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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

objective guidance of

objective guidance of growth provides a way of environmental protection, provision of appropriate infrastructure, and implementation of community future land use policy. As a major actor, Department of Community Affairs provides various rules of minimum criteria with which local governments should comply in their plans 15 . All of local comprehensive plans should go through the process of DCA reviews and comments, and must get approval of the plans or any amendments to the plans before they are legally effective. Local governments cannot approve any development until their plans or plan amendments are finished to be reviewed and approved by DCA. Another important aspect in local comprehensive planning process is the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR). Once every seven years, each local government must adopt an EAR to update its comprehensive plan to remedy the problems of previous growth patterns and correct the inadequacies of past growth experience 16 . One of critical components of the Growth Management Act of 1985 is “concurrency” issue. When a new development occurs, it requires the development be concurrent with appropriate public services and infrastructure, such as roads, sewer, water, solid waste collection, and etc. Thus, the law suggests that every new development be occurred with those services available. To be consistent with the “concurrency” provision, local governments spend their resources in making data analysis based upon the future demands in a community (Carriker 2006). To make local comprehensive plans instrumental, local governments should implement the plans via the adoption of appropriate land development regulations. The purpose of this is for local governments to make decisions of land developments and resource allocations more effective in this way (Rooy 2004). Thus, the local plans provide standards for resource allocations and new land developments. As state and regional level plans work as legally binding documents on local comprehensive plans, 15 Section 9 J-5 F.A.C. entitled “Minimum Criteria for Review of Local Government Comprehensive Plans and Determination of Compliance.” 16 Section 163. 3191, F.S. says “each local government shall adopt an evaluation and appraisal report (E.A.R.) once every seven years assessing the process in implementing local government’s comprehensive plan.” The report evaluate how successful a community has been in addressing major land use planning issues through implementation of its comprehensive plan. Based on this evaluation, the report suggests how the plan should be revised to better address community objectives, changing conditions and trends affecting the community, and changes in state requirements. 9

local plans are also a legal document that makes every ordinance and land use decision is consistent with local plans. Any land use decision that is not consistent with the local plans is not effective. The Department of Community Affairs supervises whether local government comprehensive plans meet the minimum criteria that the state comprehensive provides. However, the state comprehensive plan does not have any oversight mechanism that ensures local governments actually implement their plans with proper land development regulations. This lack of control is compensated by broadly allocated grants that make citizens challenge the amendments of comprehensive plans and land development regulations through administrative procedures. Moreover, citizens can use a legal system to challenge a local government decision that is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan (Carriker 2006). To ensure some degree of steadiness in the implementation of local plans, the state only allows the adoption of large-scale plan amendments twice a year. The goal of this is to keep developers or local governments from taking advantage of frequent opportunities to accommodate successive development proposals (Rooy 2004), because successive changes can make huge development projects possible without substantial review process. Amendment process of local comprehensive plan Under Florida Statue Chapter 163, the processes of adoption of comprehensive plan and the amendments of plans are basically same. There are generally two types of amendments: 1) amendments to the future land use map that change the land use category designation of a particular parcel of property or area; and 2) text amendments that change the goals, objectives or policies of a particular element of the plan (The Florida Senate 1999). In addition, every seven years a local government must adopt an evaluation and appraisal report (EAR) assessing the progress of the local government in implementing its comprehensive plans. Local governments can amend their comprehensive plans two times a year except certain cases such as an emergency, development related to DRI (Development of 10

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