The legal environment for local government in Florida is beginning to change when it comes to sea-level rise (sometimes referred to as SLR). Innovations in institutional structure and governance strategies are underway in the State as well. This paper reviews three recent developments, which relate primarily to comprehensive planning in the State, and explores their implications for Florida’s local governments, among others. It begins with the State’s decision, in 2011 legislation, to give local governments a new, optional tool – referred to as “Adaptation Action Areas” (AAAs) – to address sea-level rise and related issues in local comprehensive plans. The paper then turns to a second piece of Florida legislation, this one enacted in 2015, which also identifies sea-level rise as a concern but this time mandates that local governments begin to address it and other causes of flood-related risks through their comprehensive planning process. Finally, the paper discusses a third initiative, launched in 2009 by four Southeast Florida counties – Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe – to foster local government and regional coordination on sea-level rise and other climate change issues. This review of these three developments provides a relatively in-depth starting point for understanding key features of the emerging legal and institutional landscape in Florida for addressing sea-level rise, especially with respect to comprehensive planning.
Environmental Law | Law
Sea-Level Rise and Changing Times for Florida Local Governments,
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, September 2016
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sabin_climate_change/116