(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—
(a) The Legislature recognizes that some coastal resort and tourist areas are deteriorating and declining as recreation and tourist centers. It is appropriate to undertake a pilot project to determine the feasibility of encouraging redevelopment of economically distressed coastal properties to allow full utilization of existing urban infrastructure such as roads and utility lines. Such activities can have a beneficial impact on local and state economies and provide job opportunities and revitalization of urban areas.
(b) The Department of Environmental Protection shall administer a pilot project for redevelopment of economically distressed coastal resort and tourist areas. Such a pilot project shall be administered in the coastal areas of Florida’s Atlantic Coast between the St. Johns River entrance and Ponce de Leon Inlet.
(2) PILOT PROJECT ADMINISTRATION.— (a) To be eligible to participate in this pilot project, all or a portion of the area must be within: 1. The coastal building zone as defined in s. 161.54; and
2. A community redevelopment area, enterprise zone, brownfield area, empowerment zone, or other such economically deprived areas as designated by the county or municipality with jurisdiction over the area.
(b) Local governments are encouraged to use the full range of economic and tax incentives available to facilitate and promote redevelopment and revitalization within the pilot project areas.
(c) The Office of the Governor, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Economic Opportunity are directed to provide technical assistance to expedite permitting for redevelopment projects and construction activities within the pilot project areas consistent with the principles, processes, and timeframes provided in s. 403.973. (d) The Department of Environmental Protection shall exempt construction activities within the pilot project area in locations seaward of a coastal construction control line and landward of existing armoring from certain siting and design criteria pursuant to s. 161.053. However, such exemption shall not be deemed to exempt property within the pilot project area from applicable local land development regulations, including but not limited to, setback, side lot line, and lot coverage requirements. Such exemption shall apply to construction and redevelopment of structures involving the coverage, excavation, and impervious surface criteria of s. 161.053, and related adopted rules, as follows: 1. This review by the department of applications for permits for coastal construction within the pilot project area must apply to construction and redevelopment of structures subject to the coverage, excavation, and impervious surface criteria of s. 161.053, and related adopted rules. It is the intent of these provisions that the pilot project area be enabled to redevelop in a manner which meets the economic needs of the area while preserving public safety and existing resources, including natural resources. 2. The criteria for review under s. 161.053 are applicable within the pilot project area, except that the structures within the pilot project area shall not be subject to specific shore parallel coverage requirements and are allowed to exceed the 50 percent impervious surface requirement. In no case shall stormwater discharge be allowed onto, or seaward of, the frontal dune. Structures are also not bound by the restrictions on excavation unless the construction will adversely affect the integrity of the existing seawall or rigid coastal armoring structure or stability of the existing beach and dune system. It is specifically contemplated that underground structures, including garages, will be permitted. All beach-compatible material excavated under this subparagraph must be maintained on site seaward of the coastal construction control line. However, during the permit review process under s. 161.053, the department may favorably consider authorized sand placement on adjacent properties if the permittee has demonstrated every reasonable effort to effectively use all beach-quality material on site to enhance the beach and dune system and has prepared a comprehensive plan for beach and dune nourishment for the adjoining area. 3. The review criteria in subparagraph 2. will apply to all construction within the pilot project area lying seaward of the coastal construction control line and landward of an existing viable seawall or rigid coastal armoring structure, if such construction is fronted by a seawall or rigid coastal armoring structure extending at least 1,000 feet without any interruptions other than beach access points. For purposes of this section, a viable seawall or rigid coastal armoring structure is a structure that has not deteriorated, dilapidated, or been damaged to such a degree that it no longer provides adequate protection to the upland property when considering the following criteria, including, but not limited to:
a. The top must be at or above the still water level, including setup, for the design storm of 30-year return storm plus the breaking wave calculated at its highest achievable level based on the maximum eroded beach profile and highest surge level combination, and must be high enough to preclude runup overtopping;
b. The armoring must be stable under the design storm of 30-year return storm including maximum localized scour, with adequate penetration; and
c. The armoring must have sufficient continuity or return walls to prevent flooding under the design storm of 30-year return storm from impacting the proposed construction.
4. Where there exists a continuous line of rigid coastal armoring structure on either side of unarmored property and the adjacent line of rigid coastal armoring structures are having an adverse effect on or threaten the unarmored property, and the gap does not exceed 100 feet, the department may grant the necessary permits under s. 161.085 to close the gap. 5. Structures approved pursuant to this section shall not cause flooding of or result in adverse impacts to existing upland structures or properties and shall comply with all other requirements of s. 161.053 and its implementing rules. 6. Where there exists a continuous line of viable rigid coastal armoring structure on either side of a nonviable rigid coastal armoring structure, the department shall grant the necessary permits under s. 161.085 to replace such nonviable rigid coastal armoring structure with a viable rigid coastal armoring structure as defined in this section. This shall not apply to rigid coastal armoring structures constructed after May 1, 1998, unless such structures have been permitted pursuant to s. 161.085(2).
(3) PILOT PROJECT EXPIRATION.—The authorization for the pilot project and the provisions of this section expire December 31, 2014. The department and affected local governments shall provide for an independent analysis of the economic value and environmental impact of the pilot project and provide a report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate on or before February 1, 2008.