Summary of the Land Use and Water Planning Task Force Meeting of July 22, 1994

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Summary of the Land Use and Water Planning Task Force Meeting of July 22, 1994


Subjects / Keywords:
Recommendations ( jstor )
Local governments ( jstor )
Subcommittees ( jstor )
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North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Jake Varn Collection - Summary of the Land Use and Water Planning Task Force Meeting of July 22, 1994 (JDV Box 49)
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Box 21, Folder 2 ( Land and Water Planning Task Force - 1994 - 1995 ), Item 14
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July 22, 1994 Meeting
South Florida Regional Planning Council
Hollywood, Florida


(Carolyn Dekle, Executive Director, SFRPC) Ms. Dekle welcomed the Task Force to
Hollywood, Florida. She stated that the Task Force is considering an important part of the
planning process by strengthening the relationship between the planning documents. Some of
these planning documents (i.e. the SRPPs and DWMPs) are new and their role in the
planning process should be fully utilized. The SRPPs, in particular, are an opportunity in
decision making and will serve to coordinate among all of the agencies. It is important that
the SRPPs be utilized once they are adopted. If not, the SRPPs will be useless in the overall
framework in which they are intended to function.

There are a couple of areas that should be carefully considered. For example, the issue of
local comprehensive plan consistency with regional planning documents, and the most
appropriate kind of linkage to state plans and rules. Flexibility must be maintained and
respected for local governments. The regions are capable of handling the additional pressures
being placed on them. The 2/3 vote requirement of the RPCs provides a safeguard for local
interests. The state agencies should be actively involved with the RPCs in the development of
the SRPPs.

It is important that the Task Force not attempt to create a perfect system, however, strive for
making meaningful improvements in the current system.

Tom Dyer, Executive Director, Two Rivers Ranch

The current planning framework allows for land use and water planning to function in an
uncoordinated manner. The public and the private sector must learn to work together if the
system is to work. The Two Rivers Ranch owns property in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, and
Hillsborough Counties. Two Rivers Ranch is a 14,000 acre (23 square miles) in Northeast
Hillsborough County and Pasco County. The property is currently operated as low intensity
cattle and recreation. Crystal Springs Recreational Preserve, which supplies the City of
Tampa with 60% of it's potable water, is also on Two Rivers Ranch.

The past several Legislative sessions, Congress has been unsuccessful in implementing a bill
that would remove Federal and State taxes from lands protected by permanent conservation
easements. As a result, Two Rivers Ranch has attempted to establish goals and objectives for
the management of the property. Four goals were developed:

1. Preserve the environmental integrity of the property;
2. Sustain the water quality and quantity on which the natural resources and other
operations depend;
3. To preserve private resource management versus public resource management;
4. Try to continue to show some kind of fair equitable return for the 60 year
ownership/restoration of the property.

A planning team was developed which completed a full environmental assessment of the
property. The planning team concluded that the property should be managed in a regional

Current threats to the Ranch include a proposed power line transecting the property and the
DOT proposed expansion of Highway 39. Two years ago, the Ranch received notice that the
DOT intended to construct a new 6-lane, median strip, rural service highway through the
Ranch. The WMD and the West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority identified the
Ranch as a new potable water source with a range of 20 million to 90 million gallons per
day. The Ranch will not accept more than 1 foot of drawdown.

The Ranch has been downzoned from 1 du/acre in Hillsborough County to 1 du/20 acres and
agricultural. In Pasco County, the land is still zoned 1 du/acre. Polk County has the
property zoned differently. Soils maps from three counties do not match. There needs to be
some coordination.

The Hillsborough River/Greenways Task Force (HRGTF) has been set up to make vested
partners among all of the parties involved from the public and private sectors. The HRGTF
currently consists of 35 public and private partners and should complete its work by October,
1994. The HRGTF is reaching agreement in four areas:

1. The creation of common utility corridors.

One of the existing problems is that no single agency can acquire additional right-of-ways
other than for their own projects. Therefore, how can we fund acquisitions for the ability to
widen utility corridors and buy them in advance of the utilities' need. Another problem is
that even after the plan is approved, what is to assure that the next linear project is not going
to condemn lands that the Ranch is attempting to protect?

2. Propose the creation of the first regional upland and wetland mitigation.

Currently, the upland and wetland mitigation sites are not allowed to be integrated. The
Game Commission policy would say that the Commission would not agree to any less than
fee program and that the Commission would manage the property.

3. Agree to a less than fee sale of the Hillsborough River and Blackwater Creek
corridors that the State and County are seeking to protect.

Programs that allow for less than fee purchase for protection are a viable option.

4. The eighteen projects proposed for the upper Hillsborough basin area would be
sited in a way in which everybody that has participated in the process accomplish
the goals that were set for the region.

This includes the proposals for potable water supply by the West Coast RWSA and the
SWFWMD. This ties into the creation of regional upland and wetland mitigation. If the
upper basin could be made wetter through the mitigation, it would increase the flow of the
Hillsborough River and Crystal Spring.

Mr. Dyer made several observations concerning the present planning framework:

1. The solutions lie at the local government level.
2. The planning process should turn to being proactive towards protection of the
resources rather than the reactive process that currently exists.
3. The planning focus should be at the water management districts with participation
from the regional planning councils. Primarily because of the importance of the water
issues. The WMDs have much of the base data.
4. Water protection and conservation easements should be viewed upon as a "crop". The
regulatory aspect should be balanced with the incentive aspect.

Regional Issues Proposed Recommendations (Attachment 1)
Jake Varn, Chair, Regional Issues Subcommittee

The Regional Issues Subcommittee recommended that the existing linkages to the state level
planning documents from the Strategic Regional Policy Plan (SRPP) are adequate. However,
there is no existing appeal process if an SRPP is challenged as not in compliance or consistent
with the State Comprehensive Plan (SCP) or is in conflict with one of the three translational
plans. Recommendation 1 provides the appeal process to the Governor and Cabinet sitting as
the Administration Commission, in which the Governor must be on the prevailing side.

The SRPP's relationship with the District Water Management Plans (DWMP) and the
Regional Water Supply Plans (RWSP) should be "not to conflict with." The understanding
being that the RPCs look at a much broader spectrum of issues than just water issues. The
RPCs must perform more of a "balancing act" and, therefore, the standard of "not to conflict
with" is recommended.

The DWMPs should be expressly provided for in statute. The DWMP should contain certain
elements that would be statutorily defined. These plans should be prepared consistent with
the SCP and appropriate DEP plan (depending upon the State Issues Subcommittee

The DWMPs should be formally adopted by the WMD governing board. The process could
be similar to the Ch. 120, F.S., rule adoption process or the process similar to that in which
a local comprehensive plan is adopted.

If the DEP determines that a DWMP is inconsistent an appeal should go to the Land and
Water Adjudicatory Commission. In reviewing the DWMPs, the DEP should look for
compatibility with the Florida Transportation Plan, the State Land Development Plan, and the
Florida Water Plan. Once the DWMPs are adopted by the WMDs, then all of the district
rules will be required to be consistent with the plan.

The WMDs also play a major role in providing technical assistance to local governments. It
should be determined as to what portions of the DWMP are technical assistance. These
portions of the DWMP would not be required to be adopted by rule. This technical
assistance should be determined to be the best available data for purposes of regional and
local planning.

The Regional Water Supply Authorities should be required to develop and adopt by rule
Regional Water Supply Plans (RWSP). These plans should be compatible with the DWMPs
and consistent with the State Comprehensive Plan, the State Water Policy and the Florida
Water Plan. The RWSPs would then be required to be compatible with the SRPPs and
through this mechanism, these plans would be connected to the local government.

Both the DWMPs and the RWSPs should be continuous and ongoing with periodic updates
and evaluations.

The Governor and Cabinet will sit as an appellate body for this process. Recommendation #7
outlines this.


Recommendation #2

What is the rationale for the linkage among the SRPPs, the DWMPs and the RWSPs in light
of the WMD/DEP/RPCs suggested recommendation focusing on an advisory report that was
non-binding in nature? The Regional Subcommittee felt that a non-binding relationship would
serve little purpose. The DWMPs should be adopted and adhered to by the WMDs. The
WMDs are the "experts" when it comes to water resources and have the exclusive authority
to deal with water issues.

The SRPP requires a "balancing" of many issues and that is why the Regional Subcommittee
took the lesser standard of "not in conflict."

Recommendation #3

(Tschinkel) If the SRPP is used as the major link between the WMDs, RPCs, and the local
governments, what are the mutual responsibilities of the WMDs and the local governments?

What is best available data? Do we want to presuppose that the WMD data is the "best
available"? The WMDs use their own information in determining Consumptive Use Permits,
therefore, the local governments must take this information serious and should participate, in
some manner, in the data collection. WMDs should not be mandating actions to the local

government based on the district information (i.e. the development of additional wellfields
versus desalination plants for future water supplies).

Several members felt that the "experts" on water issues should produce and provide the data,
however, the local government should have options available.

Allan Milledge suggested that resource-based planning should have the same status as growth-
driven planning. The DWMPs should be developed in a process with public hearings and
mandatory elements. The DWMPs should not be adopted by rules, but by a separate process
because of the perception people have about rules. WMD actions should be consistent with
an overall plan once the DWMPs are completed.

Another concern raised by Mr. Milledge is the proposed compatibility relationship between
the DWMPs and the Florida Transportation Plan. The planning relationship should be the
other way around. In other words, the growth-based plan should be compatible with the
resource-based plan.

Recommendation #4

The RWSPs are to be compatible with the DWMPs and consistent with the SCP, the State
Water Policy and the FWP. DEP suggested that the RWSPs should be subordinate to the
DWMPs and that the relationship should be strengthened to a consistency link. The RWSPs
deal only with water supply, whereas the DWMPs deal with natural systems, water supply,
water quality and flood control. Jake Varn clarified the relationship due to the fact that there
are alternative ways to creating water supply. It gets to the point of should the WMDs
through the DWMPs be mandating to the RWSAs where and how to develop water supplies.

The RWSA is structured differently with each interlocal agreement. Each RWSA has a
different voting structure. One concern is that a majority of the local governments within a
WSA could develop a plan that one of its member governments does not agree with.

Recommendation #7

The comment was raised that in developing regional plans, a process similar to that of local
comprehensive plan development/amendment should be used that utilizes a great deal of
public hearings and input at the front end of the process in hopes of averting potential

Water Management District Relationship with Local Governments

It would be irresponsible not to bring the water management planning more explicitly into the
planning process. Do we want to make the linkage strong between the local governments and
the WMDs directly, which is what the State Subcommittee is recommending, or do we want
to be more sensitive to the local governments who would rather respond to the regional level
of government? In terms of accountability, all of the planning issues should "blend" at the
regional level through the SRPPs, and then provide a strong link between the regional plan
and the local government.

What is the appropriate time for the WMDs to become involved in the comprehensive plan
amendment process? The WMDs should become involved at the beginning of the planning
process before the Objection, Recommendation, and Comment process with DCA. If there is
an inconsistency between the WMD regulatory standards and the land use plan amendment, it
should be identified early on and the WMDs should become involved.

Some members feel that no new procedural requirements should be placed on the local
governments. The proposal that the SRPPs are "not to conflict" with the DWMPs solves the
problems about funneling data and information down to the local governments. However,
relationship among the RWSPs and the DWMPs should be further discussed.

State Issues Proposed Recommendations (Attachments 2 and 3)
David Orshefsky, Chair, State Issues Subcommittee

The subcommittee found that the initial adoption of the State Water Use Plan (SWUP) in
1972 does not reflect the current WMD planning efforts. The recommendations attempt to
update the State water planning process to bring it into consistency with current efforts.

With respect to the State Land Development Plan, there is no statutory foundation. It is
based on a definitional provision in Chapter 380, F.S., with little or no direction as to

The subcommittee recommended a series of procedures for development of the state level
plans. The subcommittee found that there is currently little or no coordination among the
three state agencies with respect to the development of the translational plans. The State
Issues Proposed Recommendations establishes a formal review, comment and workshop
process whereby the three plans will be more closely developed and coordinated.

The subcommittee also dealt with the linkages from, among and to the various documents.
Generally speaking, the linkages to the State Comprehensive Plan and the higher level
planning documents are that of "consistency"; linkages among state level documents are
framed as "compatible." There are certain linkages framed to the local comprehensive plans
which are "compatibility" with other plans.

The final set of recommendations deal with the Growth Management Portion of the State
Comprehensive Plan and some of the procedural elements of Chapter 186, F.S., concerning
the revision of the State Comprehensive Plan and the preparation of the Growth Management


Mr. Orshefsky prepared and distributed a Comparison of Existing Statutory Language and
Recommended Statutory Revisions paper (see Attachment 3).

The Proposed Recommendations from the State Issues Subcommittee would amend Chapter
373.036(2), F.S., to give DEP explicit authority to develop a Florida Water Plan and give
direction as to the content of the plan.

Geographic identification of water resource areas

One recommendation that drew some level of discussion was the proposal that the FWP,
pursuant to statutorily established criteria, geographically identify water resource areas or
restoration efforts which are of statewide significance, if any, together with related policies
needed to protect or support such areas, efforts, or policies. Two alternatives that had been
raised at the subcommittee level are: 1) the narrative listing of these areas, such as existing
SWIM or OFW bodies or other significant water bodies designated at the state level; or 2)
have the identification done in the DWMPs based on more specific data maintained by the

There was discussion and general agreement that some level of identification of water
resources areas should take place at the State level, however, what form should this take?
Does the identification have to be a specific geographic identification or will a list of criteria
to be met for identification elsewhere be sufficient?

What would happen if some areas that are clearly areas of statewide significance are not
included in this designation? The plan should identify key issues and implementation
strategies that could include the geographic identification. The explicit identification of these
geographic areas could lead to political bargaining for the inclusion or exclusion of certain

One of the visions of the FWP is that it is based on the DWMPs, which identifies regional
areas of significance, which will subsequently be identified in the FWP. The FWP should
include a level of identification which is very general and gives general guidance at the state
level, which would not be exclusive. The explicit identification through the preparation of
maps should not be recommended.

The Proposed Recommendations provide that components of the FWP which are to have a
binding effect upon other entities shall be adopted by rule. If the geographic identification of
identified water resource areas and restoration efforts determined to be of statewide
significance is to ultimately happen at the state level, then the DEP would be required to
adopt this by rule.

- Chuck Littlejohn raised the concern that the geographic identification could lead to the
identification of water surplus areas and water shortage areas. He suggested that the Task
Force should remain silent on this issue.

DEP suggested that this recommendation be dropped and draft some language that reflects
that these areas are based on the DWMP and that they are being compiled on a statewide
basis to demonstrate what these areas are and what activities are underway in each of these
areas (i.e. SWIM, OFW, etc).

If the identification of the statewide water related resources is not to be part of the minimum
content of the FWP, what will the content of the plan be and what will the plan be used for?

20 Year timeframe

The recommendation provides for a 20-year planning horizon for the FWP. How feasible is
this? The DWMPs are supposed to be in 20 year increments and the perception is that the
FWP will rely heavily upon the contents of the DWMPs. Within the DWMP and the FWP
there will exist shorter timeframes. The long-term aspects of the FWP will be estimates that
will have to be adjusted as time goes on.

Recommendation F

This recommendation provides for a formal review and comment process for the FWP, by the
DEP, DCA, and the DOT, and includes public workshops and a consistency review by the
Executive Office of the Governor (EOG). After the review by the EOG, the agency could
proceed with rulemaking.

Recommendation J

Recommendation J defines a relationship similar to that among the local comprehensive plans
and the SRPPs. The local comprehensive plans would have to be compatible with the FWP,
however, a finding of incompatibility shall not be the sole basis for a DCA finding of "not in
compliance." The local governments were firm in their stance about not mandating any
further requirements to the local governments. There is little support for this
recommendation by the Task Force, however, some alternatives should be discussed.


Recommendation K

Recommendation K provides for the content of the SLDP to address a list a issue areas. The
initial discussion at the subcommittee level regarding all of the translational plans was
whether or not the translational plans were actually needed. Mr. Rhodes would like to keep
this issue open for further discussion. The argument is that the SLDP has been on the books
for many years and has not been used to any great extent.

- The DCA argued that the SLDP serves a role in the DRI process and should not be tinkered
with to any great extent or deleted until the ICE processes are developed. Mr. Rhodes noted
that DRIs must be consistent the SCP.

There is consensus about the need to further define or translate the policy content of the State
Comprehensive Plan. The role of the SLDP should be discussed further. The Chair directed
the State Issues Subcommittee to work on this issue further with the DCA. The DCA was
asked to inform the subcommittee of any changes the DCA would recommend regarding the
content and role of the SLDP in the planning process.

It is also important to get reaction from the local governments regarding the SLDP
recommended changes.


The linkage of the State Transportation Plan to the local government comprehensive plans is
that of "best available data."


The first two recommendations follow the SB 2998 (which was passed by the 1994
Legislature and subsequently vetoed by the Governor) by defining the SCP as the state
planning document required by the Florida Cabinet, and the inclusion of benchmarks in lieu
of objectives in the State Plan. The recommendations also propose the repeal of the
requirement to prepare a separate growth management portion of the State Comprehensive

Overall Discussion

There was some concern raised by the Task Force about the extensive amount of statutory
revisions that would be required as a result of the FWP recommendations and the proposed
delineation of the DEP and WMD roles and relationship. It is important for the Task Force
to come up with a process that is practical in terms of the politics of these issues and perhaps
making incremental steps towards improving the system might be better than attempting to
create a perfect system.

The water issue is going to be a big issue in the coming years. If the Task Force sees
something that is broken, it should consider it. The Task Force should not become tied-up in

The Task Force should be careful in adding new substantive requirements. The Task Force
should be prepared to make a compelling case if additions to the regulatory provisions of Ch.
373, F.S., are recommended.

The Chair directed the State Issues Subcommittee meet to again with the DEP specifically on
the content question of the FWP. The Task Force seems to have agreement to collapse the
statute to reflect the proposed process, the roles of the DEP and WMDs must be delineated,
and that the statute should contain some direction for the various planning efforts as to the
content and purpose of the water related plans.

Local Government Representation

Representatives of the League of Cities and Association of Counties had been invited to
participate in the discussions at this meeting, however, were unable to attend due to travel
complications. Several members emphasized the importance of local government input on
these specific recommendations and stressed the need for feedback from elected local officials
as well as local government organizations.

Outstanding Issues for Further Discussion

1. In the appeal process recommended by the Regional Issues subcommittee, what will be
the role of dispute resolution?
2. What is considered data and what is the test for "best available"? Who can challenge
the data? What entities have the option of using alternate (self-generated data) and in
what instances will this alternative data be accepted?
3. Further discussion of the RWSPs and their role in the planning process? Should the
RWSPs be adopted by rule? RWSA are generally planning in nature, not regulatory.
4. What is the most appropriate time for the WMDs to become involved in the local
comprehensive plan amendment process, and in what role?
5. Some concern over the pre-emptory role of the SRPPs to the DWMPs in forwarding
datalissues to the local government.
6. The geographic identification of water resource areas or restoration efforts of
statewide significance in the Florida Water Plan.