Table of Contents

Group Title: Economic information report
Title: Land use planning
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026516/00001
 Material Information
Title: Land use planning protection for the farm operator
Series Title: Economic information report
Physical Description: i, 9 p. : 1 map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Abbitt, Ben
Publisher: Food & Resource Economics Dept., Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Food and Resource Economics Dept., Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla.
Publication Date: 1975
Copyright Date: 1975
Subject: Land use, Rural -- Planning -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Ben Abbitt.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026516
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - ACG0209
alephbibnum - 000413180
oclc - 10827720

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Full Text

Abbitt Economic Informatior

t JUN 18976

SuIv. Un.of lorida

Land Use Planning --

tection for the Farm Operator

.- .

Resource Economics Department
,riculturol Experiment Stations
ooperotive Extension Service May 1975
of Food and Agricultural Sciences
y of Florida, Gainesville 32611


Land and its various uses are undergoing considerable change, par-
ticularly in rural areas that surround metropolitan centers, Farm oper-
ators in these peripheral areas are being influenced by population in-
creases and business expansion, Tax assessment increases on agricul-
tural land and pressure from development groups who locate in rural areas
to escape political and social objections are two negative influences
felt by farm operators,

A brief history of land use planning is discussed, and reasons are
given to explain the past neglect of proper land use planning. It is
pointed out that local governing bodies have the responsibility for
formulating and implementing land use planning, In addition, compre-
hensive planning is defined, and land use planning is identified as a
integral part of comprehensive planning in the community development pro.

It is emphasized that land use planning should not be considered
"a tool" that is used against farm operators to speed the conversion of
land in agricultural production to other uses, A properly constructed
land use plan (where agricultural interests are voiced) can be an aid in
slowing the encroachment of commercial and industrial development in the
urban-rural fringe. Finally, two sources of additional information on
land use planning in Florida are identified.

Key words: Comprehensive planning, land use planning, population
growth, business expansion, citizen involvement.




FOREWORD - - - - i

CHANGES IN LAND USE - r - T, .. . - - I


Land Use Planning - - - - -- - - - --- -- 2



WHY HAVE LAND USE PLANNING? - - - - - - - - - - 4

Population and Business Growth - - - -- - - .- 4

Urban to Rural Population Shifts - - - - - 5
Business Migration -- - -.- - - - - - .- 5



Support Is Needed r - - - - - - - - - 7

Where To Find Help - - - - - - - - - --- 7



1 Multi-county regional planning districts in Florida - 9


Financial support in the preparation of this publication was re-

ceived from the Center for Rural Development in the Institute of Food

and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida,



Ben Abbitt


Land is one of America's most abundant natural resources, and in agri-

cultural use it is undergoing considerable change. Each year more than

a million acres of rural land are converted to urban and transportation

uses in the United States, Moreover, conversion of cropland to other

uses in the United States averages 2 million acres per year. In Florida

alone 57,000 acres of unused land are annually converted to non-agri-

cultural uses. In addition, by the year 2000, acreage required for urban

needs in the United States is projected to increase by 21 million acres.

For orderly conversion of agricultural and unused land to urban uses,

local landowners are urged to participate in a planning process which has

the objectives of insuring that needed acreage for crop production and

rural living is available while providing land for business and commercial

concerns in rural areas,


Farm operators have been introduced to the term "land use planning"

through media sources which include television, radio, and local news-

BEN ABBITT is an assistant professor of food and resource economics,
and an extension development economist in the Cooperative Extension Service
at the University of Florida,


papers. Perhaps a more refined concept of land use planning will assist

in understanding such a "mind-boggling"' issue, But first, comprehensive

planning must be understood,

Comprehensive planning is a process designed to help solve current

community problems and also provide for the future needs of a growing

community, Community problems, among others, include shortages of pub-

lic facilities, public services, and inadequate housing. In other words,

comprehensive planning provides a guide for the physical development of

the community. It includes general land use patterns and also an in-

ventory of natural and human resources that is needed in the community

development process. Finally, a comprehensive plan includes an analysis

of the social and economic changes in the community. For example, pro-

jections of changes in local value structures and incomes must be taken

into consideration when comprehensive planning is undertaken,

Land Use Planning

Land use planning is an integral part of comprehensive planning in

the community. Specifically, land use planning is both the legal and

democratic means of determining the most desirable use of land. Of

course, the most desirable use of land varies among different groups

within a community. In a broader sense, land use planning provides a

guide for the use and development of land areas in a community. It is a

process in which local leaders, public groups, and interested citizens

engage to further community development by encouraging that growth be

orderly in both the agricultural sector and the non-agricultural sector

with respect to land and its use,

Land use planning is aimed at avoiding community problems through

group interaction and subsequent action. These planners, whether inter-


ested citizens or elected official:, set definite and: realistic objec-

tives to be reached, Land use planning cannot Ludo ''"rongs" that have

already been committed, but it can help prevent future "wrongs" from

being committed,

Land use planning is the decision making process which the local

landowner has available for the protection not onlyof agriculture but

also the well-being of the community, Through planning the physical uses

of land areas are recommended, i.e,, which land is best suited for agri-

cultural production ard which land is best suited for non-farm interests.

Along with planning, the use of land for public improvements such as

water storage and solid waste management can be provided to make com-

munities a better place to,work and raise a family.


Contrary to popular belief, land use planning in rural America is

not new, Planning has been a part of town development in the United

States since before independence from Great Britain. More than 2,000

counties across the United States (including counties in Florida) have

been given responsibility for land use planning by their state legisla-



Land use planning has endured for many years despite neglect from

local citizens, There are several reasons for this neglect, First, land

use planning is a process which takes time, Its success cannot be mea-

sured immediately or easily as, for example, crop yields per acre can be

measured. Successful land use planning requires vocal and written support


from landowners. This support may require voluntary membership on ad-

visory committees and participation in local legislative bodies as

elected officials, Above all, patience is required to inform others on

the needs and advantages of a properly constructed land use plan.

Secondly, cost is often the scapegoat used by many to justify negle

of proper land use planning, Land use planning has a definite and seem-

ingly high cost at the outset. However, recent evidence indicates that

"lower costs for public facilities built in the future have outweighed th

immediate cost in the formulation and implementation of a land use plan.

In addition, the total value of land is oftentimes increased through

proper planning, Additions such as irrigation systems and warehouses on

farm land tend to cause land prices to rise.

Finally, public support for land use legislation has frequently

been lacking in the past. Both political and monetary influences have

often subverted the few land use provisions that were tried. Violations

of existing land use practices include untimely zoning changes (spot

zoning) and poor adherence to existing legislation. Florida's Sunshine

Law and the Financial Disclosure Act should help discourage violators whi

use vague and conflicting local legislation to their advantage. Citizen

are encouraged to support local leaders in their efforts to curb unwise

land use practices aided by "political" influence and "under the table"



Population and Business Growth

During the past two decades the United States' population has grown

by a third, Florida's population growth exceeds the national trend and


is expected to expand even more rapidly than the national average in the

future. There were more than 8 million residents in the state in 1974,

and current projections indicate that,by 1980, over 10 million persons

will be permanent residents. In addition, Florida's numerical population

growth rate has recently overtaken Calfornia's as the fastest in the

nation. Moreover, according to a recent study, Florida is expected to

gain the most new residents of any state in the nation in the next 25


Urban to Rural Population Shifts

A facet of this population increase is the migration of people into

rural areas to avoid the congestion of city life. Affluence seems to

breed negligence with regard to natural resources. Rural land and water

is often polluted by improper disposal of liquid and solid wastes. Those

residents with vacation or mobile homes not only tend to inundate the

landscape but also object to ordinary side effects of farm operations

such as odor, tractor noise at early hours, and crop spraying and dusting.

Their public opposition further complicates the lives and businesses of

farmers and ranchers. Furthermore, the new residents expect regulated

public services, such as sewer connections, fire and police protection,

and solid waste disposal. Yet, few of these are available in many rural

areas, Providing these additional services may cause local governments

to raise taxes.

Business Migration

In addition to the influx of people from cities, commercial firms

and industries are locating offices-and plants in rural areas, These


concerns locate in rural areas for several reasons: 1) lower taxes, 2

less restrictive environmental regulations, and 3) the availability o

low cost labor. Without proper land use legislation and subsequent pl.

ning, rural communities will continue to be a locating and dumping

ground for commercial and industrial concerns and their wastes,


The federal government has experienced difficulty in its efforts

provide regulated community development in rural America. The major

difficulty stems from the various views and policies adhered to by the

countless state and county governing bodies. As a result, the response

ability for land use planning has been placed on the shoulders of state

and local government. Loans and grants from federal agencies are now i

available for local officials to create proper land use plans. Some cor

munities have not used available monies in the past for a variety of

reasons, including poor communication and reluctance of local leaders 1

become involved.


Community leaders must realize that a well-designed land use plan

is not a method to take away private ownership of land. Neither is it

device to completely control and restrict current and future use of pri

vate land. The basic function of land use planning is advisory--a metp

to influence landowners to use their land in its most efficient manner.

Historically, land in rural areas was used for agricultural production

with little regard'or need for alternative uses, Today, land use is mc

often than not based upon using land in a manner which earns the highest


sible income, The profit motive is causing land to be used inefficiently,

Proper land use planning will also protect farm operators from other

landowners who, in the future, may use their land unwisely. Prime agri-

cultural land formerly in production and idled by land speculators is one

example of unwise land use practices. When properly administered, a land

use plan will not remove land currently in agricultural production nor

can it reclaim land recently removed from agricultural production. It

can, however, help protect land in agricultural production and help in-

sure it will remain in production in the future.

Support Is Needed

Farm operators, as leaders in the community, have much to gain by

voicing their views on the rights of private land ownership. Farm

operators are encouraged to accept this responsibility, and represent

agricultural interests in the decision making processes in the community.

With proper, wel.l-planned land use in the future, agricultural incomes

need not be depleted by increased tax assessments, rising costs of public

services, and fewer acres in crop production, Both civic and legislative

leaders in rural communities should encourage citizen involvement in leg-

islative decisions on land use. This input may be necessary for the
future life of agriculture--our life support system for producers and con-


Where To Find Help

For further information contact your County Extension Office, The

Multi-County Regional Planning Office for your district can also provide

information. Regional Planning Offices are;


District Name Address

I, West Florida Regional P,O, Box 486
Planning Council Pensacola, FL 32502

II, Northwest Florida Development 5321-West Highway 98
Council and Economic Develop- Panama City, FL 32401
ment District

III. North Central Florida 75 S,W. Second Place
Regional Planning Council Gainesville, FL 32601

IV. Jacksonville Area Planning Room 401, Courthouse
Board Jacksonville, FL 32202

V. Withlacoochee Regional 3190 Maricamp Road
Planning Council Ocala, FL 32670

VI, East Central Florida 1011 Wymore Road
Regional Planning Council Winter Park, FL 32789

VIr, Central Florida Regional PJ, Box 1909
Planning Council Bartow, FL 33830

VIIr. Tampa Bay Regional 3151 Third Avenue, North
Planning Council St. Petersburg, FL 3371

IX, Southwest Florida Regional P.O. 3ox 981
Planning Council Ft. Myers, FL 32902

X. South Florida Regional 1515 N.W. 167th St.
"Planning Council Miami, FL 33169

The geographical areas embraced in these Plinniig Districts are out-

lined in Figure 1. Portions of Lake Okeechobee are Livided -!-mong Plan-

ning Districts VII, IX, and X,


StI I I .


VII, ..
* -- I IV.




Fiure .--Multi-county regional annin districts in lorida
Figure l.--Multi-county regional planning districts in Florida

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