New Local Planning Requirements:
In 2008, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 697, establishing new local planning requirements related to energy efficient land use patterns, transportation strategies to address greenhouse gas reductions, energy efficient housing, and energy conservation. Several of the new requirements affect local comprehensive plans. These new requirements became effective July 1, 2008, and Rule 9J-5 is currently being revised to address the requirements accordingly.
How Pinellas County is Implementing the New Requirements:
The County has already addressed certain energy and sustainability initiatives in its Comprehensive Plan, and is also working on additional ideas in conjunction with the Bushnell Center for Urban Sustainability (a partnership with the University of Florida). The information at the links below might give you some ideas for objectives and policies, and we will also be continuing to share information that might be useful or that might provide opportunities for partnerships in the future. If you have questions on the information linked to below, please contact the Planning Department for additional information at 727-464-8200.
Below is a list of links that may be useful for local governments to receive more information on topics useful to addressing the new local planning requirements.
What's the Best Approach?
Implementing the new local planning requirements is surely a case where one size does not fit all, and for that reason, and to provide a place to start, the links below contain some ideas that might work for small governments, as we think about how best to approach the new requirements and to plan for the future. You will notice in many cases the best opportunities might come from working together towards the goals of greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and planning long term for the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
There are a number of state and national organizations that are working with local governments to make their communities more energy efficient, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or lobby the federal government for funding to accomplish such goals. There are a variety of ways that local governments can take action and support these initiatives. By getting involved, local governments will be able to demonstrate that there is support for energy conservation and climate change initiatives at the local level.