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FLORIDA PLANNING A Publication of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association

Winter 2019

The Economic Ripple Effects of

FLORIDA RED TIDE By Randy Deshazo and Sarah Vitale, AICP-C

Harmful algal bloom events like the Florida Red Tide have impacted coastal areas in Florida since 1844, when observers noted a bloom event off the coast near Panama City.

The Red Tide organism, Karenia brevis, produces neurotoxins that create massive fish kills, as well as increases in mortalities in marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, and affecting crustaceans and other benthic organisms. Occurring offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Red Tide blooms encroach into the state’s nearshore waters, affecting coastal communities. While Florida Red Tide is naturally occurring, there is evidence that discharges from urban type development (such as stormwater runoff, leaking sewerage systems and septic tanks from the Mississippi River and northern Gulf of Mexico watersheds) aggravate Red Tide events. Offshore activities such as oil platforms and fishing waste products and even dust blown across the Atlantic from the Sahara Desert also contribute to Red Tide’s impact. Beginning in November 2017, the latest Florida Red Tide bloom has since impacted more than 100 miles of Florida’s coastline. continued on page 4




Protecting the Everglades & Expanding Ports


No Reef, No Treasure


Hurricane Michael & Timber Loss

13 15 17

Urban Forests

SLR & Salinization

Panhandle Resources Post Michael

20 22

Chapter Wins National Awards

Minority Scholarships Awarded


Conference Call for Presentations


Student Member Wins Dissertation Award

President’s Message - p. 3 In Memoriam - p. 21 Planner Q&A p. 26 Planners on the Move p. 27 APA Working for You - p. 28 Planning & the Courts - p. 29 Consultants Directory - p. 31 Events - back page

The Florida Chapter of APA provides statewide leadership in the development of sustainable communities by advocating excellence in planning, providing professional development for its members, and working to protect and enhance the natural and built environments.




APA Florida Executive Committee President Laura Everitt, AICP, Esq., LEED GA


Immediate Past President

Andre Anderson, AICP

407-957-8428 fx


Wiatt Bowers, AICP


Heart of Florida Section

Marisa Barmby, AICP



Lara Bouck, AICP, PE


San Felasco Section

Terry Clark, AICP, PMP


First Coast Section

Ennis Davis, AICP


Orlando Metro Section

Joshua DeVries, AICP


Sun Coast Section

Melissa Dickens, AICP


Atlantic Coast Section

Mike Disher, AICP



Kathyrn Gademer, AICP, CFM


Promised Lands Section

Jason Green, AICP


University Liaison

Christopher Hawkins


VP Communications

Michelle Heinrich, AICP


YPG Representative

Brandon Henry


VP Section Affairs

Doug Kelly, AICP, CSI


Capital Area Section

Devan Leavins


VP-Professional Development

Allison Megrath, AICP


Emerald Coast Section

Catherine McCloy, AICP


Broward Section

Robert Modys


Gold Coast Section

Edward Ng, AICP, MPP, MPI


Treasure Coast Section

Alessandria Palmer



VP Certification Maintenance

Jill Quigley, AICP


VP Member Services

Yexsy Schomberg


VP Conference Services

Thuy Turner, AICP, LEED AP BD+C


Student Representative

Tyler Woolsey

954-357-6623 taf

Executive Director

Julia “Alex“ Magee


Ad. Assistant/Bookkeeper

Amanda Pickles


Communications Coordinator Patti Shea


Legislative Representative

Lester Abberger


Webmaster (Consultant)

Summer Taylor

888-949-5487 x706

All Other Inquiries, contact APA Florida at 1-850-201-3272 or e-mail 2 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning


I am excited to introduce the first Florida Planning e-magazine issue of 2019, which focuses on Natural Resources. When I think

about APA Florida, I can’t help but think that our most precious natural resource is our volunteer base. Without our members volunteering their time, APA Florida could not put on the great programming that we do and push our strategic initiatives forward.

In fact, APA Florida was recently awarded the 2019 CPC Karen B. Smith Chapter Award for Outstanding Outreach to the

Community for our response to Hurricane Irma. Additionally, former Chapter Treasurer, Tony LaColla has been selected as the CPC Leadership Award Chapter Volunteer Service Recognition for his innovative K-12 Teaching Guides. Read more about both awards.

When I think about APA Florida, I can’t help but think that our most precious natural resource is our volunteer base.

For those of you who made a new year’s resolution to get more involved, I invite you to heed the words of one of my favorite

people: Miss Betty Wood, who I met through the Junior League of Tampa. Her advice to members: “Don’t be a clapper.” As she explains, don’t be the person sitting in the back of the room and clapping for the leaders who got things done; be the person who got out there and volunteered to get things done.

We would love to have you get involved with APA Florida. Our sections will shortly be gearing up to elect new officers so reach

out to your Section Chair (see page 2 for contact information) and let them know that you are interested in running for office. There are a multitude of opportunities from treasurer to secretary to professional development officers. And for our younger members, be sure to connect with your Young Planners Group Ambassador to learn about our activities specifically geared to newer professionals.

In this issue, we’re highlighting… • Economic impacts of the East Coast’s recent bout with red tide; • South Florida’s issues with salt water intrusion into the aquifer; • Navigating port planning while protecting wetlands; • What’s happening to natural resources in the panhandle post Hurricane Michael; • A list of our newest AICP and AICP Candidate members – Congrats!

As always, thank you to our volunteers who are making a difference.

Thanks to Wiatt Bowers for leading a very successful Public Policy Workshop and to Devan Leavins and the Capital Area Section for hosting a cool mobile tour of the Tallahassee-Leon County and State Emergency Operations Centers. To our Legislative Policy Committee, thank you for volunteering your time to update our legislative policies. Thanks for your continued membership,

Laura Everitt, AICP, Esq., LEED GA APA Florida President

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 3


continued from cover page

Table 1. Economic Summary

12 Directly Impacted Counties

Rest of Florida

All of Florida

Total Employment




Gross County Product (Millions)




Personal Income (Millions)




Source: TBRPC, 2018

Florida’s tourism-related businesses are particularly affected by Red Tide blooms, as dead marine animals continue to wash ashore, and public health advisories are posted for beach activities and shellfish consumption. The damage to the food chain and the respiratory pollution caused by the smell of large amounts of decomposing marine life discourages tourism and is harmful to the fishing industry. Shellfish borne illness, respiratory problems, and the decline in hotel stays and holiday rentals have significant cumulative direct and indirect impacts on the Florida economy. BUSINESS DAMAGE ASSESSMENT SURVEY Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) used data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Business Damage Assessment Survey to estimate economic damages related to Florida Red Tide, including business expenses, sales revenue, and employment impacts. Since the Business Damage Assessment survey responses are self-selected, voluntary and are unverified by state agencies, TBRPC assumes that survey results can only provide a broad picture of Red Tide impacts. During the survey period, from August to December 2018, 246 survey responses were received from the following counties: Bay, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota. According to the survey results, the total estimated costs of physical and economic damages self-reported within the 12 counties is approximately $130.6 million.

Using survey respondent estimates of lost business sales compared to an equivalent period in the preceding year, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) conducted an analysis of the economic impacts of the latest Florida Red Tide bloom, using a highly respected economic impact model. TBRPC classified responding businesses by industry sector and then modeled the loss of firm sales against a baseline of normal economic activity. FINDINGS Not surprisingly, the industries most impacted by this year’s Florida Red Tide are rentals, such as vacation homes and charter boats, hotels and restaurants. Table 1 summarizes the economic model’s impacts of the twelve directly affected counties in terms of loss in employment, personal income, and Gross County Product, a county sized version of Gross National Product, across all industry sectors. Economic model results are consistent with survey respondents reports of 626 temporary and permanent lay-offs from Red Tide impacts. While this does not resolve the question of whether all impacted firms responded to the survey, the economic analysis does help capture the overall impacts of losses from participating firms. Even though there is a net job, personal income and Gross State Product loss from Florida Red Tide, the model suggests that impacts vary across the state. For non-coastal counties with no direct reported impacts from Red Tide there are modest gains in jobs and income. That is because some purchases in an impacted coastal community may be substituted or partly offset by spending in continued on page 5

4 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning


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another and unaffected community. When visitors avoid spending money in areas impacted by Red Tide they spend their money elsewhere, generating economic activity in those other places. Peaking in October 2018, this episode of Red Tide has receded after thirteen months of significant damage to marine life and coastal businesses. In the meantime, local governments have cleared the beaches of tons of debris. While scientists do not anticipate a return of Red Tide impacts of this magnitude in the near future it is highly likely to impact Florida communities again in the coming years.

Randy Deshazo is the Director of Research for the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. He can be reached at Sarah Vitale, AICP-C, is a Senior Planner with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. She can be reached at

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 5



Port Everglades is now in the process of constructing much-needed berths for cargo ships after working with environmental organizations to develop a thriving wetland habitat that supports wildlife and ecological quality in the center of an urban and industrial seaport. Port Everglades, a self-supporting cargo, petroleum and cruise port in Broward County, has invested $15.8 million to complete a 16.5-acre Upland Mangrove Enhancement mitigation project to replace 8.7 acres of an existing plant habitat adjacent to port berths. This can be expanded to begin its Southport Turning Notch Expansion project, which will add new berths to handle more cargo ships and, to install crane rail infrastructure for new Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes. “This project is proof that Port Everglades can develop and expand its maritime facilities to meet current and future market demands while enhancing and protecting the critical environmental habitat within the port,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steven Cernak. This project was identified as part of the Port’s Master/Vision Plan which

6 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning

included input from various stakeholders. The Port staff worked closely with port users, the environmental community, especially the South Florida Audubon Society, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to develop the new mangrove habitat. The Southport Turning Notch Extension project, will lengthen the Port’s 900-foot ship turn-around to 2,400 feet is projected to create 2,227 construction jobs in the near term and provide a $10.7 billion annual increase in economic activity to Port Everglades by 2032 when it is expected to be fully utilized at its maximum capacity. continued on page 7


continued from page 6

In August 2017, Broward transferred ownership of approximately 60 acres of the Port’s wetlands habitat, including the successful 16.5-acre Wetland Enhancement project, to the State of Florida for its permanent protection as a conservation area. In addition, the State developed a memorandum of understanding with the South Florida Audubon Society to manage the conservation area. This project demonstrated a commitment to preserving the marine environment while applying innovative environmental enhancement initiatives. Measurable successes were achieved by: • Enhanced existing water flows through the removal of an existing earthen plug • Restoration of a remnant altered tidal channel • Removal of silt build up • Shoreline stabilization to restore historic flushing patterns • Opening of a dead-end tidal channel Consistently ranked among the top three busiest cruise ports in the world, Port Everglades is one of the nation’s leading container ports and South Florida’s main seaport for receiving petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuel and alternative fuels. The total value of economic activity related to Port Everglades is more than $30 billion. For more information on Port Everglades, visit or e-mail Natacha J. Yacinthe, AICP, Ph.D., PPM, is the Manager of Seaport Planning for the Broward County Port Everglades. She can be reached at

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 7

Florida Trend

Real Estate Stay ahead and informed on Florida’s most important breaking real estate news and analysis from around the state. CONSTRUCTION / NEW BUILDINGS COMMERCIAL / RESIDENTIAL MARKET UPDATES LEASING / ACQUISITIONS DEVELOPERS IN THE NEWS


8 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning


Weekly news alert focused on the real estate industry

The Florida Reef Tract: No Reef, No Treasure -

Saving Florida’s Crown Jewel By Dr. Rob Brumbaugh, Joanna Walczak, Dana Wusinich-Mendez, Beam Furr

Coral reefs are truly natural treasures. They are one of the most diverse and complex marine ecosystems on Earth – the quintessential rain forests of the sea. The Florida Reef Tract (FRT) stretches for more than 300 miles along Florida’s southeast coast from Martin County to the Dry Tortugas. As the only reef in the continental U.S. it is the Crown Jewel of Florida’s coastal treasures, and home to countless reef building corals, gorgonians, sponges, fish, algae, and invertebrates. As marvelous as they are from a nature standpoint, they are absolutely essential from an economic standpoint as well. Worldwide and here in Florida, coral reefs provide essential ecosystem services. New models from The Nature Conservancy’s Mapping Ocean Wealth initiative are now able to describe in spatial terms many of these economically important ecosystem services: • Coastal Resilience - Healthy, resilient coral reefs safeguard against extreme weather, reducing wave energy that causes shoreline erosion and coastal flooding. This protects hundreds of millions of dollars in built infrastructure. continued on page 10

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• Fisheries Habitat – Corals build the reef structure, and structure is essential for fish to breed and grow. Ultimately, reefs help ensure food security via the $1+ Billion dollar commercial and recreational fishing industries. • Tourism – Coral reefs are the main economic driver in coastal coral reef communities like the Florida Keys. In fact, studies show that the economy from Martin to Monroe County is significantly linked to our coral reefs – annual providing over 71k jobs and $6 billion in sales and income. • Biomedical Research – Drugs developed from reef organisms are already on the market to combat cancer, pain, and inflammation. • Lifestyle – Coastal living is southeast FL’s way of life – making our reefs priceless. Our reefs are extremely valuable because they are adjacent to one of the most densely populated and highly urbanized coastal communities in the U.S. – more than 6 million residents and 38 million visitors annually. This represents both the imperative and the challenge of protecting reefs as part of our ‘coastal infrastructure’. Corals only thrive within a relatively narrow range of water clarity, salinity and temperature conditions. Their health also depends on the presence of herbivores (fish and urchins) and apex predators (sharks, groupers and other big fish) which collectively keep the reef free of excess algae and in balance with local nutrients. Unfortunately, these conditions are being compromised on reefs around the globe, and Florida is no exception. Globally, a significant increase in the frequency and severity of extreme thermal events (both hot and cold water) has led to mass die offs of corals around the world. Additionally, as our coastal and ocean waters become acidified, corals won’t be able to grow their calcium carbonate skeletons and the reef framework itself will start eroding. As these global events are increasing in frequency and severity, it challenges us to more effectively reduce or eliminate the things we can control – the local stressors! Reducing land-based sources of pollution, incompatible fishing practices and fishing pressure, 10 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning

and eliminating impacts from vessel groundings, dragged anchors and marine debris have long been advocated by the Florida Reef Resilience Program, with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program. These are, in fact, the focus of a new Respect Our Reef public outreach campaign aimed at divers and anglers. Unfortunately, with these stressors combined, our reefs reached a breaking point in 2014. Beginning in Fall 2014, an outbreak of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) started offshore of Miami-Dade County. As of 2018, over half of the 330-mile Florida Reef Tract has been affected – approximately 90,000 acres from Martin County to the Lower Florida Keys. SCTLD is unique in that it has continued for over 4 years and is impacting over half of the reef building coral species. Up to 66-90% of the entire population in certain species are infected; observations show that once a coral is infected, the disease kills the entire colony within weeks to months. In response, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and NOAA has led the coordination of numerous partners from federal, state, and local governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and the South Florida community in an open and collaborative multi-faceted disease investigation and response effort. DEP has been allocated $3 million since 2017 to fund priority research associated with offshore water quality conditions and response to the ongoing coral disease outbreak. These funds have been used for priority response actions such as: • Strategically sampling, analyzing, and experimenting to better understand the disease dynamics and attempt to identify a pathogen (or pathogens); • Investigating whether changes in environmental conditions may have caused or contributed to the outbreak; • Exploring and deploying in-water management interventions to try slow or stop the continued spread of coral disease; continued on page 11


continued from page 10

• Rescuing susceptible corals that haven’t been infected to propagate them for future restoration; and • Locating survivors of susceptible species and understanding why they survived. Still, the immediate intervention and rescue actions are merely triage; those efforts alone won’t ensure long-term survival of our corals if we don’t address why they died in the first place. We urgently need to reduce local stressors and reestablish the correct environmental conditions offshore so that our reefs can be healthy again. Priority actions include, but are not limited to: • Reducing nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) pollution to coastal waters (e.g., upgrading urban wastewater and stormwater infrastructure). • Reducing algae by managing for adequate populations of herbivores, predators, and other reef-dependent species. • Minimizing turbidity, sedimentation, and direct physical injury associated with coastal construction. • Establishing a reoccurring funding mechanism for coral reef emergencies.

While the condition is urgent and timing is of the essence, it isn’t too late to save this incredibly important ecosystem. Reefs are resilient if given the chance and the enabling conditions for their growth and survival. The key is reducing the local stressors that we control through careful planning and appropriate investment that helps to re-creating the enabling conditions that support their reproduction, growth and survival. Losing reefs unleashes an unwanted and costly cascade of impacts, such as the exacerbated loss of our coastlines and beaches, failure of our fisheries, forfeiture of undiscovered human health benefits from our “backyard medicine cabinets”, and perhaps most concerning, a tourism asset worth billions of dollars annually to our state’s economy. Florida’s coral reefs are worth protecting – and we need you to help us save Florida’s Crown Jewel. This article summarizes a panel discussion that Dr. Rob Brumbaugh

participated in at the APA Florida Annual Conference, alongside panelists Joanna Walczak, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coastal Program, Dana Wusinich-Mendez, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Conservation Program, and Beam Furr, Mayor and Elected Commissioner for Broward County District 6.

Congratulations to

Laura Everitt, Esq., AICP, LEED GA APA Florida’s Incoming President

Orlando | Tampa | Sarasota

Laura Everitt, Esq., AICP, LEED GA VHB Transit & Rail Planning Manager, Gulf Coast Engineers | Scientists | Planners | Designers

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 11

Salvaging fallen timber in these conditions is extremely challenging. Fallen trees blocked road access throughout rural areas, making transportation of timber and equipment a challenge. Several mills that could have been used to process the salvaged timber sustained heavy damage and were operating at a portion of their capacity. Timber losses will have unexpected consequences across the rural economies of the impacted region. Several farmers (growing crops other than timber) use their timber stands as collateral for loans used to operate their farms, and many people in the area use their timber stands as a safety net or a savings/ retirement plan. Towns and cities in the region have also lost a significant amount of their urban forest canopy due to wind damage or tree death resulting from flooding. Urban trees have positive impacts on property prices and people’s health. Thus, the loss of urban trees will have consequences that go well beyond the value of lost timber. Total losses to the timber stock are estimated at $1,289,023,465.

One resource ripe in Northwest Florida is timber and forestland. When Hurricane Michael swept through the Big Bend area on Oct. 10, it left a path of destruction for these rich resources. Here’s an excerpt from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report that reviews the estimated economic losses caused by the storm: Nearly 47 percent of Florida’s land, or approximately 16.96 million acres, is forestland cover. Of the forestland cover in Florida, 49 percent is pine, 45 percent is hardwood or mixed hardwood-pine, and 6 percent is cypress. These productive forests support a sizable forest products processing and manufacturing sector in the state, a large proportion of which is clustered in Northwest Florida. Hurricane Michael’s winds inflicted catastrophic damage on North Florida’s forest industry. Nearly 347,000 acres of productive forest were completely destroyed by the category 3 and 4 winds, with losses ranging between 90 percent and 100 percent. An additional 1 million acres of forestland experienced severe damage due to high wind speeds, with losses around 75 percent. Another 1.4 million acres experienced tropical storm force winds, with estimated losses of 15 percent.

The images are courtesy of the St. Joe Company.

12 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning

Planning for a Healthy, Long-Lived Urban Forest By: Mindy Mohrman

Trees are a natural resource that should be included as a part of your community’s infrastructure.

Many wouldn’t initially

consider trees to be part of our community infrastructure, but trees are a critical component of the community due to the many environmental, economic, cultural, and public health benefits that trees provide. In fact, with pro-active planning and maintenance programs, trees are the only type of infrastructure that increases in value over time. Trees provide these benefits to the community far in excess of the time and money invested in them for planting, pruning, protection, and removal. In Tallahassee, we have just completed the development of an Urban Forest Master Plan to help guide proactive forestry efforts through the next 20 years. The first step in proactive urban forest planning is to understand your current urban forest resource. What types of trees does it contain? How are they distributed? What is the general size, age, and condition of our trees? Knowing these factors can help us determine the improvements that are needed to build a healthy, vibrant urban forest. There are many ways to determine this information. A public tree inventory collects information about individual trees in public spaces including rights of ways and parks. An Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Analysis utilizes satellite imagery to measure tree canopy- the percent of land cover in your

community that is shaded by trees. There are many options available to complete these studies, but a good start is to utilize the free i-Tree software available online at www. Tree canopy should be distributed equitably, that is, all residents should have access to the benefits that trees provide in their neighborhoods. After completing a UTC analysis, many cities find that tree canopy inequities correlate with socioeconomic inequities. Lack of species diversity is another common health issue for urban forests. In many older neighborhoods, trees that are planted along public streets are the result of past code regulations that did not consider tree diversity in planting requirements. An over-population of just a few limited tree species creates an urban forest that is vulnerable to pests and diseases. Knowing these details about your own tree canopy can empower a city to focus on the specific issues facing their community. Increasing diversity, equalizing distribution, maximizing investments in trees, and ensuring that ongoing planting programs are in place are all very common results after performing these studies. In Tallahassee, we discovered that while tree canopy density was very high, a high proportion of our urban forest continued on page 14

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was made up of fast growing and short-lived tree species such as Water Oak, Laurel Oak, and Cherry Laurel. Therefore, Tallahassee’s goal for the next twenty years is to take measures to increase the population of higher quality long lived tree species in order to build a more resilient and sustainable urban tree canopy. We will do this in multiple ways: by prioritizing desirable species in our own planting programs, planning for adequate space in urban areas to support large, long-lived shade tree species, and ensuring our development code incentivizes the planting and preservation of the right kinds of tree species. When planting trees, both in their own projects and through development requirements, cities should also consider maximizing the environmental and social benefits of trees in order to get the highest return on the investment made in planting. Trees planted near streets and other impervious surfaces provide multiple benefits. They provide shade for users and help to reduce the urban heat island effect. Street trees provide a buffer between pedestrians and traffic, offering safety and comfort while slowing traffic. Trees near impervious surfaces also help to reduce stormwater runoff, increasing water quality by filtering pollutants draining off these surfaces. The decisions we make about our community trees will build the urban forest that future generations live under. Considering the value that trees add to a community, taking the time to understand this resource is a necessary step in proactive planning for a long-lived, resilient urban forest. Mindy Mohrman is an Urban Forester for the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department. She can be reached at

THANK YOU Thank you to the members of the APA Florida Editorial Committee for their help in producing this issue of Florida Planning: Lara Bouck Laura Everitt Emily Hanna Melissa Hege Michelle Heinrich Alex Magee Marilyn Mammano Kim Ogren Patti Shea

14 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning

CLEAR AS MUD: Sea Level Rise and Salinization Makes for Murky Waters for Planners By Kim Ogren

Florida’s hydrologic system is based on freshwater pressure pushing against the sea. The pressure at and beneath the surface is what maintains our watershed functions and keeps the saltwater at bay. Saltwater intrusion (SWI) happens when the forces are out of balance. Any change including reduction in the freshwater flow or increase in permeability increases the possibility for intrusion to occur. Saltwater intrusion is not a new phenomenon. For as long as Earth has existed, ecological systems have fluctuated. However, droughts, our ever-increasing draws on freshwater for human and agricultural use, ever more pronounced sea level rise (SLR), high tides, and floods combine in

unpredictable ways and are increase the occurrence of and opportunity for saltwater to get into more freshwater. Sea level rise events constitute new pressures on freshwater. It is more obvious to more people than our withdrawal practices are. With increased observation and understanding of SLR in relation to our hydrogeology, we are understanding these new relationships with our drinking water supplies. And that is why we are reading more about risk associated with saltwater intrusion. The spaces beneath our feet include caves in springsheds, porous limestone, aquifers, riverbeds, canals, cracks, and faulty infrastructure, now seemingly welcome seawater to all corners of our state like new highways and low taxes welcome people. Though coastal areas are generally more at immediate risk, inland communities can’t ignore the issue. One is never more than 60 miles to Florida’s coast, and everything in between is permeable and interconnected rendering all of Florida coastal. None of Florida’s water management districts- once renowned for their watershed-based planning approach- avoids the coast. Both freshwater and seawater pressure are affected by public policy. Characteristically, as the real and perceived changes in an continued on page 16

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otherwise stabilized system begin to change too much, too quickly, another kind of pressure is added to the situation: concerned leaders want to know the degree of the risk and the best response. The answers evolve not just from the underlying ecological system but the socio-political context, which is its own fluctuating situation these days as well. Consequently, the way saltwater intrusion is characterized is highly contextual based on location, point of view, and motivations. Here are a few examples: Scott Prinos is a hydrologist with the USGS and an expert in Southeast Florida. He points out that “residual saltwater has not been completely removed by the flow of freshwater aquifers since interglacial periods.” Those aquifer waters might become undrinkable because “even a relatively small fraction of seawater can render the water non-potable.” Geologist and Program Director for Apalachee Audubon, Tom Kincaid, reported on the salinity at Punch Bowl Sink and Wakulla Springs, where “seawater, at times, backflows up under the land through those underwater caves in our aquifer, 14 miles inland.” A dam constructed in 1964 created Bay County’s water storage reservoir at Deer Point Lake. Drawdowns are performed to control nuisance vegetation on surrounding private properties, which if not done correctly, risk allowing salt water in. In addition, more freshwater was dumped in the reservoir during Hurricane Michael than was pushed in from the bay from storm surge. Doug Yoder of Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, manages the water supply at the country’s 10th largest water utility and explained “we moved our wellfields back away from the coast years ago, so we are okay until 2040.” He added that even if it rains enough to replenish the aquifer, the County can’t store it in the areas where we used to; and that the Floridan Aquifer (beneath the Biscayne Aquifer in SE Florida) has always been “a little salty.” Broward’s saltwater intrusion line is further inland that MiamiDade’s and its wellfields are closer to the coast. Since their water distribution system is fragmented among 30 different utilities, moving wellfields means moving into another jurisdiction. With great variability in intrusion and capacities to monitor and respond, information also varies across the state. SWI can be described in absolute terms. However, risk is relative to the location of drinking water sources and human uses. It is partly why finding saltwater 14 miles inland in Wakulla County can be characterized as troubling, but would be completely catastrophic in Miami. Models, figures, plans, reports, and presentations are seeping in, potentially contaminating our minds and muddying the waters even more. Scarcity of and risks to our drinking water makes planners more essential than ever. Planning leadership is needed today to help experts frame the local context; to consider the best way to recharge aquifers; to anticipate infrastructure retreat; and to reframe water planning entirely from supply side to demand side. 16 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning

No matter your job description, though, planners are uniquely positioned to ask informed questions of the experts, connect the pieces, and supply the public and elected officials with understandable frameworks to help them navigate the nexus between science and policy. Elements of such a framework are emerging from South Florida, along with a realization that water insecurity exists all over our state. Underground. For additional information or suggestions, please feel free to contact

Kim Ogren of Ogren Planning & Communications | Watershed Events at

CHECK IT OUT … About a year ago, the Sun Coast Section began hosting a book club focused on various issues related to planning: discrimination in housing, water scarcity, economic development, etc. We asked them to tell us about a book they read that runs with the theme of this issue of Florida Planning.

BOOK REVIEW: THE BIG THIRST Water problems and solutions are not only technical in nature, but are also heavily determined and influenced by beliefs and attitudes about water. The APA Florida Sun Coast Chapter explored this topic in more detail through its new book club with Charles Fishman’s The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. Fishman writes on how water is viewed and used in various communities spanning countries such as India, Australia, and the United States, as well as various sectors that include microchip manufacturing and the tourism industry of Las Vegas. Water demand exceeding water supply is a common challenge for many communities given their current water practices and will only get worse with the impacts of climate change, yet Fishman offers insights and way forward. One key solution lies in pricing of water to more accurately reflect the costs of providing and using it. Communities and industries can also start using different types of water more tailored for specific uses, such as using reclaimed water instead of drinking water for landscaping. Realizing these solutions will require a willingness to re-examine perspectives and shift practices. Learn more by checking out The Big Thirst! -- Ali Ankudowich


Hazards are Natural – Disasters are Manmade Time Marches on for the Panhandle’s Natural Resources after Hurricane Michael By: Kim Ogren The area of Florida’s Panhandle most impacted by Hurricane

Michael is considered a biodiversity hotspot- a biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is under threat from humans. Natural systems are capable of adaption. Man and nature value natural resources differently, so descriptions about the hurricane’s impact slant either towards anthropocentric or biocentric. It comes as no surprise to the biocentric-minded that a disturbance of Michael’s scope and intensity would change things. And yet it is surprising even to the experts. The measurements of the storm itself are still being investigated. Damage and debris make natural areas inaccessible or dangerous. For now, anecdotal field observations along the shores, in the debris-ladened muck, or in the mangled woods, are giving planners the best sense of the impacts on a variety of natural systems. Two areas with most apparent impacts are the loss of tree cover and shifting coastline. Tree loss in the region happened on a massive scale. Daniel Leonard with UF IFAS, reports that vegetation loss is solely responsible for the extreme impact on temperatures revealed this thermal satellite image of Hurricane Michael’s path that “simultaneously shows the devastation of a major hurricane and the role trees play in the environment.” Florida Caverns State Park included an old growth hammock of mixed floodplain forest. By Tom Hoctor’s assessment, 90 percent of it is gone. Hoctor, who teaches landscape ecology to planning

students at UF, adds, “It will recover from the loss. It has been changing – sometimes by disturbance – for millennia.” Zoom in a little further and Panama City Beach-based ecologist, Kelly Mandello, will remind us that, the changes are not “monolithic.” “The storm took some and gave some, but not always the things we need in the place we need them,” Mandello said. The tree loss impacted urbanized areas including Panama City and residents are still chainsawing 200-year-old oaks, and precious red cedars from yards today. “Not in our lifetime will we see woods like we had” is a common refrain. Yet, plants are also blooming now- out of season. Likewise, it’s important to consider the sand on the beaches didn’t necessarily just go away. “I would say it definitely mobilized,” FSU coastal professor Jeff Chanton explained. He and his wife, author and naturalist, Susan Cerulean, have been monitoring St. Vincent Island’s Gulf-ward march for years. As of today, he still hasn’t been able to find the stakes that he leaves in the sand to measure the shoreline, but in one spot 100 feet of dunes are gone. In another new, 20-foot dunes have amassed. Images of beach erosion nearest the eastern side of the storm, closest to the eye, with the strongest onshore winds have been widely disseminated. They include the wholesale washover at Mexico Beach, even on the north side of U.S. Highway 98, where the surge is reported to have been 19 feet, and with the opening that occurred at Cape San Blas on the St. Joe Peninsula, rendering continued on page 18

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 17


continued from page 17

the state park inaccessible by car. The movement of that shoreline has been tracked for years and yet, when San Blas opened, Mandello observed, “those tidal patterns changed immediately and channeled or deposited sand in new ways that are not completely understood yet.” Mandello helps us think about some of the planning challenges. “When we can’t allow the system to be flexible, in a moving state, we’ve got problems. The CCCL [Coastal Construction Control Line] is a fixed line. The beach is not.” Tom Hoctor, adds that the dunes are meant to move around. The problem is when they run into infrastructure. “Inland migration of habitat is normal and periodic but what happens when the salt marshes have nowhere to go?” The inland dips within the relic dunes are especially sensitive low-lying areas with fragile ground cover. Now they are smelly, mucky, debris-sheds calling into question how to remove the rubbish without doing more harm. Those dips are often wetland pockets whose basic hydrological function may be somewhat intact, but have been rendered useless at attenuating floodwaters. Even less obvious is Michael’s impact on water quality. An episode of red tide settled in the area around Panama City just prior to the storm and many expected it would be dissipated. However, the condition persisted weeks afterwards, suggesting that stormwater and wastewater facilities were no protection from nutrient runoff. St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association is an NGO that oversees one of the longest running, most extensive water quality monitoring programs found anywhere in the state. Long time board member and biology professor at Gulf Coast State College, Linda Fitzhugh, confirmed that it will take a while longer to understand the impacts on water quality. Seagrass health is our best indicator of overall quality in our bays. So, Fitzhugh wonders, “We just had our wettest December ever, and we lost our trees to soak up stormwater. So there is reason to be concerned about impacts of run off on the spring [seagrass] growing season,” which in turn calls into question impacts on fisheries. Bright spots do exist. Mainly in the form of a sudden onset of concern and stewardship for nature and opportunities to make better choices moving forward. Some timber growers were already converting from slash pine for pulp to long leaf pine for timber suitable for construction materials. And redevelopment gives citizens and leaders an opportunity to achieve long term resilience through design, like other successful small town and waterfront communities. For now, the passage of time is definitely set to nature’s pace. Just as it always has. Kim Ogren is from Panama City and received her MAURP from UF. She consults to public interest clients and can be reached at

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Above: Naturalists observing changes at Cape San Blas after Hurricane Michael. Below: Michael washed away the primary dunes in Indian Pass, which are about 800 years old All images courtesy of Susan Cerulean.

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 19

APA Florida Wins Chapter Leaders Award for Outstanding Outreach to the Community

Former Chapter Treasurer Tony LaColla, AICP, Earns Volunteer Recognition APA Florida will be honored with the 2019 CPC Karen B. Smith Chapter Award for Outstanding Outreach to the Community for our response to Hurricane Irma. Additionally, former chapter Treasurer, Tony LaColla, AICP, has been selected as the CPC Leadership Award Chapter Volunteer Service Recognition for his innovative K-12 Teaching Guides. Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Sept. 10, 2017, just two days after the scheduled completion of APA Florida’s annual conference in Daytona Beach. Because many members could not make it to the conference and evacuations were in order, the final day, Friday, of our conference was cancelled. With our members always at the forefront of our decision making, APA Florida took the following actions in response to Hurricane Irma.

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• After each update from the National Hurricane Center, the leadership team evaluated if the conference should continue. At each meeting, we balanced the safety of our members with the knowledge that many of our members rely on the conference to fulfill their CM requirements. Ultimately, the conference continued from Tuesday evening to Thursday evening albeit in altered format with the final day having to be cancelled. • During the conference, the Conference Committee worked tirelessly to rearrange sessions each night and keep an updated conference schedule in the conference center. This effort ensured (1) those who were in attendance had sessions to attend to earn their AICP CM credits and (2) those speakers in attendance were able to put on their presentations. • Full refunds were given to any requesting member who did not make it to the conference. continued on page 21


continued from page 20

• After the conference, APA Florida staff organized a Virtual Conference featuring the sessions that were scheduled for the conference but ultimately did not happen. The Chapter hosted eight webinars for 9.25 AICP CM credits and made them available free of charge to any conference registrants. The Virtual Conference was very well-received by our members. Of course, keeping our members in mind, after a few months, we made these sessions available to all members. • As our final conference day was cancelled, our luncheon speaker was unable to present. APA Florida worked with our speaker, Joe Minicozzi, to schedule a Circuit Rider program instead. Mr. Minicozzi visited Florida in the spring and hosted five events offering 15.75 CM credits in four Sections over the course of a week. The circuit rider events were free to all members. • Finally, while we certainly did not plan it, when Hurricane Florence bore down during APA NC’s annual conference this year, we did reach out and offer our advice which included many of the ideas explained above.

Tony LaColla, AICP, is rightfully being recognized for his years of service to the chapter. Tony, who now lives in Washington, DC, developed educational materials and teaching guides for grades K-12, which our members can download free of charge. Tony eagerly offered to spearhead the development of the teaching guides, which had long been a chapter goal. Tony’s other contributions to the chapter include: • 2005 & 2010 APA Florida Annual Conference Committees • Sun Coast Section Chair • Vice President of Section Affairs • Chapter Treasurer His volunteer work outside the chapter is also why Tony is worthy of this recognition. Tony was significantly involved in the planning, economic development, and historic preservation efforts of his Ybor City neighborhood in Tampa. He took on all the activities listed above while working full-time for the Hillsborough County CityCounty Planning Commission. Both awards will be formally recognized at the National Planning Conference in San Francisco this spring.

In Memoriam Bruce McClendon

Former Orange and Hillsborough Counties Planning Director Bruce McClendon, FAICP, a lifetime

APA and AICP member and a dedicated leader, educator, and author, died Jan. 7, 2019, at the age of 72. Bruce’s son, Tim McClendon, AICP, is a member of APA Florida and lives in the Orlando area. Bruce was a consultant with Citygate Associates, LLC in Folsom, California, where he consulted with local and state government agencies. Prior to joining Citygate, McClendon was the planning director for Los Angeles County in California. Previously, he was planning director for Orange and Hillsborough Counties in Florida, and the director of planning for several Texas cities. But it is in his work in the professional planning community that McClendon will be most remembered. A second-generation planner, he was a teacher and mentor for generations of planners. He was a highly respected educator and planning expert who loved to share his knowledge and experiences in the planning field through presentations, books, and magazine articles. He published more than 100 articles in more than 50 publications and authored or

co-authored six books. McClendon was dedicated to advancing the planning profession through his involvement with APA. He served as president of APA twice, in 1984–1985 and in 2001–2003. He served on the APA Board from 2000–2004, participating on numerous committees during that time, including Development Plan and Budget, Executive, Membership and Nominating Committees. From 2005–2006, he served on the Leadership Development Committee. McClendon also served on the Journal of the American Planning Association Editorial Advisory Board, the Organizational Structure Task Force, and PAB Relations Task Force, and he was actively involved in local APA chapters in Texas, California, and Florida. Upon his induction into the AICP College of Fellows in 2000, McClendon was described by the committee as “a creative thinker/educator/leader who works ‘outside the box’ as a change agent to make a difference in his chosen profession and in people’s lives.” McClendon earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in regional and city planning from the University of Oklahoma. Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 21

Guerra, Stewart receive

minority scholarships Diego Guerra and Ericha Stewart are the recipients of the 2018 APA Florida Minority Scholarships. Diego and Ericha will receive $2,000 and $1,500, respectively, to apply toward education expenses.

Diego, a former U.S. Marine, is enrolled in the MURP program at the University of South Florida and plans on pursuing a career as an environmental/resiliency planner. He is currently researching a review of legislation, such as the Stafford Act, and how it will further propagate vulnerability within particular social/economic classes whose majority encompass minority populations. After witnessing first-hand the devastation of natural disasters while on humanitarian operations in Nepal and the Philippines, Diego understood the necessities of resiliency planning and began to focus his career. He has interned for both Pinellas and Hillsborough County, where he is now a full-time Planning and GIS Technician. Diego is married and has three children and is a caregiver for his mother-in-law. Ericha Stewart is dual enrolled at FSU in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Master of Public Health programs. She graduated from FSU in December 2017 with two degrees: Bachelor of Science in African American Studies and Bachelor of Science in Economics. A first-generation college graduate, Ericha previously interned at Florida Housing Solutions and the Florida Department of Health. After conclusion of her graduate studies as FSU, she intends on being a federal level planner who advocates for equity in marginalized communities, but won’t stop there. “In 20 years, this scholarship will reap its optimal return when I am appointed to serve as the 32nd Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. I strongly believe that an investment in my planning career is an investment in the future of public policy, healthy cities, viable communities,� she wrote in her personal statement. Congratulations to Diego and Ericha!

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Ericha Stewar


Diego Guerra

Reduced AICP Exam Scholarship Deadline Feb. 15 The 2019 Reduced Exam Fee Scholarship program is available to APA Florida members. This program was established to assist individuals who may defer taking or are unable to take the AICP exam because of the cost. Four (4) scholarships are available. The deadline to submit a letter for scholarship consideration is Feb. 15. Individuals who are approved to take the exam will pay $75 instead of $425. If an award is given to an AICP Candidate participant, they will pay $75 instead of $100. If a scholarship applicant has already paid the exam fee, the difference will be refunded. Refunds generally take up to five weeks to process. Please note that the awarding of a scholarship does not guarantee that a recipient will be approved to take the AICP Exam. The exam application will be evaluated like any other. To be considered for this scholarship, please email APA Florida Professional Development Officer Allison Megrath, AICP ( describing your financial hardship (including financial hardship caused by a budget cutback in a firm or agency), which necessitates the request. • Members of minorities should be given preference. • The applicant(s) selected will be otherwise unlikely to take the exam without the reduced fee. • The applicant’s employer will not subsidize the exam fee. Final decisions on scholarships shall be at the sole discretion of the APA Florida Professional Development Officer and shall be final. Recipients will be notified as soon as possible. All nominations/selection of scholarship recipients shall be strictly confidential.

COngratulations newest AICP members! CONGRATULATIONS to the following APA Florida members who passed the November AICP exam. Well done, all! Mikhail Alert, AICP Kathryn Angleton, AICP Francisco Arbelaez, AICP Steven Bapp, AICP Amanda Bassiely, AICP Meredith Bergstrom, AICP Adrienne Burke, AICP Anna Cava Grosso, AICP Melony Culpepper, AICP Kathryn Davis, AICP Kyle Dudgeon, AICP Elizabeth Eassa, AICP Jessica Frye, AICP Xinyu Fu, AICP Kenneth Garcia, AICP Jennifer Garcia, AICP Lourdes Gomez, AICP Laurel Harbin, AICP Conroy Jacobs Sr., AICP Michele Janiszewski, AICP

Catherine Koval, AICP Regulo Martinez Montilva, AICP Matthew McIntosh, AICP Di Meng, AICP Diane Mulville-Friel, AICP Adriana Shaw, AICP Paul Smith, AICP Crystal Taylor, AICP Steven Thorp, AICP Steve Wernick, AICP Andrew Young, AICP Karen Black, AICP Candidate Brian Broedell, AICP Candidate Christopher Grandlienard, AICP Candidate Dimitre Guenov, AICP Candidate Robyn Keefe, AICP Candidate Sylvia Miller, AICP Candidate Michael Vaudo, AICP Candidate

See all FAICP, AICP & AICP Candidate members here.

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 23


CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS Sandestin l September 10-13, 2019

Hello and Welcome to the Upside of Paradise! The Emerald Coast Section is pleased to host the APA Florida Annual Conference in Sandestin!

We will be meeting September 10-13, 2019 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Located less than 4 miles from the acclaimed CR 30-A corridor, the Resort totals over 2,400 acres with a collection of 1,250 vacation rentals. Resort amenities include bicycles, boogie boards, kayaks, tennis, fitness center and resort-wide tram service. Spectacular activities that have made the area so popular include championship golf courses, the Village of Baytowne Wharf (containing boutiques, eateries, and nightlife), and 7-miles of powdery white sand beaches. The Emerald Coast is comprised of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Washington, and Holmes Counties. We are home to a wide array of unique environmental features including world renowned beaches, 15 rare coastal dune lakes, and over a dozen state parks. Our municipalities ranges from rural communities to urban cities including a multitude of acclaimed new urbanist communities. The region is a strong economic engine focused on aerospace, technology, manufacturing, distribution / logistics, retail, and tourism development. And, we are incredibly proud of the six military installations located throughout the section. This regional planning area confronts and defies many of the same topics reflected throughout the state including post hurricane and hurricane readiness, economic development obstacles, affordable housing, mobility and mass transit challenges, environmental concerns, military planning challenges, and the search for innovative design. This year we call on you to reflect on the upside of planning. We are looking for dynamic and interesting session proposals that will facilitate our future paradise. We are especially interested in the topic areas listed on the following page and welcome research projects at the university level from both professors and students that would be of interest to our membership. Visit to review the guidelines, to obtain additional information, and to complete the Conference Session Submittal Form.





This panel track concentrates on health and the environment. Topics can include heath and recreation, ecotourism, trail towns, environmental planning, parks/recreation planning, rural lands, agricultural planning, low impact development, stormwater planning, water quality, planning for natural resources, renewable energy, disaster recovery and mitigation including post hurricane recovery (workforce/temporary housing and relocation), coastal resiliency and sustainability, and other health and environmental related topics. This panel track emphasizes regulatory topics such as federal, state and local laws, legislative previews/updates, code enforcement, the military, short-term housing, customary use, grant and funding strategies, planning law updates, ethics overviews and scenarios, and other specific legal or policy topics.


This panel track allows for a broad range of sessions including general planning, soft skills (such as lessons learned, career development, interviewing skills, plan-making, data collection, community engagement techniques, good speaking skills, writing and drafting pitfalls, technical tools and mapping, project finance, involvement in professional associations and professional growth), and technology.

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The focus of this panel track is looking into the future and may include tracks such as ageing population, senior/active living, medical planning, strategic and long-term planning, autonomous vehicles, and current and future trends (medical marijuana, sober homes/rehab/opioids, historical monuments and community symbols, 1st Amendment issues and sign regulations, charter schools and education planning, affordable and Missing Middle housing policy, home rule issues, property rights and agency oversight). This panel track centers on placemaking and the different facets that contribute to it. Topics can include CRAs, redevelopment, repurposing, arts, culture, economic development, transportation (including driverless cars, mass transit, airports, rail, water taxi, bicycle planning, ports, walkability, streetscapes, street/roadway design, green highways and streets), complete streets, transportationoriented development, and form-based code.

Session proposals should be 75 minutes (90 minutes for law and ethics credits). Session proposals are due by 5:00pm on March 29, 2019. Visit to review the guidelines, to obtain additional information, and to complete the Conference Session Submittal Form. If you have questions, please contact Alex Magee by email at or call 850-201-3272.


Patrice Williams, a Ph.D. student in the Florida State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning, has won a $10,000 Health Policy Research Scholars Dissertation Award to study how urban development may lead to sleep problems among Black populations. It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. People of color and low-income populations are disproportionately vulnerable. Recent studies have documented the black population has shorter sleep duration, reduced sleep efficiency, greater onset latency, and poorer overall sleep quality. Yet, according to Patrice, there is a paucity of research in understanding the social and environmental factors that contribute to sleep problems among people of color. The introduction of green spaces, such as parks and trails, into urban areas is often viewed as a promising way to decrease stress levels, improve sleep duration and overall physical activity, and provide a meeting place for residents to develop and maintain neighborhood social ties. On the other hand, redevelopment centered on new amenities such as green space, supermarkets, restaurants, and alternative modes of transportation can also inflate the desirability of these neighborhoods. Making historically black neighborhoods more attractive to affluent and middle-class residents drives up property values and housing costs and magnifies the fear of displacement among longterm residents. Patrice’s project aims to examine how the pressure of displacement associated with green redevelopment contributes to stress-related sleep disturbances among blacks. “It has always been my goal to select a dissertation topic that will have a social impact,” she said. “However, publicly available data sets do not provide information on how the pressure of displacement associated with urban redevelopment contributes to sleep disturbances among blacks. This grant allows me to collect primary data to advance scientific knowledge on the health impacts of displacement that could progress towards evidence-based solutions.” While continuing her doctoral program in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University, Patrice has

relocated to Atlanta in order to make a case study of the Beltline, a green redevelopment project that will result in the addition of 1,300 acres of new green space and parks within ten geographical subareas. The funding Patrice is receiving will be used to hire three fulltime research assistants (RAs) from the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health program. The RAs will devote three months to this project, assisting with recruitment and survey administration for 150 participants and collecting objective and selfreported sleep data from a subset of 50 participants. “The other benefit of this grant is that it also affords me the opportunity to mentor and financially support public health master’s students who are interested in studying how urban redevelopment and its processes directly effects their community’s health,” she said. The award is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS) program. Williams was one of 40 traditionally underrepresented students selected for the program’s first cohort in 2016. HPRS, led by Johns Hopkins University, is designed to bring together doctoral students from across the country to conduct research on building healthier and more equitable communities and to diversify the future generation of policy development leaders. Williams, a graduate of the FSU Master of Public Health program, was awarded a $120,000 grant by HPRS to support four years of Ph.D. studies in the planning department. Drawing from her own experiences growing up in Sunrise, Fla., Patrice was inspired to do her advanced degree work on gentrification and its effects on the health of disadvantaged populations. “Gentrification does have a lot of positives, but it should be something that benefits all and not just the people who can afford to live in these new areas,” she said. Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 25

Member Spotlight Q&A:

Allison Megrath, AICP

Where are you originally from? I was born in Brockville, Ontario, Canada. It is a small town on the eastern edge of Lake Ontario about 2 hours north of Syracuse, New York. It is where all the lake effect snow from all five Great Lakes lands (and the reason I moved to Florida). What college/university did you attend? I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies. What is your current position? I am a Project Manager/Senior Land Planner with Kimley-Horn. What is your current and any past positions in APA FL and/or APA National? I am currently the Professional Development Officer for APA Florida. I have served in various capacities with APA Florida including Promised Land Section Chair; Awards Chair (3 consecutive years); have served on the Legislative Policy Committee as an At-Large Member for years; and have represented Florida planners as a Delegate at the APA National Conference multiple times. I am a member of the Economic Development Division, as well as the Small Town and Rural Planning Division of APA. What you would be doing now if you hadn’t chosen the planning profession? If I hadn’t chosen planning as my career, I would be in criminology. Would you like to share anything about your family? My husband, Matt, and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in December. We have two daughters – Olivia who is a freshman at the University of Florida and in the Fightin’ Gator Marching Band; and Madison who is a senior in high school in the midst of selecting a college for the fall. What are your hobbies and interests? In my spare time, I like to cook and bake, travel (mostly to beach destinations), and read. Ever had your 15 minutes of fame? My 15 minutes of fame are yet to come.

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Do you have any advice to new graduates in your field or career tips? My first piece advice to recent graduates would be to get involved in APA. The resources available to you are tremendous. The networks and connections that you make last you a lifetime and really help to propel your career. My second tip would be to be open. There is a wide world of opportunities in planning – you don’t have to be a consultant, or a municipal planner, there are many, many different jobs for planners. Be courageous to try something new to find where your passion lies. What have you gained or learned by being a member in APA Florida or as a member of the APA Florida Executive Committee? I have gained much satisfaction in knowing that I am giving back and helping others in planning advance their careers and celebrate their accomplishments. Is there a particular state planning topic you’d like to comment on or feel fellow planners need to follow? There is no one particular state planning topic I’d suggest following. I try to stay on top of all of them and look forward to the annual Legislative Policy Workshop hosted by APA Florida. I’d encourage others to attend in February. It’s always a great event! Do you have a planning or personal achievement to discuss? I have been very blessed to get to work on some really cool projects over the years – from working with the Rural Land Stewardship program to the new Town of Ave Maria, to creating the 65,000-acre Blue Head Ranch Sustainable Community Overlay District, to working for a timber company managing real estate assets that were best suited for economic development projects (industrial parks of over 2,000 acres in size). I wouldn’t be able to pick just one and call it the pinnacle. I have learned from every opportunity and every project. There is more to come. Anything else you would like us to know about you? I am an all or nothing person. If I’m in, I’m all in. I try to get the most out of everything I do.

APA Florida

PLANNERS ON THE MOVE FORMER APA FLORIDA PRESIDENT BRIAN TEEPLE RETIRING Brian Teeple, AICP, will be retiring from the Northeast Florida Regional Council (NEFRC) in February 2019. Brian has been the Chief Executive Officer for the NEFRC since 1989 and served as the Deputy Director from 1986 to 1989. Under his leadership, the NEFRC won 17 state and national awards. Furthermore, several affiliated organizations and programs were developed, including the Regional Community Institute of Northeast Florida and the regional Leadership Academy. The Regional Leadership Academy has several hundred graduates throughout northeast Florida. Brian was the 2005 recipient of the Focus Award presented by the Northeast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association, the 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the First Coast Section of APA Florida and 2008 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Planning Profession given by the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association. In addition to working at the NEFRC, Brian has held planning related positions at the Florida Department of Community Affairs and as an Environmental Engineer for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. He also served the APA Florida chapter in many ways. Brian was a long-term member of the budget, bylaw and legislative policy committees. Over the years, he also served as the chapter’s secretary and treasurer and represented the chapter as president from 2012-14. He received his Master of Science in Planning (MSP) degree from Florida State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management from Pennsylvania State University, with post-graduate studies at George Washington University. DROVDLIC JOINS WALDROP ENGINEERING Fred Drovdlic, AICP, is joining Waldrop Engineering’s Planning and Landscape Architecture Department as Principal Planner/ Senior Project Manager. Fred will oversee public and private-sector projects across Waldrop’s Bonita Springs and Fort Myers offices. Fred started his planning career in 1996 in Pennsylvania and has worked in Southwest Florida since 2004 for local government and as a private consultant.

GADEMER SWITCHES COASTS The City of Daytona Beach recently named Kathy Gademer, AICP, its newest Planning Manager in the Development and Administrative Services Department. Gademer supervises a great planning staff in the on-going process of implementing the city’s Growth Management Program. Kathy manages the scheduling and review of development proposals and work processes, and is the lead on traffic concurrency projects and land development code updates. HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY COMMISSION PROMOTES COLLINS, DICKENS Jay Collins, AICP is now the Special Area Studies Manager with the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. He will be responsible for overseeing collaborative efforts between Plan Hillsborough’s staff and the many planning partners within Hillsborough County in developing, undertaking and implementing special studies. Previously a Senior Planner with the Planning Commission, Jay has approximately 14 years of public sector planning experience in Hillsborough County. Jay holds a master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Melissa Dickens, AICP is now the Strategic Planning and Policy Manager with the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. She will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Plan Hillsborough Strategic Plan, updates to comprehensive plan policy, and capital improvements, infrastructure, and utilities planning. Previously a Senior Planner with the Planning Commission, Melissa has approximately 12 years of public and private sector planning experience in the Tampa Bay area. She currently serves as the Sun Coast Section Chair and is a member of APA National’s Water and Planning Network. Melissa holds a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. continued on page 28

Winter 2019 / Florida Planning 27



Are you still in need of required ethics and law credits for your certification maintenance reporting period? Sessions from the 2018 APA Florida Annual Conference are now available online from now until October 2019 for distance learning and CM credit. The Ethics Case of the Year and Planning & Law Use Update are 90 minutes log and you can download the presentation deck to follow along.


In light of Hurricane Michael, APA Florida has requested that APA extend the dues grace period for members who have been affected by the hurricane. If you have been affected by Hurricane Michael and you would like to request an extension for your APA dues payment, please contact Alex Magee in the Chapter Office at  Your request will be forwarded to APA for their action.

APA FLORIDA AS A MODEL As APA chapters work to magnify their impact and reduce the stress on volunteers, a key resource is paid administrative support. The APA Chapter Presidents Council recently released “Strategies for Building Your Chapter Capacity,” a short internal report is designed to help chapters think about their administrative needs and elevate their support services to the next level. APA Florida was asked to provide a case study of our experience for this report. Additionally, APA is currently looking to deepen its relations with AARP by encouraging state level partnerships with this organization. As part of this effort, a webinar was held on Jan. 29 that highlighted examples of what these partnerships can look like. APA Florida Executive Director Alex Magee and AARP Florida Associate State Director Laura Cantwell presented the Florida experience and discussed the ways our organizations have partnered over the past three years. APA Florida was one of four chapters to be asked to participate. 28 Winter 2019 / Florida Planning

The Sun Coast Section’s “Missing Middle” session received national exposure in the December 2018 Planning magazine. As seen in the publication’s Intersections feature, the article highlights the issue of providing multiunit, low-rise housing in our state’s predominate single-family home neighborhoods. Through a series of sessions looking at reforming local codes, removing barriers to multi-family housing, addressing the needs of various residents, and combating NIMBY-ism, the Sun Coast Section has examined this issue with various panel discussions featuring professional planners and elected officials.


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WILLMAN APPOINTED TO HILLSBOROUGH PLANNING COMMISSION Jennifer Willman has been appointed by the City of Tampa to serve as a commissioner with the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. Jennifer began her planning career with the commission as a summer intern after earning her B.A. from the University of South Florida. After earning a Master of Community and Regional Planning degree from the University of Maryland, Jennifer worked as a local government planner, making her way back to Tampa in 2004. Her professional experience as an urban planning consultant includes community planning, urban redevelopment, land use policy, land development regulations, multi-modal transportation planning, transit-oriented development, community redevelopment areas, comprehensive planning, public engagement, and interagency coordination.

LAND USE & PLANNING: Law Case Update

by: David Theriaque, Esq.

Little Club Condominium Association v. Martin County, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D2590a (Fla. 4th DCA Nov. 21, 2018) A homeowners’ association challenged the County’s approval of a proposed eighty (80) foot cell tower on the grounds that such tower was not “stealth” – which meant “an average person would be unaware of its presence as a tower.” Additionally, the association contended that the tower was inconsistent with the following provisions in the County’s Comprehensive Plan: Goal 4.4. To eliminate or reduce uses of land that are inconsistent with community character or desired future land uses. .... Objective 4.4D. To continue to evaluate the Land Development Regulations and adopt revisions to address current issues before the County, such as: .... (2) Policy regarding communication towers (i.e., fall distance and lighting standards) . . . . The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the County because neither Goal 4.4 nor Objective 4.4D “are the proper standards by which to measure the consistency of the development order with the comprehensive plan.” The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision. The Fourth District concluded that Goal 4.4 pertains to eliminating nonconforming uses, which the tower was not. Additionally, the Fourth District concluded that Objective 4.4D “merely calls for a policy regarding communications towers. . . . It does not prohibit particular tower designs.” This case serves as a good reminder about carefully construing Goals, Objectives, and Policies. Goal 4.4 clearly pertains to something that already exists, not something that is proposed. Similarly, Objective 4.4D pertains to requirements that will be included in the County’s Land Development Regulations. Consequently, the list of items in Objective 4.4D are not regulatory requirements of the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Litigants frequently fail to understand this distinction. GSK Hollywood Development Group, LLC v. City of Hollywood, 246 So. 3d 501 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) The City imposed a sixty-five (65) foot height limitation after GSK purchased property on which it intended to develop a fifteen (15) story condominium building. GSK never applied for a permit, a variance, or a waiver for its proposed building. GSK filed a Bert Harris Act claim against the City, claiming the City’s new height restriction constituted an inordinate burden of its property. The trial court ruled in GSK’s favor and awarded damages. The Fourth District reversed, concluding that because “GSK failed to make a formal application to develop the property, the City did not apply the ordinance to the property at issue. Thus, the claim under the Harris Act was not ripe.” This case continues to support the legal principle that a Bert Harris Act claim is not ripe until the City applies a new regulation to the property at issue. A challenge to a jurisdiction-wide enactment of general applicability, versus an amendment to a local government’s Future Land Use Map for a particular parcel, would constitute a “facial” challenge, which the Bert Harris Act prohibits. Vale v. Palm Beach County, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D2591a (Fla. 4th DCA Nov. 21, 2018) Several individuals purchased homes in a planned unit development (“PUD”) adjacent to a golf course. The golf course was included in the PUD, but was not owned by the homeowners. The County approved a request by the owner of the golf course to rezone the property for residential development. The homeowners filed a lawsuit pursuant to the Bert Harris Act, claiming that the rezoning approval inordinately burdened their properties because it diminished the value of such properties. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit because the homeowners did not own the property that was the subject of the County’s action. The Fourth District affirmed, concluding as follows:

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The Act defines a “property owner” as meaning “the person who holds legal title to the real property that is the subject of and directly impacted by the action of a governmental entity. . . . As it is undisputed that plaintiffs do not hold legal title to the former golf course, they are not “property owners” as contemplated under the Act. This case is another example of the Bert Harris Act not providing relief to owners of property adjacent to property on which governmental action occurred. Pettway v. City of Jacksonville, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1845b (Fla. 1st DCA Aug. 10, 2018) Several neighbors challenged the City Council’s approval of a rezoning that would allow a new restaurant near the neighbors’ properties. The applicant moved to dismiss the neighbors’ lawsuit as being untimely filed.

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This case involved a determination of when “rendition” occurred, which is the triggering of the “final event that starts the jurisdictional stopwatch for seeking appellate relief” to challenge a quasi-judicial decision. The City had a multi-stepped process in regard to signing, filing, and mailing final orders of a quasi-judicial hearing. Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.020(i) states that an “order is rendered when a signed, written order is filed with the clerk of the lower tribunal.” The First District Court of Appeal analyzed the City’s multistep process to determine when rendition had occurred and concluded that the neighbor’s lawsuit was timely filed. This case serves as an excellent reminder for parties that desire to challenge a quasi-judicial decision to carefully determine when rendition of a quasi-judicial decision has occurred. Filing a day late most likely will result in the dismissal of such a legal challenge.

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Florida Planning Magazine | Winter 2019 | Florida's Natural Resources  

Florida Planning Magazine | Winter 2019 | Florida's Natural Resources