Population: 15,111,244
Counties: 67
Governor Jeb Bush
Key Laws/State Agencies/

Click here for the amount of protected land in Florida, and click here to review Florida's federal transportation spending.
Source:  Pew Center on the States & Changing Direction:  Federal Transportation Spending in the 1990s. Surface Transportation Policy Project

Recent Campaign:
1000 Friends of Florida's affordable housing advocacy has centered on legislative initiatives and administrative rule making.  Their most notable legislative achievement was passage of the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act. This landmark housing legislation was passed through the efforts of a bipartisan coalition of diverse interests, and was initiated by 1000 Friends of Florida. The Sadowski Act made Florida the national leader in funding and innovative programs for local private sector production of affordable housing to date, more than 58,500 families have been assisted with affordable home ownership and/or rental. The housing programs created and funded through the Act are defined and refined through administrative rule making.

Contact Information:
1000 Friends of Florida
P.O. Box 5948
Tallahassee, FL  32314-5948
(850) 222-6277

Key Laws:
For an overview of Florida's planning and zoning statutes, see the excellent summary provided by the American Planning Association

Early on Florida passed the Florida State Comprehensive Planning Act of 1972 which the county's first effort to develop a statewide plan.  The plan was not adopted until 1985.  The law provides for, among other things, coordination among local, regional and state governments, consideration of developments of regional impacts, a dispute resolution mechanism, and so-called "con-currency," which requires that public infrastructure be in place to support new development."

The Environmental Land and Water Management Act (Chapter 380) was passed in 1972 to establish critical area and development of regional impact (DRI) regulatory programs. The DRI programs apply state oversight to a limited number of development proposals or a limited geographic area.

In 1985, Florida passed the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act (Chapter 163, Part II) to utilize and strengthen the existing role and powers of local governments to guide and control future development. 

State Agencies:
Florida Growth Management Report Released 
The final draft of the Florida Growth Management Study Commission, appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to determine the effectiveness of Florida's growth management system, released its final report of recommendations and policy proposals.  Significantly, the draft report includes, among others, proposals to make sprawl development "pay for itself" by correlating impact fees with proximity to existing infrastructure.  (Newly-appointed HUD Secretary Mel Martinez was chair of the commission before his HUD appointment.)
Florida has 11 different regional planning organizations which have varying degrees of regional control, sometimes advisory and sometimes with the power of law, the following website has links to all 11.

Florida Department of Community Affairs, the administering agency for the state growth management program, provides links to Florida's growth management statutes.  Contact:  Department of Community Affairs, 2555 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100; (850) 487-4545

Rebuild America/Rebuild Florida
Strengthening Communities Through Improved Building Energy Efficiency 
Rebuild America is a network of community partnerships committed to reducing the energy consumption of America’s older buildings. Working with Rebuild America and the United States Department of Energy, these community partnerships identify older commercial and multifamily buildings that are suitable candidates for an energy retrofit that will decrease building energy expenditures by 20 to 30 percent or more. Energy efficient buildings not only save energy but also have the additional benefits of addressing other community needs such as hazard mitigation, long-term redevelopment, economic revitalization, business development and retention, and affordable housing. By using energy more efficiently, communities can save money, improve productivity, stimulate the local economy and reduce pollution.

Rebuild Florida is a function of the Florida Energy Office located in the Florida Department of Community Affairs. Individuals or community organizations can initiate partnerships by contacting the Rebuild Florida Program.  Rebuild Florida will help to initiate a dialogue with other interested parties such as local/state government; utilities; building owners; civic leaders; school administrators; and other nonprofit civic organizations. Each community partnership sets its own unique priorities for revitalization and building improvements. Rebuild Florida can also help identify resources that are available to Florida partnerships through existing state programs such as Front Porch Florida, the Local Mitigation Strategy and Showcase Communities Projects.

A first draft of Sustainable Standards has been circulated by the Governor's Council for Sustainable Florida.  The Standards summarizes nine Focus Sessions that reveal what Floridians liked about their communities and what they feel they need to change.  Some of the things people liked most about their communities include: natural settings, quality of life and friendliness. Impediments to a sustainable Florida include lack of public input, polarization, traffic congestion, sprawl and poverty. (Source: Governor's Council for Sustainable Florida)

For more information or a partnership application contact:
Jennifer Zadwick
Bureau of State Planning 
(850) 414-9670

US Department of Energy’s Rebuild America website:

Through the Florida Department of Community Affairs is the Division of Community Planning.  Their mission is to "assist Florida's community in meeting the challenge of growth, reducing the effects of disasters, and investing in community revitalization."

1000 Friends of Florida
P.O. Box 5948
Tallahassee, Florida 32314-5948
Phone: (850) 222-6277, Fax: (850) 222-1117
Following Oregon's model, 1000 Friends of Florida was formed to ensure that the state's growth management program is enforced and that a broad constituency exists for its success.  The group has an excellent land use toolkit called "A Citizen's Guide to Smarter Growth in Florida" The guide can be found at http://www.1000fof.usf.edu/PUBS/plantomorrow/default.htm

Sierra Club: Florida Chapter
The Sierra Club's Challenge to Sprawl Campaign educates the public about the dangers of uncontrolled suburban sprawl and highway construction. 

Florida Audubon Society
State Headquarters
1331 Palmetto Avenue, Suite 110
Winter Park, FL 32789
407-539-5700 voice, 407-539-5701 fax
Florida Audubon Society is the statewide voice of conservation, promoting the protection, preservation and restoration of birds, all wildlife, and their habitat through science-based advocacy and education.

FICUS: Florida Internet Center for Understanding Sustainability
FICUS is an internet educational network and discussion forum provided by The Florida Center for Community Design and Research (FCCDR) and member organizations.  The site is designed for use by all citizens interested in sustainability.  A list of organizations associated with FICUS can be viewed on their website. 

Florida’s Eastward Ho! Initiative provides incentive-driven, community-based investments to steer development toward the southeast Florida corridor and away from the fragile Everglades ecosystem. The Florida Department of Community Affairs serves as the lead agency for the program, contracting with the South Florida Regional   Planning Council and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. 


"Rail Battle Begins Today," Orlando Sentinel. March 27, 2001.

"Accounting for Sprawl," Tampa Tribune, April 2, 2001

"Drawing the line on new development," Orlando Business Journal. March 23, 2001.

"Tri-Rail push pays off with D.C. pledge," Miami Herald. April 11, 2001.

"I-4 will give birth to megalopolis," Orlando Sentinel. April 16, 2001. 

The Joint Center for Environmental & Urban Problems and 1000 Friends of Florida release Development without Displacement Community Handbook. The Handbook identifies a set of tools that communities can use to address gentrification and displacement in urban areas of southeast Florida.  http://www.jc.fau.edu