Western Lands Update - August 2011
The Western Lands Study Report has been available on this webpage since May 27, 2011. As promised, County staff and the consultant team for the Western Lands Study, led by the University of Florida Center for Building Better Communities, has scheduled a follow-up public assembly for discussion of the draft report:
Friday, August 19, 2011
9am to 12pm
Havert L. Fenn Center
2000 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, FL
This public workshop is the last of a series of four such forums meant to get public input and educate participants on a variety of planning and economic development tools that can be applied to the study area, as well as to discuss priorities and preferences for the future of this area. The agenda for August 19th will begin with a summary presentation from the consultant team of the background of the study and the resulting recommendations contained in the report. Questions and comments will then be reviewed in smaller facilitated discussion groups so the team can collect a thorough understanding of participants’ perceptions and reactions.
After the public workshop, the team will begin compiling any necessary edits to the draft recommendations. Once the final report is complete, the report will be scheduled for consideration by the Board of County Commissioners and then for public hearings for adoption of the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments contained in the report. The current schedule for this process will likely extend through the end of this year and into the beginning of 2012.
The County welcomes any comments on the proposed strategies in the report and the ways in which participants believe those strategies address public input during the planning process. Comments and questions can be submitted up until the adoption hearings to:
Leslie Olson, Planning Manager
St. Lucie County Planning & Development Services
2300 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, FL 34982-5652
The purpose of the Western Lands study is to conduct a planning process that includes significant public input and addresses fundamental issues regarding the future land uses of approximately 200,000 acres of agricultural land. The goal of this effort is to develop a sustainable plan for the County's western lands that will preserve a functioning network of agriculture, open space, and natural areas while providing economically viable options for agricultural landowners, now and in the future.
To create a successful program for St. Lucie County it is important to investigate patterns of land uses that respect private property rights and provide opportunities for rural lifestyles and agricultural operations that are sustainable in terms of equity treatment for landowners, economic viability, infrastructure provision, water demand and usage, and environmental conservation. For a plan of this magnitude and scope, and with such significant economic and environmental implications, it is imperative that stakeholders and the public have a voice in creating a vision for the future of St. Lucie County's western lands.
The public input process has included two Educational Forums in which national and state experts presented strategies to assist the preservation of agriculture through producing alternative income streams from the land.
Preserving Farmland through Profitable Agriculture
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Land Use Planning Tools for Retaining Farmland
Saturday, March 6, 2010
A third public workshop, the Western Lands Assembly, was conducted on April 24, 2010 to elicit input on the issues presented during the Educational Forums. Notes from the group sessions from that day can be viewed through this link. Notes
"What Makes TDRs Work" APA article
The Western Lands Study Scope of Services, which includes 11 separate tasks that outline the course of the study from data collection to the four-part public participation process.
Maps and data of the study area reviewed by the consultant team to inform their study of existing conditions.
Public participation, to find out how the visioning process is structured.