The Central Florida region was significantly impacted by three hurricanes in 2004 including Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne and Frances. Thousands of Central Florida residents and businesses were displaced due to the hurricanes, and the situation was exacerbated by existing zoning regulations in which recreational vehicles, manufactured and mobile homes, and manufactured buildings were not permitted uses in several zoning districts for even temporary accommodations during recovery periods.
Through a grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the Central Florida Regional Planning Council (CFRPC) worked with the five counties of DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee and Polk and the 25 municipalities within these counties to analyze the existing land development regulations (LDRs) and draft new regulations to address the needs of citizens, businesses, and local governments after a disaster.
The CFRPC is currently coordinating with the counties and municipalities throughout the region to amend their respective regulations allowing for temporary accommodations. These efforts will speed the rebuilding efforts, and help to sustain the economic viability of a community after a disaster.