
truck traffic.

3.1.3 Assist communities in the development and implementation of plans to increase the
number of bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways.



Regional Transportation 3-6 April 25,1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








3.1.4


3.1.5


3.1.6



3.1.7


3.1.8


3.1.9


Regional Goal 3.2:


Provide passenger service from existing residential development in rural
areas to urban areas for the transportation disadvantaged at a
reasonable cost to government.


Indicators


a. Volume of ridership

Policies

3.2.1 Transportation disadvantaged services in all counties shall be provided for all eligible
clients.

3.2.2 Transportation disadvantaged services in all counties shall be coordinated with
existing public transit systems.

Regional Goal 3.3: Reduce average vehicle trip lengths on the transportation system,
thereby lowering energy consumption per vehicle and reducing segment
volumes.


Facilitate the improvement of public-access airports and airways systems to remain
in operation to keep the distance for public access to them from increasing.

Support construction of the High Speed Rail system that will lead to a more balanced
transportation system.

Regional and state right-of-way High Speed Rail corridors will be protected and
enhanced, and after franchise designation, will be designated as Significant Regional
Resources.

Planning and implementation of High Speed Rail corridor siting, ancillary facilities
and station development shall be consistent with the SRPP.

Ridesharing and peak hour occupancy rates for transit and high occupancy vehicles
shall be promoted.

Local governments and DOT should enhance connections to the State Highway
System to promote integrated transportation systems by enhancing intermodal
transfer facilities.


Regional Transportation 3-7 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan









Indicators


Policies

3.3.1 Encourage establishment of regularly scheduled commercial air carrier (commuter)
service at one or more of the airports and airways systems within the Region to
reduce the distance traveled on the highway network.

3.3.2 Promote development in close proximity to existing compatible land uses so that
average trip lengths will be reduced.

3.3.3 Encourage mixed-use developments that will provide both trip origins and
destinations, i.e., residential land use with adjacent shopping facilities.

Regional Goal 3.4: Development shall only occur in a manner consistent with Florida
Statutes requiring the concurrent provision of adequate transportation
facilities.

Indicators

a.

Policies

3.4.1 Developments of Regional Impact shall provide for the concurrent provision of
adequate transportation facilities needed to accommodate the impacts of the proposed
development.

3.4.2 Assist local governments in developing and administering development regulations
and concurrency management programs to provide for the concurrent provision of
needed transportation improvements.

3.4.3 A state and regionally significant roadway segment shall be determined to be
significantly impacted by a proposed development if, at a minimum, the traffic
projected to be generated at the end of any stage or phase of the proposed
development, cumulatively with previous stages or phases, will utilize five percent
or more of the adopted peak hour level of service maximum service volume of the
roadway and the roadway is projected to be operating below the adopted level of
service standard at buildout of that stage or phase. If a transportation facility
significant impact threshold of less than five percent is specifically adopted in an in-
compliance local government comprehensive plan, then this lower significant impact
threshold shall be utilized by the CFRPC as its significant impact threshold for those


Regional Transportation 3-8 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








state and regional roadways within that local government's jurisdiction.


3.4.4 For state and regional roadways that are part of the Florida Intrastate Highway
System, the CFRPC will evaluate transportation issues in accordance with the
Florida Department of Transportation level of service standards for the Florida
Intrastate Highway System consistent with Subsection 163.3180(10), F.S. For all
other state and regional roadways, the CFRPC will evaluate transportation issues
in accordance with the adopted transportation level of service standards of the
applicable local government comprehensive plan.

3.4.5 All facilities on the Florida Intrastate Highway System are considered to be
significant regional facilities. The CFRPC will only consider a roadway to be
state and regionally significant if it is a paved roadway which crosses local
government jurisdictional boundaries, is a component of the state highway system,
connects components of the state highway system, provides access to a regional
center, or is a hurricane evacuation route.

3.4.6 Development along the state, regional and local transportation corridors will
observe the planned future right-of-way lines when determining set-back
requirements for construction.

3.4.7 Facilitate coordination in the review, timing and sequence of driveway access
permits and land development decisions between state agencies and local
governments.

3.4.8 Transportation projects shall be promoted in state, regional and local capital
improvement plans that are protected by local government right-of-way
protection.

3.4.9 Interchanges shall be established along limited access routes only when they are
consistent with the SRPP, the Florida State Plan and the Florida Transportation
Plan.

3.4.10 Assist local governments in the adoption of development regulations which
protect right-of-way for state, regional and local government transportation
facilities.

3.4.11 Assist local governments in the adoption and implementation of ordinances and
techniques, including impact fee, which mitigate impacts to state, regional and
local government public facilities.

3.4.12 The Florida Cracker Trail designation shall be promoted.


Regional Transportation 3-9 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan








3.4.13 Assist local governments in amending comprehensive plans to provide for
development of airports to their ultimate capacity, consistent with appropriate
planning, environmental constraints and compatible land use.

3.4.14 Assist local governments in the development of regulations that provide for the
control of tall structures, including media broadcast towers, which protects
airports and the airways system in a manner consistent with airport master plans
and the DOT model of the states navigable airspace system.

3.4.15 Assist local governments in implementing access management techniques which
protect the through capacity on components of the Florida Intrastate Highway
System.

































Regional Transportation 3-10 April 25, 1996
CFRPC Proposed Strategic Regional Policy Plan




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

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