Regional Study of Land Use Planning and Reclamation
Florida is and will continue to be a rapidly growing state. The need for growth management and land use planning was recognized by the State Legislature when they passed “The State and Regional Planning Act of 1984”. The State plan and all Regional Comprehensive Policy Plans have been completed and adopted. The local government (counties and cities) growth management and land use plans are due to be completed by late 1990.
The study area for this project includes portions of DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk Counties. This 1,265,069 acre land area has experienced the same growth and land use pressures as have other non-coastal regions, but because the phosphate industry owns or controls almost 40% of the acreage, its development has been slowed. The majority of these lands will become available sometime in the first part of the 21st century, after the industry has completed mining and reclamation.
Three factors are paramount in determining the use of a particular plot of land; natural, economic and political. Industry decisions on whether or not to mine a given tract, how and when to reclaim the land after mining, and how to meet the political/regulatory requirements are all based on the interplay of these three factors.