North Central Florida RPC Appoints County Commissioners to Withlacoochee River Task Force
The North Central Florida RPC recently established the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force comprised of county commissioners from each of the 12 counties in the north central Florida region. The Council formed the Task Force to address the issue of raw sewage spills by the City of Valdosta, Georgia into the Withlacoochee River and Mud Creek which flow into the Suwannee River and travels through the north central Florida region to the Gulf of Mexico. A strategic action plan to address the raw sewage spills and restore the reputation of the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River as a tourist destination will be developed by the Task Force.
The Task Force held its first meeting on December 12, 2018 in Madison, Florida. Also, in attendance at the meeting were representatives of the Suwannee River Water Management District; Florida Department of Health; Madison County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism; Our Santa Fe River; Suwannee and St. Johns Sierra Club; Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little and Suwannee River (WWALS) Watershed Coalition; and citizens. The Task Force received a presentation from Council staff concerning the issue and identified public health, environmental, economic development and tourism as negative impacts of the spills and discussed several strategies to address the issue.
FRCA Provides Holiday Cheers
St. Augustine City Commissioner and FRCA President Roxanne Horvath worked over the holiday season to secure donations and created “Bears and Blankets” for children impacted by Hurricane Michael. These delightful bundles of warmth and love were distributed to several rural areas within the Apalachee and West Florida Regional Planning Council regions.
Much of the panhandle community is still reeling from the destruction caused by the catastrophic surge and damaging winds of the hurricane. It will be a long road to recovery for the majority of the region. Please consider donating to the recovery effort by visiting www.rebuild850.org
Central Florida RPC Facilitates Update of Land Development Regulations
The City of Davenport partnered with the Central Florida RPC to update the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) for the City, which will strengthen the City’s ability to remove barriers to viable growth. As part of the LDR Update, the RPC is addressing inconsistencies and development and planning trends, while utilizing innovative zoning and land use practices. The creation of information guides, checklists, and updated applications will facilitate a better understanding of the development approval process.
Located in northeast Polk County, Davenport is a municipality of approximately 3.5 square miles. Since 2008, the population has more than doubled to 5,602 full-time residents, and the Davenport area continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in Central Florida. The updated LDRs will ensure the feasibility of proposed new standards through a collaborative process with staff and the community. In 2018, seven public workshops were held to gather input and inform the public and elected officials about the LDR Update. Public hearings and adoption of the LDR Update are anticipated in early 2019.
Tampa Bay RPC Hosts Floodplain Course
On December 4th and 5th, the Tampa Bay RPC hosted the Florida Floodplain Managers Association to conduct a Certified Floodplain Manager Review Course and exam. The one-day course covered the fundamentals of floodplain management. The course was intended to supplement a solid base of experience in the field of floodplain management; however, the course can also be beneficial to individuals new to floodplain management. The full class and exam were attended by local government officials and private sector employees from across the state of Florida with expertise in floodplain management.