Implementation of Seven50

Seven50 exists as a set of future trend analyses, planning strategies, and advisory recommendations offered as potential solutions to common challenges facing the region today and likely to be confronted in the future. Seven50 also provides a long-term, shared vision for the future and measurable goals in specific subject areas.

The regional vision comprehensively deals with:

  • Improving the large-scale structure or pattern of the region’s physical, economic, and social environment;
  • The growth and formation of more self-sufficient and resilient towns, cities, and communities;
  • Maintenance of the natural environment, water resources, and the countryside;
  • The layout of a multimodal transportation network;
  • Strengthening the region’s role as a global hub for trade, visitors, talent, innovation, and investment; the relationship between work and households;
  • The formation of suitable public and private institutions for education, training and;
  • Strong neighborhoods and communities.

Seven50 is not a self-executing document and is not backed by any force of law. Implementation of the Seven50 vision and its goals and planning strategies is a voluntary undertaking. It will require broad support from a great number of diverse groups working together, including: local government, state and regional planning agencies, private entrepreneurs, public and private development organizations, academia, civic and non-profit groups, and individual citizens. It is clearly recognized that the Seven50 vision can never be implemented or built overnight. It will require patient incremental steps, designed in such a way that every planning decision and initiative sanctioned by these groups and by citizens helps to build a stronger, more resilient region.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMPREHENSIVE PLANS & ACTIONS

Implementation of Seven50 can occur in a variety of ways. However, broad achievement of the vision and recommended planning initiatives should be furthered by inclusion in local government comprehensive plans, and through other actions of local government, and the private sector.

Local comprehensive plans serve as the business plan for how local governments will operate and how they will respond to various private and public initiatives. These plans are carried out through a set of land development regulations, accompanied by a capital improvements program. They also serve as a promise to citizens about the level of public services, quality of life, and protection of private and public assets they can expect from their local government. Local government decision-making and law remains a powerful force in shaping the built and natural environment and quality of life.

Seven50 charts several general planning strategies for addressing future trends and regional issues. If deemed desirable by individual counties and municipalities, these strategies will be implemented at the local level. Implementation may require changes to land development regulations and amendments to local comprehensive plans, depending on the specific conditions and needs of each local government. At the same time, many of the ideas contained in Seven50 are already found to some degree in local plans. Regardless, the ultimate decision to amend local plans and regulations rests solely with the local government.

Seven50 also points out shared challenges and opportunities which might be better dealt with by working together with other units of government and/or the private sector around the region. Implementing regional ideas and solutions by working with your neighbors cannot be mandated. Implementation through mutual cooperation will occur when it makes sense for all affected parties to work together.

REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCILS (RPCS)

Under Seven50, regional planning councils remain advisory in nature. Even so, these “councils of local government” have several avenues for furthering Seven50 initiatives. This can occur as a result of their own program activities, other regional and state agency actions and activities, and through facilitating private sector initiatives and leadership consistent with Seven50.

Some of Council’s work program activities that will assist with implementation are listed below.
  • Economic development planning
  • Preparation of special planning and development studies
  • Serving on task forces and committees involved in regional planning issues
  • Emergency preparedness planning
  • Regional transportation planning
  • Providing neutral ground in convening public and private sector leaders
  • Development of regional impact (DRI) review process
  • Intergovernmental coordination and review process (ICR)
  • Dispute resolution process

METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS (MPOS)

(MPO) is a federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organization in the United States that is made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through the MPO planning process.

  • The MPOs play a role in planning and implementation of transit projects and overcome the very real obstacles of operation and maintenance costs which are not discussed in this report which intentionally concentrates more on the “what” and less on the “how” of improving the region.
  • There are six MPOs in the region. To describe the work of the MPOs we can use of one MPO’s recent accomplishments. The Broward MPO: leads the Wave Streetcar project in downtown Fort Lauderdale, is working on a Transit Oriented Development Project at the Cypress Creek TriRail Station (which is conceptually depicted in a rendering in this report; assists in the siting of 5,000 housing units in downtown Fort Lauderdale, is working on the Port Everglads Florida East Coast Rail Road on-port facility; and helps fund a water taxi system in Broward. These are projects in complete accordance with the goals of the Seven50 Project.

PRIVATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP & PARTNERSHIP 

Regional planning councils encourage and enable local units of government and the citizenry to assemble and cooperate with one another and with representatives of major private economic interests. Implementation will require this kind of collaboration, advocacy, leadership and action by the private sector consistent with Seven50.

In recognition and support of this notion, Seven50 is recommending that representatives of regional leadership organizations meet together on a regular basis for the strategic purpose of implementing Seven50’s regional initiatives. This suggestion is modeled after similar successful leadership alliances that were established in Silicon Valley, Chicago, and Los Angeles metropolitan areas to implement regional economic initiatives. More information about these private sector-led implementation organizations can be found at Seven50.org. Seven50 identifies economic development issues and initiatives where a competitive advantage can be gained by private leadership organizations working together. The regional planning councils and others can help facilitate the involvement and leadership of the private sector on resolving these issues and carrying out selected Seven50 initiatives.

SEVEN50 COALITIONS 

Through the seven50 process a series of coalitions have been identified that should be formed to further address region priorities and issues. These coalitions include the southeast florida waters coalition, the balanced mobility coalition, the climate change coalition, the education coalition, the economic competitiveness coalition, the opportunity coalition, and the data coalition.

INDICATORS & MEASURES 

Benchmarks and metrics have been developed to evaluate progress in implementing Seven50. Over 50 factors have been established for measuring the pace of implementation. A detailed report on Seven50 progress indicators and measures can be found in the Scenario Report at Seven50.org.

STATE & REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES

The last few years in Florida have been marked by several significant state/regional agency and private sector partnership efforts recognizing the value of regional planning, visioning, cooperation, and investment. Actions to implement all of these state- wide and regional plans will further implementation of Seven50. Some highlights of these efforts include:

FLORIDA FREIGHT MOBILITY & TRADE PLAN

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

This plan utilized regional listening forums and scenario planning to develop policy and investment strategies to establish the State’s long-range vision and plan for enhancing rail passenger and freight mobility, and for becoming a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing. Input from the Seven50 planning process was effective in influencing the plan to the benefit of the seven-county Southeast Florida Region.

FLORIDA’S FUTURE CORRIDORS PLAN

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

This is an ongoing statewide planning initiative to plan for the future of major transportation corridors critical to the state’s economic competitiveness and quality of life over the next 50 years. This initiative builds on the 2060 Florida Transportation Plan which calls for a transportation system that maintains economic competitiveness by meeting current and future transportation needs for moving people and freight. This initiative will utilize regional forums, scenario planning, and a cross-acceptance process to determine statewide connectivity and mobility needs, and determine whether significant transportation investment in proposed corridors is consistent with statewide policies and regional and community visions and plans like those developed under the Seven50 process.

SIX PILLARS 20-YEAR STRATEGIC

PLAN FLORIDA CHAMBER FOUNDATION

This plan utilized a “caucus system” of business leaders and issue experts from around the State along with regional forums to establish its comprehensive 20-year strategic plan and statewide vision for, “more vibrant communities enjoying prosperity and high-paying jobs realized through competitive advantage in a global economy.” It established the Florida Scorecard consisting of more than 120 metrics for measuring progress towards the stated goals and objectives. Part of the Seven50 process utilized the Six Pillars planning framework and goals, policies, and indicators described in the Foundation’s 20-year plan.

STRATEGIC PLAN FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

This plan utilized regional stakeholder forums, the Florida Chamber Foundations Six Pillars framework, Comprehensive Economic Development plans from the 11 Regional Planning Councils, early policy planning work from the Seven50 effort, and other State plans to develop statewide goals, objectives and strategies for establishing Florida as, “a globally competitive mega region and the world’s best place to live, learn, play, work and do business.” The Seven50 strategic regional planning initiative is specifically identified in the Plan as a best practice for furthering State economic development goals in the Southeast Florida region.

COMPREHENSIVE EVERGLADES RESTORATION PLAN

SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT

CERP provides a 30-year framework and guide to restore, protect and preserve the water resources of central and southern Florida, including the Everglades. This regional planning initiative covers 16 counties over an 18,000 square mile watershed. The goal of CERP is to capture freshwater that now flows unused to the ocean and the gulf and redirect it to areas that need it most. The majority of the water will be devoted to environmental restoration and reviving a dying Everglades ecosystem. The remaining water will benefit cities and farmers by enhancing water supplies for the south Florida economy. Seven50 considers CERP and efforts to accomplish its goals a “cornerstone” regional issue that can only be resolved by the entire region working together for that purpose.

INDICATORS & MEASURES

Benchmarks and metrics have been developed to evaluate progress in implementing Seven50. Over 50 factors have been established for measuring the pace of implementation. A detailed report on Seven50 progress indicators and measures can be found in the Scenario Report at Seven50.org.

PROTECTING PROPERTY RIGHTS IN A CONSTITUTIONAL MANNER

Associated with the rapid population growth in the Region is the expansion of needed infrastructure, such as roadways, water, and sewer plants, and recreation and lands containing significant natural systems. Quite often the land needed for public infrastructure is privately owned. It is the dictate of responsible government to ensure that the impact of public uses on private lands is minimized and that when the use of privately owned land is negatively impacted in an unconstitutional manner, the private landowner should be fairly compensated in a timely manner.

The issue of property rights can be divided into two categories. The first deals with instances discussed above, where it is determined that the public’s best interests and shared community-wide goals can be achieved only through public acquisition of privately owned lands. The second aspect of property rights deals with the regulation of land. This occurs mainly through land regulations such as comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulation, and building codes. All local governments have the authority to adopt such regulations where it is shown that they promote or guarantee the health, safety, and welfare of their residents.

At the same time, Florida has some of the most strict property rights laws in the nation, which must be abided by the local government.

AGENDA 21 CONCERNS

During the preparation of the plan, a group of concerned citizens actively campaigned against Seven50 over concerns abound the perceived loss of home rule, federal government intrusion and overreach, “stack and pack” housing, and the belief that Seven50 is a process to implement Agenda21. Despite an intense effort on the behalf of the team of consultants, supportive public and private entities, and fellow concerned residents to provide assurances that Seven50 was in no way advocating for these issues of concern, five local governments voted to stop participating in the planning effort as follows:

  • Indian River County – Voted 4-1 to withdraw from the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership on December 18, 2012.
  • City of Vero Beach – Voted 4-1 to terminate its membership in the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership on January 8, 2013
  • Town of Indian River Shores – Voted unanimously to terminate participation in the Seven50 Project on January 30, 2013
  • St. Lucie County –Voted 4-1 to accept the Seven50 data and report, but to terminate participation in the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership on November 7, 2013
  • Martin County – voted 4-1 to withdraw from the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership effective February 22, 2014 (date the grant ends) and agreed not to adopt commitments beyond the current agreement without commissioner approval.

 

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