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Land Use Planning Around Military Installations
The Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act (See Florida Statutes Ch. 163) requires local governments to adopt comprehensive plans that guide future growth and development.

Florida Statutes §163.3175 states, "(t)he Legislature finds that incompatible development of land close to military installations can adversely affect the ability of such an installation to carry out its mission." Counties that have a military installation within its jurisdiction and each affected local government must: 
  • Send the installation commanding officer information "relating to proposed changes to comprehensive plans, plan amendments, and proposed changes to land development regulations which, if approved, would affect the intensity, density, or use of the land adjacent to or in close proximity to the military installation."
  • Provide the "military installation an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed changes."
  • Consider the military's comments when making comprehensive planning or land development regulation decisions and forward a copy of the comments to the state land-planning agency. 
  • Include a military representative to serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member on the land planning or zoning board and will represent all installations within the political jurisdiction. 

The military may provide comments on the proposed change's impact on the mission. Comments may include: 
  • Impact on the airfield's safety and noise impact set forth in their Air Installation Compatible Use Zone (AICUZ); 
  • Incompatibility with the Installation Environmental Noise Management Program (IENMP) of the United States Army; 
  • Incompatibility with the area's Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) findings; 
  • If the mission will be adversely affected by the proposed actions.

The Commanding Officer is encouraged to provide information regarding any community planning assistance grants available through the federal Office of Economic Adjustment.

The Florida Defense Support Task Force may recommend to the Legislature changes to the list of military installations that have a greater potential for experiencing compatibility and coordination issues based on a military base's potential for impacts from encroachment, and incompatible land uses and development.

Florida Statutes §163.3175

Pursuant to Florida Statutes §163.3177, the future land use plan element of a local governments’ comprehensive plan must include compatibility of uses on lands adjacent to or closely proximate to military installations and criteria to be used to achieve such compatibility.  The Department of Community Affairs is the state land planning agency responsible considering land use compatibility issues adjacent to or in close proximity to all military installations in coordination with the Department of Defense.

Florida Statutes §163.3177

Florida Statutes §163.3191 requires local governments to adopt an evaluation and appraisal report once every seven years assessing the progress in implementing their comprehensive plan, including an assessment of whether the criteria specified in the future land use plan element was successful in achieving compatibility with military installations.

Florida Statues §163.3191

Military Base Encroachment Program
The Department of Economic Opportunity is the state land planning agency responsible for guiding the state’s growth management programs and related initiatives, including the Military Base Encroachment program. Among other responsibilities, the Department coordinates the adoption of local land use plans that are consistent with state laws addressing land use planning around military installations.

Military Base Encroachment

​Contact
Ana Richmond
Department of Economic Opportunity
107 East Madison Street 
Caldwell Building 
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
(850) 717-8509
ana.richmond@deo.myflorida.com

Florida Defense Support Task Force
Florida Statutes Section 288.987 provides for the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The mission of the task force is to “make recommendations to preserve and protect military installations to support the state’s position in research and development related to or arising out of military missions and contracting, and to improve the state’s military-friendly environment for service members, military dependents, military retirees, and businesses that bring military and base-related jobs to the state.”

Florida Statutes §288.987
​Florida Defense Support Task Force

Contact
Rocky McPherson
Enterprise Florida, Inc.
800 North Magnolia Avenue, Suite 1100
Orlando, Florida 32803
(850) 298-6652
(407) 580-4862
rmcpherson@eflorida.com

Military Grants Program
Since 1994, Florida has passed several measures relating to the military grants program.  As laid forth in Florida Statutes §288.980, “The Legislature recognizes that the state needs to coordinate all efforts that can facilitate the retention of all remaining military installations in the state. The Legislature, therefore, declares that providing such assistance to support the defense-related initiatives within this section is a public purpose for which public money may be used." To date, over $19 million has been allocated for such defense grants. The most recent statutory change was with S.B. 1604 of 2004, which created the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program within the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The purpose of the program is to support "local infrastructure projects deemed to have a positive impact on the military value of installations within the state." Funds are to be used for such items as "those related to encroachment, transportation and access, utilities, communications, housing, environment, and security."

Florida Statutes §288.980

Florida Defense Alliance 
The Florida Defense Alliance, an initiative of Enterprise Florida, is designated as the organization “to ensure that Florida, its resident military bases and missions, and its military host communities are in competitive positions as the United States continues its defense realignment and downsizing.” The Alliance includes representatives from military installations, state agencies, and private organizations. 

Florida Statutes §288.980
Florida Defense Alliance

Contact
Florida Defense Alliance
1030 East Lafayette Street, Suite 9
(850) 956-5582
fda@eflorida.com

Land Acquisition 
Florida has had an aggressive land acquisition program since 1964. The Florida Forever program is program for acquiring valuable conservation land, including many lands adjacent to or near military installations. Florida Forever replaced Preservation 2000. In 2008, the Legislature extended the program. 

For the 2013 to 2013 fiscal year, ten million dollars of the Florida Forever Trust Fund were designated for Board of Trustees Florida Forever Priority List projects that provide conservation lands to protect military installations against encroachment. The remaining moneys were designated for the Division of State Lands acquisition projects that may provide buffers for military installations. 

Florida Statutes §259.105
Florida S.B. 1502 of 2013
Florida Forever

​Military Base Protection Program 
In 2013, Governor Scott (R) signed S.B. 1784, which created the Military Base Protection Program. The functions of the Military Base Protection Program include, but are not limited to: 

1. Securing non-conservation lands to serve as a buffer to protect military installations against encroachment; and
2. Supporting local community efforts to engage in service partnerships with military installations. 

The Board may acquire non-conservations lands from an annual list submitted by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The legislation provides that the Board should consider the recommendations of the Florida Defense Support Task Force when determining which non-conservation lands to acquire.

Florida Statutes §253.025
Florida Statutes §288.980
Florida S.B. 1784 of 2013

Open Space/Conservation

Conservation Easement Statutes
Conservation easements in the state are authorized by Florida Statutes §704.06 et seq.

Resource Link

Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund
​The Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund (Florida Statutes §259.032) was created in 1979. The Trust provides funds to acquire lands or interest in lands for public purposes. For example, the Trust provides funds to acquire lands or interest in land to “conserve and protect environmentally unique and irreplaceable lands that contain native, relatively unaltered flora and fauna representing a natural area unique to, or scarce within, a region of this state or a larger geographic area” and to converse, protect, and preserve other lands.

Florida Statutes §259.032

Florida Communities Trust
Florida Communities Trust administers state land acquisition grant programs.  The programs provide grants to local governments and non-profit environmental organizations for the acquisition of community-based projects, urban open spaces, parks, and greenways to implement local government comprehensive plans and provide grants for projects to preserve and restore working waterfronts.

Contact:
Diane Langston
Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Communities Trust
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, Mail Stop 100
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
(850) 245-2702
diane.langston@dep.state.fl.us

Resource Link
Resource Link

Forest Legacy Program
The Forest Legacy Program is a US Forest Service grant program for protecting and conserving important forests that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses, such as development. The Florida Forest Service is the lead agency responsible for administering the program in the state. The program achieves its goals through the acquisition of voluntary easements and outright purchases, focusing solely on forested lands that might not be otherwise conserved.

Contact:
Larame Ferry
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Forestry
Forest Management Bureau, Land Acquisition
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
(850) 681-5816
(850) 861-5801 fax
larame.ferry@freshfromflorida.com

 Resource Link

Florida Partners with Department of Defense

Gulf Regional Airspace Strategic Initiative
In December 2012, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that it reached an agreement with the Air Force to allow the Air Force use state-owned land for its training missions. The parties reached the agreement as part of the Gulf Regional Airspace Strategic Initiative.

Press Release Regarding Department of Environmental Protection and Air Force Agreement

Conservation Easement That Buffers Eglin Air Force Base
In October 2013, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that it closed on a conservation easement of nearly 21,000 acres that also provides a buffer to Eglin Air Force Base. The Department used Florida Forever funds for the transaction.

Press Release Regarding Conservation Easement That Buffers Eglin Air Force Base

Florida State Contact Information

Military Liaison POC
Rocky McPherson
Enterprise Florida 
800 North Magnolia Ave.
Orlando, Florida 32803
(850) 298-6652
rmcpherson@eflorida.com

Legislative Process Regarding Military POCs
The State Legislature maintains a number of contacts within the Department of Defense and at the Florida military bases to which it refers for guidance and input on legislation relevant to military issues. 

Committees of Primary Jurisdiction/Legislative Contact
Senate Committee on Military and Veteran Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security
Senator Thad Altman, Chair
Elizabeth Ryon, Staff Director
111 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1100
(850) 487-5785

House Veteran and Military Affairs Subcommittee
Representative Ronald (Doc) Renuart, Chair
Kerrington Kiner, Policy Chief
204 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street 
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1300
(850) 717-4823
kerrington.kinner@myfloridahouse.gov