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The Florida Senate

CS/SB 1398 — Community Planning

by Rules Committee and Senator Flores

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Community Affairs Committee (CA)

Regional Planning Councils

The bill addresses quorum requirements for meetings of Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) by authorizing RPC members to participate via communications media technology under certain circumstances. The state’s 10 RPCs plan for and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth-related problems on greater-than local issues. Each RPC consists of anywhere from 3 to 12 counties. The voting membership of a regional planning council must consist of representatives living within the geographical area covered by the council.

While current law allows state agencies and certain entities created by an interlocal agreement to conduct meetings and vote by means of communications media technology, there has been a question over whether or not local boards or agencies may conduct meetings in the same fashion.

The bill provides requirements for establishing a quorum for meetings of regional planning councils when a voting member appears via telephone, real-time video conferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication. The member must provide oral, written, or electronic notice of her or his intent to appear via communications media technology to their respective planning council at least 24 hours before the scheduled meeting.

DEO Technical Assistance Grants

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) manages the Community Planning Technical Assistance Grant Program. Under the program, the DEO awards grant funds to assist local governments in developing economic development strategies and in addressing critical local planning issues.

Enacted during the 2019 Regular Session, the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program is designed to advance the construction of regional corridors that will accommodate multiple modes of transportation and multiple types of infrastructure. The Florida Department of Transportation has assembled task forces to study M-CORES and to make recommendations regarding the potential local economic and environmental impacts of the corridors.

The bill requires the DEO, when selecting applicants for technical assistance grants, to give preference to certain small local governments located near a proposed M-CORES interchange. Such grants will be used to assist a local government in amending or developing its comprehensive plan to implement appropriate land uses around the proposed interchange.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 113-0