Faced with water quality challenges and pressure to develop remaining natural habitats, planners and natural resource managers must learn how to work together to promote development practices that protect water quality, habitats, and quality of life for coastal communities.
The regulatory framework supporting local government land use decisions has changed dramatically since the first Florida National Estuary Programs (NEPs) were founded in the early 1990s. NEPs in Florida are special districts of the state that largely rely on the efforts of local government partners to achieve their goals. In 2011, the Florida Legislature passed the Community Planning Act which called for changes to the comprehensive plan review process, limiting state and regional oversight to a set of narrowly prescribed topics. The Act also eliminated many of the rules promulgated to establish minimum compliance criteria for local comprehensive plans, further placing the burden of these planning decisions and required technical expertise to local government staff.
In an effort to improve the implementation of the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) a partnership with TBEP, TBRPC and several local government stakeholders sought to develop a CCMP- Comprehensive Plan Crosswalk Tool and a Comprehensive Plan Model Language Guidelines that aligns with the priority actions of the CCMP.