Monday, January 19, 2015

Should Florida Scrap the Development of Regional Impact Process?

One of my goals in the new year is to get back on the horse here at my blog. Last year was a great year for personal and professional development, but the blog suffered. I've been encouraged to receive so many emails from readers asking me to continue working on it in 2015.

First up is something to watch for in this year's legislative session. Over at Context Florida, Bruce Ritchie has a good piece on whether Florida's Development of Regional Impact (DRI) should be scrapped. The genesis of the article was Bob Rhodes's article in Florida Planning asking the same question. Bob's opinion goes a long way, since he was the first administrator of the DRI program and he chaired the State of Florida Environmental and Land Management Study committee (ELMs II).

Think of the DRI process as a significant layer of state and regional regulation placed on top of Florida already robust growth management regime for big projects. Over time, the significance of the DRI program has eroded, but it causes a great deal of headache when it does come up. Management of legacy DRIs takes an enormous amount of time that might be better spent elsewhere.

The legislature reduced its importance to some degree with the Community Planning Act in 2011, and it considered reducing its importance even more just last session. Looks like it may well surface again this session.