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SEA LEVEL RISE AND LOCAL LAND USE PLANNING: THE FLORIDA EXAMPLE BY ELISABETH SALINAS A THESIS Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Urban Studies Under the sponsorship of Dr. David Brain Sarasota, Florida May, 2009
ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis and its author have benefited greatly from the support of myriad sources. I am grateful to Prof. Brain, Prof. Alcock and Prof. Fitzgerald for serving on my baccalaureate committee and especially thankf ul to Prof. Brain who has been a dedicated sponsor the last three years and Prof. Alcock who got this project off the ground Spring 2008 when he offered me the opportunity to do a summer internship a Mote Marine Laboratorys Policy Institute. I am extremely indebted to Motes Barbara Lausche for the interesting ideas, kindness, and thoughtful feedback she shared with me, sharpening my critical thinking skills and elevating the quality of my writing. Another big thanks goes out to Motes Dr. Ernie Estevez who allowed me to use his survey tool for my own project and to Dana OMara whose high spirits and sunny disposition enliv ened my research and made last summer ever more pleasurable. My family, Ryan Thompson, Madison Sharko, Chloe Davis, Carli Cooper and Erica Schoon have been my most steadfast support ers through my entire college career. A loving thanks to all of them.
iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1 Chapter 1: Land Use and Climat e Change .....5 Chapter 2: The Case of Florida .21 Chapter 3: Intergovernmental Conditions .44 Chapter 4: Local Action through a Comparative Lens ..57 Conclusion: Policy Recommendations fo r the State Level ...78
iv TABLE OF FIGURES Figure 4.1 64 Figure 4.2 .66 Figure 4.3 70
v SEA LEVEL RISE AND LOCAL LAND USE PLANNING: THE FLORIDA EXAMPLE Elisabeth Salinas New College of Florida, 2009 ABSTRACT The influence of land use patterns on hazard vulnerability and resilience establishes the importance of examining local land use planning in research addressing climate change. While the conceptual conn ection between land use planning and climate change adaptation is relatively easy to grasp, in practice, integrating climate concerns into planning activity is technicall y and politically difficult. Using document research and survey techniques, the thesis describes how four southwestern Florida counties (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Collier) have incorporated predictions regarding future accelerated sea level rise into comprehensive planning activities and the challenges they have faced in doing so. The thesis argues that state government might encourage robust sea level rise adaptation efforts by local go vernments through clarifying the division of climate-related planning responsibilities among stat e, regional and local planning bodies. Professor David Brain Division of Social Sciences
1 Introduction The capacity of local government to re spond to sustainability and climate imperatives has long been a political fascinat ion. The 1987 Bruntland Report, famous for coining the term sustainable development, was also distinguished for engaging the topic of urban sustainability (Bulkeley and Be tsill 2005: 42). Growing concerns regarding climate change have increase d the attention given to the relationship between local governance and environmental protection as well as examples of local governmental climate and sustainability action. In the last few decades, hundreds of formal climate action plans have been produced in the United States (Wheeler 2008). While the conceptual connection between local governance activities such as land use planning and climate change adaptation is relatively easy to grasp, in practice, integrating climate concerns into planning activity is tech nically and politically difficult. This thesis describes the effects of accelerated sea level rise threat on the land use planning work of four Southwestern Florida counties, detailing the primary barriers the four local governments have faced in moving action forward and describing opportunities for state government to assist local jurisdictions in meeting these challenges. Florida offers an especially interesting context for situ ating an analyses of the application of local land use planning to responding to clim ate change given the states high hazard vulnerability and its historical experimenta tion and indecision regarding the proper way to manage growth. The thesis argues that state government might play an important role in encouraging robust sea level rise adaptation efforts by local governments through clarifying the division of climate-related plan ning responsibilities am ong state, regional and local planning bodies.
2 It may seem dissatisfying to answer th e question of how local government might build climate resiliency with, the state should define the local role and build local response capacity as an answer. However, a ttending to intergovernmental relationships is necessary in order to accurately charact erize local political power and the political challenges associated with local governmentled climate response. Michele Betsill and Harriet Bulkeley provide an elegant description of such an intergovernmental approach to analyses of sustainability: We suggest that it is necessary to step beyond the local as a frame of reference, and to engage with the processes which shape local capacity and political will for sustainable development at multiple sites and scales of governance in order to explain why moves towards urban sustainabi lity are, and are not, taking place (2005: 48) The thesis does not argue for or against loca l government serving as a site for climate action. Instead it maps out varying cultural and institutional contexts that shape climate resiliency and local planning activities as a way to describe how local government might move local climate action forward. The anal ysis is developed over the course of four chapters: Chapter 1: Land-Use and Climate Change The first chapter describes the unique ch aracteristics of local climate action by analyzing the political challe nges embedded in climate change within the contours of local government political power. It argues that though local governments are limited in their ability to address climate change, their discretion over land use offers them a medium by which they might advance climat e change action. The chapter establishes four core assumptions upon which the rest of the thesis builds. First, that climate change is, in large part, a land use issu e; second, that land use is responsive to formal, local land-
3 use planning arrangements; and third, that land-use planning represents a site around which multiple claims on space and visions of the proper character of the built environment collect. Though land use pl anning doesnt automatically reconcile alternative claims on space, it still has stro ng application to promoting adaptation. Chapter 2: The Case of Florida The second chapter describes Floridas vulnerability to sea level rise in geographic and physical terms and in cultural and institutional ones. The first part of the chapter describes the potential physical impact s of accelerated sea level rise for Florida and outlines different methods and tools availa ble for responding to coastal hazard that might be applied to sea level rise. The se cond part describes the wider cultural and institutional context within which adaptation options will be decided upon, designed and implemented. The chapter concludes by asse ssing the feasibility of various adaptation options in light of Floridas historical approaches to coastal development and growth management. Chapter 3: Intergovernmental Conditions The third chapter describes the role of st ate and federal bodies in shaping coastal development conditions. It analyzes the effectiveness of the Coastal Zone Management Actostensibly the primary context for federal involvement in state land use management practicesin promoting sustainability at the local level. It looks at the effects of federal and state disaster insuranc e and to a lesser extent, disaster mitigation programs on coastal development and describes the states coastal hazard planning mandates for local governments, illustrating vari ous extra-local institutional relationships that converge at Floridas coasts.
4 Chapter 4: Local Action th rough a Comparative Lens The fourth chapter offers a comparative examination of how four similarly builtout counties have responded to se a level rise and integrated it into planning activities, how they have made sense of their as of yet undefined role in advancing climate adaptation, what challenges local government s have faced in moving action forward and what changes they perceive as important for building climate change adaptation capacity at the local level. Conclusion: State Level Policy Recommendations The conclusion builds upon the first four chapters and offers a variety of recommendations for how state government might help local governments more effectively use land use planning as a context for promoting climate change resiliency.
5 Chapter 1: Land-Use and Climate Change Adaptive actions tend to be context-and placespecific, with implications for relatively delimited sets of stakeholders and requiring a knowledge base tailored to local settings (Few, Brown and Tompkins 2007; 47) There is widespread consensus that th e complexities of the climate change problem (if not of contemporary life) require new forms of political action that cross traditional social and political distinctions such as those represented by geopolitical borders, government level, those demarca ting expert and non expert knowledge, or government and civil society. Outside the climate change issue, environmental governance is increasingly characterized in this manner, with great weight assigned to networks, non-governmental actors, supra and su b-national spheres of governance as well as the social relations and conditions that underlie these institutional arrangements (Bulkeley and Betsill 2003: 18; Storbjrk 2007: 458; Healey 1999: 112). Local governments are seen as having a critical role in constituting these alternative forms of governance and much hope is pinned on them for serving as effective sites for climate change action. Their rootedness in a partic ular landscape is at least suggestive that environmental stewardship may be more easily grasped as a concrete and practicable task in local settings. It establishes local governm ents greater potential for more site-specific and contextual land management techniques than more remote levels of governance and puts local government in a strong position to draw from and foster local knowledge sources and develop more place based or integrated political action (Bulkeley and Betsill 2003: 25; Healey 1999: 114). Despite the appeal of this logic, in pr actice, local governments have made uneven partners and initiators of environmental action, in some cases excelling at the task and in
6 others falling short.1 The very characteristics that establish their strong capacity for judicious environmental management techniqu es also make them vulnerable to local interests who would see other concerns pr ioritized over sustaina bility-oriented ones (Young 2007: 385). To the same end, embedded in larger governance structures and nearly always limited in their resources, local governments face real limits in what they can do beyond what is immediately required or politically tenable (Pelissero et. al 2003). The heaviness of the climate change probl em itself would seem, then, to eclipse the capacities of local governance. Climate change extends many of the more difficult elements of governmental administration, such as the tasks of integrating science into political decision-making, responding to both technical as well as social imperatives, and dealing with intergovernmental coordinati on, while creating new technical burdens. Weighing the challenges associated with local administration against those of advancing climate change adaptation reveals that, though it may be desirable for local governments to assume an active role in promoting climat e change preparedness, the shape of this role, the exact functions that local governments might perform in this capacity certainly cannot be taken for granted. This chapter attempts to characterize th e unique role of local governments in responding to climate change. To do so, it joins a description of some of the general difficulties associated with local governance with a summary of climate changes political challenges and then describes the applications of land use planning to responding to the issue. The chapter argues that while land use planning is often limited in its effectiveness as a context for rendering decisions and even more limited as tool for 1 In part, the design of Floridas contemporary land use planning framework (seen as state-controlled and top-down) grew out of dissatisfaction with pro-growth anti-regulation approaches to land use decisions by local governments (Carruthers 2002: 1961).
7 reliably promoting certain outcomes such as sustainability or climate change adaptation, it remains an important site for local governments to develop and tangibly effect adaptation goals. Local Government2 Local government is a large and varied categoryreferring to municipalities, townships, counties and special districts (si ngle purpose governments), structured in a variety of ways, of varying sizes, under diff erent obligations for service delivery and possessing differe nt social, fiscal, regulatory and po litical resources to meet these challenges (Rich 2003: 37). At a formal le vel, local governmental power derives from home and Dillons rule. Home rule is gene rally perceived as taking a more expansive view of local governmental powers by ceding to local governments all those powers that arent specifically denied by th e state. Alternativel y, under Dillons rule, localities enjoy powers explicitly granted by the state. However, by both standards local governmental power is mediated by an outside structure, mutable and contingent whether actively or passively proscribed, the state legislature has broad discretion over local governmental powers (Rich 2003: 40)3. Even at a formal level, local governance is defined by its, particularistic or local qualities. 2 Throughout the thesis, my use of the term local gove rnment mainly refers to cities and counties. I have considered and portrayed counties as roughly comparable to cities or other municipal units throughout the thesispossessing similar interests and resource constraints. I do so partly because in Florida, counties engage in land use planning and often mirror cities in delivering a wide range of services to populous unincorporated communities. One significant difference between counties and cities I perhaps wrongfully ignore is that counties have one established form of government (ruled by a board of commissioners) while cities government may take a wide variety of form s (David Colburn and Lance deHaven-Smith 1999). 3 In Florida, local government have limited home rule rights from the state government, lacking taxing authority (local governments are required to put certain proposed tax increases to referenda) but having home rule rights in other areas. The political responsibilities of local governments in Florida and their fiscal resources is explored in greater detail in Chapter 2 http://www/flcities.com/membership/home_r\ule_history.asp
8 Though there is strong variation in how lo cal governance is formally structured and constituted on a day to day basis between lo cal settings, it still has cohesiveness as an analytic category and can be characterized in terms of broad, general features that apply to most local governments. Among the most meaningful is that local governmental units generally face severe financial constraints. In part, this is due to their reliance on higher levels of government for fundingstate s are generally the largest revenue source for local government and direct how local authorities can raise money.4 This fiscal dependency parallels and interrelates with a second basic characteristic: the political subordination of local government to highe r levels (Bulkeley and Betsill 2003: 65). Describing cities and the place of federalism within local jurisdiction, Michael Rich writes, Only a handful of the functions that city governments typically provide are ones in which the city plays a dominant role in arranging, financing, and delivering the service. (Rich 200: 42). This aspect of s ubordination, often connected to local fiscal conditions, can be severely limiting for local governments. Rich notes that while the federal government generally promulgates its objectives through grant-in-aid, or financial assistance to a local government for a dedicated purpose, state and federal government also often apply regulatory standards to local governments without corresponding financial assistance increasing pressure on local budgets through unfunded mandates (Rich 2003: 50). The fiscal and political constraints of local governments under federalism have tremendous impact on other dimensions of the governmental process and thus, on possibilities fo r local climate action. 4 Some scholars claim that political fragmentation resulting from suburbanization might further strain budgets by limiting the efficiency (no scale benefits) of governmental service delivery expenditures. Others dispute this claim as an empirical falsehood often citing the increasingly complex metropolitan arrangements for service delivery involving private companies or contracts with other local governmental units. Oliver provides a summary of these debates (Oliver 2003).
9 Challenges Associated with Climate Change Action The context for local governmental climate action is defined by three closely related elements: (1) the physical realities of climate change; (2) how climate change risk is discursively represented and understood by alternative audiences and; (3) institutional realities and the availability of resources for enacting climat e action. Within this view, the possibilities for collective climate action vary sharply between political settings and can be assumed to differ at the local level. Local governments face unique constraints in moving climate action forward. They organize action differently than other spheres of governance and produce different outcomes by their action. Though climate change shares many essential characteristics with other environmental political issues, its tremendous scale and scope distinguishes it. While it is nearly universally acknowledged within climate change literature that the challenges associated with climate change action should not be viewed as simple extensions of the biophysical characteristics of the problem bu t reflect general, patterned burdens humans face in responding to technological a nd environmental change and disaster understanding the constraints and possibilities associated with collective climate action requires attending to climate changes uni que characteristics (Arnell, Adger and Tompkins 2005). I offer three such aspects of climate change to orga nize a discussion of local climate engagement: temporal, spatial and epistemological. While each of these characteristics of climate change creates gene ral political burdens that might affect all levels of government, they carry more specific difficulties for local governments. Temporal The temporal challenges associated with climate change are related to the basic fact that while the climate change problem is constituted by historical and current human
10 behaviors, its impacts are expected to mani fest several decades in to the future. Its protracted time frame and the delayed onset of impacts present myriad challenges. These include practical ones, based on the difficulty of foreca sting far-ranging events and determining how to adjust current behavi ors accordingly; communication-related ones that stem from the overwhelming nature a nd perceived remoteness of the problem; cognitive and perhaps ethical challenges re lated to the fact that humans and markets generally dont value or regard future pl anetary conditions in the same way they do current conditions; and institutional ones, associated with the fact that human action is rarely organized to deal with chronic and far-off crises (Dilling and Moser 2007: 7). The time lag in the climate system easily invites solution skepticism, or beliefs that individual or local behavior modifications to mitigate climate change have little purpose or meaning based on the inevitability of devastation, or the inevitability of scientific deliverance from the problem, and thus might undermine efforts at political mobilization (Moser 2007: 6). Also of c onsequence for local governments is the fact that, local administrative bodies, like most organizational forms (and human minds), generally rely on history as a guide for pr esent and future action. Land use planning, disaster and environmental management nearly always use historical weather events for prediction making, a practice that may impose a false continuity between extreme weather experiences of the past and those of the future, while obscuring from view the possibility of more upwardly extreme weat her shifts or events. A wide variety of researchers have argued (often in the context of critiques of the flood insurance industrys use of the 100 year flood standard in their assessments) that this use of historical baselines be replaced by planning based on the precautionary principle (Frankhauser,
11 Smith and Tol 1999: 73; Storbjrk 2007: 458; Burby 2006: 177; Adger and Kelly 2000: 329). How institutions conceive of the future can be similarly problematic. Local land use planning horizons are generally insuff icient to fully capture and address the connection between current and near term behaviors and more far-off conditions, looking perhaps 10 years into the future but generally not 50 or 100 (Young 2007: 386). Spatial Climate change advances distinct cons tructions of space that though perhaps familiar to government arent widely used. Consider the difference between concepts such as floodplains, carbon footprints, ecosystems or production chains and socially derived spatial constructs such as school districts, county boundaries, census tracts, and city limits. While the first set of spatial conc epts describes ecologic al characteristics of particular settings or natural systems, the second set represents a collection of units that might be grafted on any landscape, lacking any spatial fixity (of course, while the actual social usage of terms such as school district and city limits usually establishes a particular settingthis particularity is not evoked in the term itself). There is broad indication that climate change impacts will significantly at the local level (Nicholls et al. 2007: 317). Local climate adaptation needs will vary accordingly. Considering the relationship between local geography and local hazard resiliency and vulnerability underscores the importance of spatially-grounded policy functions such as planning, waste treatment, transportation etc., and may call into question the segmentation of these relate d activities according to jurisdictional
12 boundaries or institutional ones (Healey 1999: 112; Betsill and Bulkeley 2003: 2).7 The global scope of climate change, the far-reachin g implications of its expected impacts and the uncertain character or how we might respond to the problem may call for a reexamination of how related bu reaucratically distinct institutional bodies relate to one another and of the ways in which hierarchic ally distinct levels of government or bureaucratically distinct institutional bodies relate to one another8 (Betsill and Bulkeley 2003; Moser 2006). Environmental issues are defined by soci ety to be appropriately tackled at a particular scale: ultimately the choice of how an environmental governance problem is handled within a jurisdiction is a reflection of the strength of the interests and power of the actors who define the problem. Understanding adaptation therefore requires consideration not only of different scales of human action, but also of the social construction of appropriate scales of institutions to further their own aim (Adger and Kelley 2005: 80). Given the circumscribed nature of loca l governance, the relationships between local government and climate change may be primary channels through which local adaptation is effected. Susanne Moser points out two critical roles they might play, as a political force, they can mobilize for policy changes at. higher levels of government, and they can enact behavioral changes [locally] that are consistent with needed mitigation and adaptation measures (Moser 2006: 1-2). In casting multiple roles for local governments and situating them within an intergovernmental context, Moser 7 Hurricanes offer an interesting parallel. Gary Mormin o writes that, Hurricanes may be natural disasters, but they also teach political lessons (Mormino 2005: 363). Hurricane Katrina offered a recent lesson on the tragic joining of socioeconomic conditions and space with segregation. 8 Organizing governance for a problem global in scope but defined by local impacts and fueled by local behaviors also presents communication-related challenges. The dominant climate discourse, emphasizing spatially indifferent efforts to cut emissions, does not generally focus on the spatial aspects of the problem. Communicating climate risks and adaptation needs (which are generally defined in global terms) to local audiences and connecting the global issue to local conditions and behaviors is not easily achieveda difficulty exacerbated by the uneven distribution of vulnerability and responsibility for the problem across populations, exemplified in Kyoto debates over the differential climate action responsibilities for developing and developed countries (Storbjrk 2007: 462; Dilling and Moser 2007: 7).
13 highlights the importance of intergovernmen tal political relationships to advancing climate action and underlines that local climate action need not only be viewed in terms of its local effects. Investigation into how local governments form these intergovernmental partnerships has produced different characterizations. Research in Sweden showed a preference among local governments to work with higher levels of government with whom they are familiar working in advancing climate action following traditional, hierarchically-based models (Adger and Kelley 2005; Lundqvist and Von Borgstede 2008). In contrast, other research has emphasi zed emerging transnational networks among local governments as sites of governance in and of themselves, modeled as forums for the exchange or planning and implementation best practices and as lobbying organizations10 (Betsill 2005: 400; Betsill and Bulkel ey 2003, 2005). The distinction between the two characterizations may not matter as much as their pluralitythey distinct dimensions of local climate action. Epistemological The fact that science mediates our u nderstandings of climate change also challenges prospects for local climate action. While climate change impacts are starting to manifest in certain arctic and tropical locations, for the most part our understanding 10 The political strength and incredible rates of membership of relatively recently formed transnational networks committed to assisting local governments advance climate action, reflects that local climate action is far from insular. King County, Washington, offers a prominent and widely acclaimed example of multi level governance (Betsill and Bulkeley 2003) They county has created a cross-cutting climate department (which has scientific, public advisory and regulatory components) to handle different adaptive and mitigative priorities for the county and, in partnership with the international local government sustainability action network ICLEILocal Governments for Sustainability organization, has distilled from its own climate action plan a guidebook for other local governments to use in advancing climate change. The King County example shows how local climate change can operate at various scales and is not bound to the local one (Bulkeley and Betsill 2003: 3; Lundqvist and von Borgstede 2008: 318).
14 and experience of them comes from scientific discourse, with even th e task of responding to them often laid out as a scientific or t echnological matter. More than other sciences, climate science is rapidly e volving, high-profile and overtly charged with political and social meanings. Given this volatility, the exchange between the realm of climate science and that of society might then, be especially disorderly. Scholars treating the question of how to make the relations hip between science and technology more functiona l have sought to elucidate means for producing science that is more responsive to societal needs (J asonoff 2004: 227). In research on Californian coastal managers interactions with science, John Tribbia and Susanne Moser highlight that sciences practice of expressing itself in technical terms and in venues (e.g. journals) with which political decision-makers may feel unfamiliar or unsteady, undercuts its capacity to contribute to political decisi on-making. Not only does this condition of estrangement compromise its influence, but also, may lead to science that shows little connection to, or understanding of, human practi ces and social bodies. The inconsistent communication between scientific and political or regulatory communities may compromise its accuracy and helpfulness (Field et al. 2007: 638; Tribbia and Moser 2008: 317). Scholars emphasize that mending this disjuncture between the scientific and social is not so much a questi on of delivering greater volumes of more precise science to decision-makers, as much as it is about how non-scientific and scie ntific social bodies interact. The privileging of scientific fo rms of expression and knowledge (as might be observed with the issue of planning on the ba sis of historical baselines) can, create high entry barriers against legitimate positions that cannot express themselves in terms of the dominant discourse undermining both quality of science produced and the possibilities
15 for meaningful application (Jasonoff 2003: 239). While this estrangement might undercut sciences usefulness, making transp arent the political decisions that influence how science is preformed or increasing public involvement in scientific production can also be problematic, can fan controversy, in crease suspicion of science and diminish its currency. The concept of boundaries has been used to interpret and structure exchanges between science and policy. Scholarly wo rk on boundary maintenance has focused on the need for introducing a mediating element at the boundary of science and policy as a way of maintaining the credibility of science while making it more responsive to social bodies. David Guston and others have held up the concept of boundary organizations as a precaution against the, confusion or ev en dangerous instabilitie s between science and non-science. These risks could be conceived, perhaps, as the politicization of science or the reciprocal scientification of politics (G uston 2001: 399). Going a bit further, Sheila Jasonoff has alternatively, emphasized the need for new socially-derived epistemologies to guide science: Acknowledging the limits of predication and control, technologies of humility confront head-on the normative implic ations of our lack of perfect foresight. They call for different expert capabilities and different forms of engagement between experts, decision-makers, and the public than were considered needful in the governance structures of high modernity (Jasonoff 2003: 227). While managing the exchange between science and policy is a challenge all levels of gove rnment face, local resource constraints may make this process even more difficult at the local level. The resource constraints faced by local jurisdictions may limit the degree to which they might practice at communicating with the scientific community, exchanging
16 with them, constituting boundary organizati ons, or as John Tribbia and Susanne Moser point out, cultivating relationships with scientific community members that might mediate their exchanges in lieu of actual boundary organizations (Tribbia and Moser 2008: 317). Local government might be less able to bear the material and political costs of overt involvement in the scientific process. From research into local climate responses in Sweden, Sophie Storbjrk recounts a tende ncy among local planners and governmental officials to publicly distance themselves from the production of any scientific material, emphasizing science as a responsibility of highe r levels of government in order to deflect local resistance or backlash to proposed climate scenarios (Storbjrk 2007: 465). Her analysis ties this aversion of local officials to associate with, or even display future climate scenarios with the short feedback loop between local decision-makers and local citizens (Storbjrk 2007: 465; Young 385).11 Local governments have not only acute needs for locally focused and socially respon sive scientific input, but also resource limitations that reduce their ability to meet these needs. Local Governments and Climate Change This description of the multiple and multif aceted political challenges associated climate change and the limitations in local governments political capacity presents a heavily qualified view of local climate action. Under present circumstances, in the absence of strong federal or state action dealing with adaptati on, when carrying out climate action, local governments confront an ill-defined intergovernmental context that offers unclear or murky indications of how adaptation responsibilities might be shared among government levels. They face politic al, technical and institutional barriers to 11 Alternatively, the presence of a local official or strong constituency willing to champion climate action has been viewed as a critical factor for successfully launching government-led local climate action (Young 386; Bulkeley and Betsill 2003: 173, 74.
17 moving action forward based within local juri sdictions themselves. While the previous discussion has highlighted barriers local governments facing in moving action forward and emphasized that strategic partnerships with other spheres of governance might be considered the main context in which local climate action is effected, this leaves untouched the question of what local governments might actually do to improve the resiliency of their own communities. The next section looks at practical means by which local governments might promote adaptation through examining land use planning and its application to climate action. Forms of Engagement: General Land use a nd Ad-Hoc Planning The spatially particularistic nature of cl imate change impacts and adaptation to those impacts establishes the importance of la nd use and collective interventions in land use to confronting the climate challenge. As a medium for establishing land use and considering human interaction and usages of the environment, local land use planning offers local governments an importa nt context for climate action. Oversight over land use, especially when combined with transportation planning, energy management, authority over housing issues or waste management etc., is perhaps, the strongest tool for addressing climate issu es available to local governments (Bulkeley and Bestill 2003: 2; Lundvist and Borgsted e 2008: 305). Through land use planning, local governments influence the design, density an d location of development and thus, both the current and future character of local jurisdictio ns: It is the fact th at cities are spatially defined units whose boundaries seldom change that gives permanence to their interests (Peterson 1981: 24). In land use decision making, local governments make environmental, social justice, economic, and, critically, climate change decisions while
18 ideally, drawing out the interrelations am ong these concerns (Corburn 2003: 420; Brody and Highfield 2005: 161). The connection between land use and clim ate change is well established and widely celebrated within climate change lite rature. Better management of green space and the creation of more consolidated and ca refully rendered urban or otherwise spaces is linked to mitigative efforts at reducing carbon and adaptive ones of building a more resilient built environment and more lasting social networks and even developing civic understanding and engagement with environmental stewardship (Healey 1999) .13 Viewing planning empirically rather than conceptually highlights its limitations to serving as a primary context for dealing with climate change issues. Planning is not the only or even a main determinant of land us e and public authority over land use decision making is often fragmented among various policy communities and various jurisdictions or governmental levels (Bulkeley and Bets ill 2003: 178; Storbjrk 2007: 462). Plan quality and strong implementation do not alwa ys coincide nor do plans always produce their intended outcomes.14 15 The possibilities for planning are, inevitably, constrained by the historical effects of previous develo pment decisions and limited by market forces, 13 Not all local governments are required to prepare comprehensive plans. Writing in 2006, Burby writes that only 10 of 24 of Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coastal states require local governments to plan and include hazard criteria in their plans (Burby 2006; 182). 14 Samuel Brody and Wesley Highfield write that plans have traditionally been viewed and evaluated in terms of content versus specific outcomes, partly due to the difficulty of obtaining a firm measurement of outcomes (plans do more than just configure the built environment), the paucity of longitudinal data, disagreement over methods and indecision about whether or not plan conformity is in fact desirable (Brody and Highfield 2005: 160). In their own study of wetland development permits in areas carrying conservation or no-build designation in Florida, showed that little more than 15% of all wetland development permits did not conform to comprehensive pl an designations (the majority of non-conforming permits were in lands at the urban fringe). 15 While there is less empirical evidence regarding unintended consequences produced by plans, there is abundant anecdotal confirmation of their occurrence. One that this thesis returns to in the third chapter is the tendency for risk hazard mitigation activities such as constructing hurricane works, to induce a false sense of security among citizens and institutions and actually encourage risky types of development (Burby 2006).
19 social preferences and property rights. Bulkeley and Betsill capture the cleavages between planning policy and implementation: Despite the explicit or implicit inclusion of policy principles to address emissions of greenhouse gases through land use planning in each of these case-studies, their implementation has been far from straight forward. Where local authorities own land, or can exercise significant powers over its use policies to reduce energy use through the form or design of developments have been implemented. Likewise, if a particular development site is sought after, or if agreements have been entered into with local house build ers, it has been easier to persuade developers to adopt more energy conservation measures than would otherwise have been the case. However, such in stances reaming few and far between, and in the majority of developments busin ess continues as usual (Bulkeley and Betsill 2003: 177). Judging planning as a democratic process or as a tool for social learning yields a similarly mixed view of its effectiveness as a tool for promoting single goals such as climate preparedness. In a brief history of contemporary planning, Patsy Healey noted that while increasing attention has been paid to evolving more collaborative forms of planning as a reaction to plannings association with scientific modernist or statist interventions in the construction of place, planning today is rarely community-driven (Healey 1999:111). The language of planning re mains oriented toward concepts of codes and standards and technologies rather than large sustainability. While Healey affirms plannings ability to serve as a corrective to place-blind bias in contemporary politics, she acknowledges, in practice the capacity of planning system to integrate is limited by the power of sectoral policy communities and the weakness of the conceptions of sociospatial relations that underpin the thinking of the planning community (Healey 1999: 116).
20 Conclusion The usefulness in this general character ization of the challenges associated with local climate action is that it maps out the diffuse range of challenges local governments confront in building climate initiatives. A chief limitation to such a discussion lies is its generality and its treatment of local governm ent and planning as monolithic categories. Looking at local governments and climate change from such a distance and only examining challenges to climate action produces such a generic and equivocal of the conditions in which local climate action occurs, as to seem devoid of meaning. Such a broad view doesnt address how local governme nts come to identify climate action as a goal, or the specific strategies they employ to adapt their institutions to fit this goal, how strategies and understanding of climate ch ange may shift over time, or how addressing climate action might actually transform the char acter of political institutions themselves. The forthcoming chapters dont offer definitive answers to such questions, but they do provide a more contextualized discussion of local governmental political action to address climate change. In preparation fo r the fourth chapters close, empirical examination of local climate planning, the next chapter describes sea level rise, its implications for Florida, different adaptation possibilities associated with it, and the particular growth challenges and management techniques within Florida that might shape future local responses to the issue.
21 Chapter 2: The Case of Florida . in the language of academic discourse, the beach is socially constructed meaning that our associations with it constantly c hange our definitions. We construct our own beaches as man has physically constructed and reconstructed Floridas dunes and shore. At times as becalming as a picture postcard, at other moments resembling a Hieronymus Bosch descent into Hell, the beach is an ar ena for creative and destructive tension: nature versus technology, personal freedoms versus communal control, and democracy versus plutocracy . (Mormino 2007; 302). The complex confluence of culture, nature and technology at Floridas coasts is most clearly legible through history and geog raphy. Articulations made today about the proper nature and appropriateness of coastal development in the state are invariably framed by the lineage of historical transformations of Floridas coasts and the different institutional and cultural forms that supported such transformations. This chapter describes the biophysical and cultural dimensions of Floridas overall vulnerability to sea level rise vulnerability in two main parts. The first part is future oriented: it reviews Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions of future sea level rise, researches the effects these scenarios may ha ve on Floridas coasts and describes current tools available for responding to coastal hazards such as storms, ecological degradation, and erosion that might be applied to sea leve l rise. The second part looks backward: it describes the growth forces that built Floridas coasts and the evolution of the states planning framework as the states chief attempt to discipline development within the state and subdue or manage the cre ative and destructive tensions that Florida historian Gary Mormino identifies. In the final section I extrapolate from Floridas historical approaches to coastal management and growth control and consider the suitability of the various adaptation options presented earlier in the chapter.
22 The Challenge: Sea Level Rise The IPCC has predicted dramatic change s to the worlds coastal zones. Along with increases in global temperatures due to CO2 and other heat trapping gasses in the atmosphere, climate change is predicted to increase sea levels between .18 m and .59 m (a range of around 7 inches and 2 feet) in th e coming centurya rate of increase a little less than double that of the previous century3 (Meehl et al. 2007: 831). In addition to sea level rise, the IPCC predicts climate change will bring increased ocean acidification, more frequent extreme weather events, rising ocean and atmospheric temperatures and altered precipitation pa tternsall of which will pose serious challenges to the worlds coastal environments and communities. Accelerated sea level rise is predicted to have far-reaching biophysical impacts with serious social consequences (Nicholls and Klein 2000: 218). It will cause beaches to migrate inland, increase erosion of coasta l and estuarine lands and submerge wetlands as sea levels begin to outp ace sediment delivery and other forces of soil building4 5 (Rosenzweig et al. 2007: 94). The IPCC predicts that sea level rise will degrade both surface and groundwater sources and, by incr easing wave heights while reducing wetland buffer zones, it will increase the frequency and extent of flooding (Rosenzweig et al. 2007: 81). Though there is high confidence among scientists that the worlds coastal systems will sustain added stre ss in the coming centuries, there is decidedly less certainty regarding how these broad climatic shifts might affect specific coasts. 3 The IPCC cautions that were the melting rates of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps to increase, seas would likely rise far beyond these predicted levels (Meehl et al. 2007; 831). Some researchers are convinced from data from the Greenland ice cap that an upward recalibration of sea level rise estimates is already in order (Overpeck et al. 2006). 4 While the IPCC has expressed that there isnt a clear understanding within the scientific community of the exact relationship between different rates of sea level rise and land loss due to erosion. One measure that has been used--Bruuns rule--suggests th at on average every foot of sea level rise is likely to erode 50 feet of beach (Bruun 1962). 5 The IPCC predicts global wetland loss of about 30% (IPCC 2007: 10)
23 The vagaries of future weather shifts combined with local conditions will determine climate changes impacts: The phenomena will vary considerable at regional and local scales, but the impacts are virtually certain to be overwhelmingly negative (Nicholls et al. 2007: 317). Floridas low topography, extensive coastline, shallow water table, heightened vulnerability to hurricane, high coastal population densities, legacy of engineered interventions into coastal geography, and spotty record of maintaining natural protective features such as its wetlands (its estimated Florida lost about half of 20.3 million acres of wetlands over the 20th century) would seem to confirm the states vulnerability to future sea level rise impacts (Colburn and deHaven-Smith 1999: 126; Rosenzweig et al. 2007: 92-3; Deyle, Bailey and Matheny 2007; 12-14).6 The scientific uncertainty regarding lo cal effects of sea level rise and the simultaneous gravity of generali zed sea level rise predictions present difficult information for social groups to assimilate. How societ y (and more specifically, the land use planning community) might respond to future impacts in anticipation of them, while far from clear-cut, is partially prefigured by historical and current approaches to managing coastal development. What Might be Done: Adaptation Current science tells us that climate change is inevitable, that even the most robust effort to cut emissions, however necessary to avoid accelerating the warming process, would be insufficient to interrupt climate changes forward march (Meehl et al 2007: 6 Robert Deyle, Katherine Bailey, Anthony Matheny point out that saltwater intrusion has already affected three of Floridas primary aquifersan effect likely to increase as climate change impacts manifest (Biscayne Aquifer in the southeast, Floridan Aquife r in the northeast and the Tamiami Aquifer in the southwest) (2007; 13). Similar findings are reported for the states biological systems. There are indication that parts of Floridas wetlands are already failing to keep apace current rates of sea level rise, and are today, experiencing some of the highest rates of loss of any wetland system in the United Statesa condition partially attributable to the states, engineered modifications to regional watersheds and coastal landscapes (Twilley 2007; 42, 47-8) (Rosenzweig et al. 2007; 92-3).
24 747). Adaptation, what the IPCC defines as, any adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities, deals with the local aspects of climate change, concerning how particular groups respond to specific climate change risks or impacts within circumscribed settin gs (IPCC 2001: 72; Klein et al. 2007: 750). While adaptation is clearly a far-reaching taskfocusing on the range of relations, technologies and behaviors that might bette r sustain communities and locations under climate change conditionscontextualizin g adaptation within a specific place, community or region makes it more manageab le analytic concepts. Adaptation is a process already familiar to humans who constantly adjust behaviors on an anticipatory and reactionary basis, suggesti ng that adaptation to future s ea level rise will likely draw from preexisting techniques available for managing development and will almost certainly be marked by the broad based debate s surrounding the sustainability of different coastal development practices. Adaptation at the Coast As lands that abut ocean water, all co asts share in being exposed to wave reflection, regular periods of accretion (ero sion) and subsidence (land building) and the possibility of storms. They feature a variety of geological forms and are home or stopover spots for an incredible diversity of species. Some coasts have sandy beaches (although the vast majority of them do not), ot hers have rocky shores and still others are dominated by mangrove swamps, salt marsh or other vegetative communities. Over fourfifths of coasts in this country are not the p elagic coasts that front the ocean, but bay coasts which, though removed from the ocean, are still made up of its waters as is the
25 case with estuaries (Titus 1998: 1289). Coasta l lands serve as critical buffers between land and sea and, in this way, are important to the health of both marine and land-based ecosystems. They are dynamic, moving lands that may expand or shrink. Beaches, for instance, are able to retain their profile even while experiencing erosion (at least at stable rates) by migrating landward in order to adjust their beach slope. By their morphodynamic nature they are not always sa fe or easy sites for human settlement and activity (Nicholls et al. 2007: 318). Along with important ecological functi ons, coasts serve a number of critical human purposes and have tremendous cultural, economic and social importance as sites for recreation, agriculture, aquaculture, silverculture, residential and industrial development (Nicholls et al. 20 07: 319). Based on the ecologic al significance of coastal lands and their value as public goods, coasta l communities have applied a variety of techniques to mitigate coastal hazards, ma nage tensions betwee n coastal ecology and development, as well as those that exist among different users of coastal lands. The decisions that coastal communities make regarding coastal development leave visible markings on coastal lands themselves and alter the natural resiliency of the coastal environment to future hazard events. Adaptation to climate change induced sea level rise is generally described in terms of three main goals: (1) retreat, involving moving from away from hazard, (2) protect, involving making development more resilient to hazard or raising land and, (3) defend, or holding back the sea (Few, Brown and Tompkins 2007: 51; IPCC 2007: 15; Titus 1991: 179; Deyle, Baile y and Matheny 2007: 15). The wide variety of practices that support these alternative ends can be lumped into two categories: engineered
26 solutions designed to protect or extend coasta l area through artificial means, responding to the imperative of defense and land use pl anning practices that support retreat from coasts or contain development in certain ways in order to make it more resilient to coastal hazards and advance retreat and protection goals. These various technical options for encouraging adaptation demonstrate distinct assumptions about the predictive power of scientific knowledge, the immediacy of cl imate change threats, and the relative importance of ecological sensitivity in hazar d mitigation and genera l development. The various adaptive options are suitable for different contexts and, in this way, also reflect some of the various challenges that different types of communities face in advancing adaptation (e.g. the different range of adaptive options available for communities with relatively undeveloped shorelines versus thos e with long-life span infrastructure already built in high hazard settings). While the following description does not account for all the techniques for curtailing development or holdi ng back the sea, it does describe categories of actions and at least outline the substant ive concerns that drive debates regarding coastal adaptation. These turn around ecolog ical, economic and social equity concerns, echoing the tensions Mo rmino identifies. Engineered solutions: Engineered solutions to shoreline dest abilization and hazard risk might be distinguished between soft engineering solutions, hard ones and the different goals these separate categories support. Softer engineerin g solutions refer to activities such as beach renourishment and dune construction. In contrast to harder shoreline protection measures, these are not directly linked to restricted public a ccess or a reduction in recreational opportunities (though arguments about their enormous cost might justify Comment [A1]: I would clean this one up too
27 claims to the contrary).7 While they do not carry th e heavy environmental costs associated with hard engineering, they still have impacts on coastal species (e.g. the issue of sand compatibility for sea turtles) and on the physical aspects of the coast (e.g. in order to maintain beach profile after renourishment, dunes will need to migrate landward in order to keep sand slope in equilibrium with wave reflection (Deyle, Bailey, Matheny 2007: 15; Nicholls et al. 2007: 319). Softer engineering solutions do not serve the same goals as harder ones. They do not provide cost-effective protection against storms, but are more attractive as tools for maintain ing tourism and recreational opportunities at eroded or vulnerable beach sites. Th ough more environmentally agreeable and supportive of public beach users than engineer ed examples of shor eline alteration, the incredible cost of activities such as beach renourishment casts doubt on their long-term practicality and sustainability.8 Hard engineering solutions re fer to literally hard (Florida state statute describes this quality as impermeable) barriers intended to protect shoreline development from being eroded or overtaken by storm surge, as well as hurricane protection works such as canals or levees. The sea wall constructi on is a shoreline defense technique primarily employed by private actors. While seawall construction and other bulkheading activities 7 In order for a renourishment project to be publicly financed (financing is generally split between federal, state and local community monies), it must be shown that the beach to be renourished is publicly accessible (Lido Key in Sarasota, for instance has had proposed projects turned down on the basis of scant public access provisions but have gone ahead and financed renourishment projects independently). However, it is well established that while a beach might by widely accessible to visitors, certain groups may feel unwelcome part of this public, such as minority gr oups, undocumented workers or the homeless (Mitchell 2003). Only about 40 years ago, after violence and demo nstration, did Blacks secure rights of access to the beach (Mormino 2005). Meanwhile, beach renourishment involves a financial commitment that not all people may feel willing to assume. 8 With 59% of its beaches eroding, 47% designated as critically eroding and as the worlds largest tourist destination, Florida is the nations largest spender on beach renourishment activities. In 2005, the state spent $134,000,000 and nourished its beaches with 12,600,000 cubic yards of sand, the largest amount the state has ever paid for renourishment in a year (Kildow 2008: 62; Chapin and Nicholas 2007: 53).
28 has usefulness for protecting coastal develo pment against encroaching tides or storm surge, the presence of bulkhead ing increases wave reflection in the area in front of the barrier structure and hastens the disappearan ce of the beach (Pilkey and Dixon 1998; Titus 1998). By altering sand distribution, bulkheading interferes with dune migration, alters beach profile and, as has been emphasized by James Titus, takes away land from the public by facilitating the erosion of public tidal lands.9 While shoreline armoring has been limited through state-level legislation, in most cases, regulation only applies to potential armoring of beaches without considering the armoring of the more abundant bay or back coast (Titus 1998: 1289). In contrast to seawalls, hurricane protection works are generally major infrastructure projects in which design, implementation and funding originates from multiple governmental bodies. These also in terfere with the ecological functioning of coastal lands and reduce recreational opportuni ties. While they confer protection at a major scale, their failings are conspicuous a nd devastating. As hurricane works age, so does their design. Not only do maintenance needs become more acute through the life of a project, but changing climatic conditions ma y render structures ineffective. Robert Deyle, Katherine Bailey and Anthony Matheny note, Only dikes and levees that completely contain an area, as have been constructed in The Netherlands, have the longterm capacity to provide protection agains t large increases in sea level (2007: 15). Perhaps a more serious problem than their fallibility is their tendency to induce complacency at both individual and institution al levelsoften conferring a false sense of 9 The public trust doctrine affords states ownership of a segment of all beach lands. In most states, it is the area below mean high water line, though in ME, MA, PA, DE, VA the public only has an easement for recreation and navigation (Titus 1998: 1286, 1293).
29 security despite persisting risk. As a glar ing example: FEMA, using agency floodplain data (notorious for its obsoleteness) doe s not apply its flood insurance purchase requirements for floodplain property protected by certified levees (FEMA 2002: 8). Given the inertia of human settlement, development trends and the incredible value embodied in established coastal commun ities, shoreline defense structures will likely continue to play a prominent role in so cietal response to sea level rise despite their heavy social and environmental costs (Titus 1998: 1305; Titus 1991: 183). Venices massively expensive, cont roversial and ambitious MO SE Project (Experimental Electromechanical Module)a system of hug e floodgates designed to surround the city of Venicewhich, touted as relatively envir onmentally sensitive, speaks to the enduring appeal of engineered technical infrastructure projects as a method of shoreline protection, and more promising, the possibility that new technologies may lesson some of the drawbacks associated with conventional methods of engineered protection. The manifest limitations of these structures demonstrate the importance of non-constructed methods of hazard mitigation and risk reduction. Planning regulatory tools Land use practices have documented a pplication to building resiliency and mitigating future hazard loss. FEMA predicts that the floodplain management practices the agency promulgates which carry relativ ely weak land use requirements (mainly focused on building modification) are responsible for reducing hazard damage by 80% (FEMA 2002: 28). An educational guidebook prepared by Floridas chief planning agency FDCA (Department of Community Affairs), Protecting Floridas Communities describes specific planning tools available for encouraging local resiliency to future
30 (mainly meteorological) hazards. The guidebook notes six components of this project: get out of the way; provide evacuation and she ltering services; make the environment less hazardous; maintain and enhance natural protective features; make structures more resistant to natural hazard; and manage fo r the development and redevelopment of land exposed to natural hazards (DCA 2003: 54). The tools available for this task include: Modifications to building codes. An adaptive approach might require construction in high hazard areas to be built at higher elevations or in a more radical approach, allowable structures may be limited to movable structures. Conventional and performance zoning. These tools may be used to limit development intensity or establish certain building requirements. Overlay districts. These create special zoning categories that might include hazard adaptation provisions, such as restrictions on development to certain public uses or imposing certain building requirements. They may be used to carry out provisions of special area plans used for coastal settings called shoreline management plans. (NOAA; http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/initi atives/shoreline_ppr_planning.html) Setback requirements. These are intended to keep construction from encroaching on dunes and the tide from encroaching on construction Cluster zoning, offers developers small incentives (e.g. density bonuses) and the right to develop on ecologically sensitive lands if construction is consolidated in dense configurations away from ecol ogically sensitive portions of land Open use conservation zoning districts (OUCs). These are zoning designations that allow lands to remain productive but only for select, generally, low intensity purposes Transfer of development right programs (TDRs). These encourage property owners to move their development rights from property within a sending zone to a receiving zone offering certain incentives (usually density bonuses although some iterations use floor area bonuses which may make programs more appealing for families) for participation. After a transfer occurs a conservation easement is applied to property within the sending zone. Property acquisition or buy back or leas e back options. Such tools offer a nonregulatory option for governments to contro l the range of uses land might support. (DCA 2003: 54; Sarasota County 2006: 2-103)
31 These tools might be combined with or complemented by the use of financial tools (for example, creating a hazard overlay to levy special hazard assessments or guiding capital improvement decisions on the basis of zoning designation) (Sarasota 2006: 3-167). Their design and ef fectiveness varies with respec t to context. For example, voluntary programs such as TDRs are not al ways attractive amid high property values and robust development pressures (Sarasotas program for example, while specifically described as a tool for hazard mitigation, as well as other aims such as farmland preservation, has not been used has severely limited usage). Under similar circumstances, measures such as setbacks may be vulnerable to takings claims (Titus 1998: 1298). While all have application to reducing hazard and building climate resiliency, they themselves dont address th e possibility of changing coastal conditions directly. For example, though setbacks mi ght be effective at leaving sufficient area between dunes and shoreline development at the moment of implementation, unless that setback is constantly reasse ssed, its usefulness will decrease and shores recede. Recognizing these limitations, James Titu s has championed rolling easements as a regulatory tool with built in sensitivity to changing shoreline conditions. Rolling easements usually restrict development to the area seaward of public tidal lands which are represented as an easement area. As coasts migrate landward so does the easement area. When the easement area eventually crosses construction, rights of ownership transfer to the state (Titus 1998: 1314). Ea sements, Titus writes, may be applied through state statutes, reaffirming public ownership of tidal lands and barring bulk heading from this area, or through the purchase of easements from property owners (Titus 1998: 316). They are touted for being less vulnerable to takings claims than setbacks, being less Comment [A2]: Clean up
32 costly to administer and for encouraging li ter construction methods, although NOAA has noted that they may work best in conjunction with building requirements and may not be politically viable in heavily developed areas10 (NOAA; http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/initi atives/shoreline_ppr_easements.html ). The prospect for implementing such tools, their design, effectiveness and meaning are all contextually determined. Such a perspective establishes that Floridas future adaptation decisions will be shaped by regulatory control and governance practices, the manifest sea le vel rise vulnerability embodied in the built or natural environment, as well as how growth and grow th control, historical and contemporary experiences and understandings of hazard, environmental protection and construction of the coast as public space, are all perceived. The impact of these factors on the coast and their relationship to one another might be traced historically. The lineage of ideas regarding coastal development and the histor y of coastal building decisions in Florida enclose the range of possibilities for future sea level rise adaptation, by shaping the institutional, ideological and physical envi ronment in which adaptation decisions are made. The Wider Context for Addressing Sea L evel Rise Issues: The Building of Floridas Coast Floridas coast has only recently become a site for the high intensity development observed today. In the early part of the 20th century, the states population distribution 10 Texas offers an instructive example. As an early pioneer, Texas implemented rolling easements in the 1950s when its coast was only moderately developed. That allowed the state to avoid controversy regarding retroactively applying development policy or grandfathering existing development into the program. Yet it, too, has faced difficulty in enforcing the regulation, especially regarding evicting property owners and removing development. Though Texass rolling easements have been legally challenged, though so far, courts have deemed them legal and fair (Severance vs. Patterson). Comment [A3]: lighter? Comment [A4]: I would clean this one up
33 was reversed from todays and the vast majority of Florida residents lived in inland counties and in the northern part of the state (Mormino 2005: 303, 323). Though coastal systems still underwent alteration during this time (most notably with the Central and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes of 194811) the human imprint on coastal lands was shallower than today. Florida historian Gary Mormino recounts a telling description of Ft. Myers in the early 1950s (a decade of tremendous growth for the state), as a small river town where the birth of the first baby of the year stirred local merchants into giving free gifts and reports that the population of Hillsboro Beach, Lauderdale by the Sea and Jupiter all together measured less than 650 people (Mormino 2005: 29, 322) Floridas expansion from the smallest southeastern state in 1940 (in early part of the century, it was among the nations poores t states as well) to the countrys fourth largest one was sudden and dramatic (Mormino 2005; Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 53). In part, Floridas growth was a result of the regional transformation of the South and portions of the West with the formation of the Sunbelt and the more diffuse population and suburban housing boom following World War II (Mormino 2005: 12). While these generalized demographic changes certainly hastened Floridas expansion, Floridas growth experience differed from those of othe r southeastern or coastal states. Florida saw a huge immigrant population influx during this time period, Disney placed it in the high ranks of the nations entertainment in dustry, the state became a site for large agribusiness (later replaced by service-based economy) and, cr itically, the states coastal 11 The Southern Florida Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes was designed as a response to the massive flooding events in 1947. The project is still in used today for water supply and water control purposes. It contains 1,000 miles of levees, 720 miles of canals and almost 200 water control structures (http://www.evergladesplan.org/about/restudy_csf_devel.aspx).
34 economy and population exploded (Mormino 2005). Floridas demographic expansion (from 1950 to 2007 Floridas population increased from 2.7 to 18.25 million peoplean expansion averaging out to about 650 people arriving in the state each day) was all the more dramatic considering its uneven spatial distribution. The majority of Floridas new population settled within coas tal counties anticipating the st ates population distribution pattern of today where densities in coastal counties are about three times larger than inland levels (Kildow 2008: 16). Technological intervention (a surprising number of which were of a militaristic nature) made these transformations possible (Mormino 2005: 339). The federal government opened a number of training facilities during World War I in Florida bringing over 2 million service people, thousands of laborers and millions of dollars in infrastructure investment to the state (Colburn and deHaven-Smith 1999: 32). The state was washed over in DDT to address mosquitoes billions of dollars were invested in highways as the countrys primary transpor tation option accelerating movement within and to the state, and cooling technology made Floridas climate bearable, changing its architecture, marketability and population co unt (Mormino 2005). The coastline of Florida was literally manufactured and, wher e it already existed, was often radically altered (by 1978, dredge and fill and inlet creation added 60 miles to Sarasota Countys shoreline) (Sarasota County 2006: 2-48). In describing the transformation of Miamis swampy, crocodile and strangler fig infested coast, Mormino captures the dramatic nature of these interventions: Work crews, blasted away, drained and filled in the mangrove swamp (Mormino 2005: 306). The high profits to be gained from beach development steadily increased densities at these sites, eventually leading to the proliferation of condos
35 and timeshares seen, and often lamented, as the distinguishing characteristic of Floridas urbanized coastline (Mormino 2005: 334). The states coastal growth was both predicated on techniques of shoreline altera tion and created new economic imperatives for their continuation. The settlement pref erences of suburban inland development and coastal remain the norm today, and pose incr easing challenges to Floridas biological carrying capacity. The heavy environmental and social co sts from frenzied development forces development patterns have elic ited criticisms and counterac tion. Starting in the 1960s, growing awareness of environmental degradat ion coupled with the states struggle to fund capital improvement needs occasioned by new growth, increased pressures for better environmental and growth regulation. The de cade saw a profusion of national and state level environmental protection legislatio n (Mormino 2005: 342). Concerns about diminishing public access and use of coas tal lands also placed beach and coastal alteration under scrutiny. While the broad discretion afforded to Army Corps of Engineers over coastal development and their preference for armoring and other constructed methods of shoreline stabilization helped maintain the practice of armoring outside of National Park Service lands12, individual states (the Carolinas and Maine were early innovators and remain so today) increasingly regulated against these activities.13 (Pilkey and Dixon 1998: 4). Florida was slow to regulate shoreline armoring and never 12 At the national level, to much controversy, the National Park Service (NPS) in 1972 made the decision not to armor its coastal holdings and allow natural erosion and accretion to take place (Pilkey and Dixon 1998: 3). 13 Titus has highlighted that state measures to ban bulkheading have focused on the beach while leaving property owners along estuaries and other bay shores to armor land more or less freely (Titus 1998).
36 produced as strong of regulatory standards of the activity as othe r states did, though it also developed its own more strict permitting criteria to crack down on these activities. 14 Floridas growth pains were perhaps more acute than other states due to their incredibly compressed timeframe and spatial concentration. Despite South Floridas great population explosion, st atewide political power was dominated well in the 1960s by North Florida rural whites and an age nda hostile to minori ties and environmental action. Though political power shifted in 1960s, the legacy of North Floridas longtime political hegemony is echoed today in th e states contemporary taxing phobia and suspicion of state power (e.g. the states lukewarm support for its growth management system and the fragmented stat e government). During the fi rst few decades of Floridas population boom, local governments had n early exclusive discretion over-land use decisionsa role in which they were generally rather permissive and encouraging of growth, while platting significant portions of their land, laid out roadways and made critical infrastructure improvements. (Ben-Zad ok 2007: 26). In the early 1970s, the state recognized the failures of their locally controlled system and began the process of establishing its eventual growth manageme nt framework, adopting the American Law Institutes model form code and the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process15 (Pelham 2007: 8). A few years later, the state created a more or less voluntary system of 14 Floridas armorment control system has been criticized for the great number of provisions it makes for emergency armorment. In 1995, the state legislature decided that local governments should have permitting authority over seawalls. That year, hurricane Opal passed through the state, and Duvall County permitted a rash of emergency seawalls. Though these were supposed to be temporary (per their emergency designation) they were never taken down and litigation surrounding their presence continues into the present day. Orrin Pilkey and Katherine Dixon write, Although it has been bureaucratically complex to get permits seawall construction has continued along both sides of the Florida peninsula (1998: 4). 15 DRIs are used often when planning decisions within one jurisdiction have implications for other jurisdictions. They are most often used for planning critical areas such as hazard, coastal management, etc. Comment [A5]: ?
37 state reviewed local comprehensive planning be fore making these mandatory as part of its 1985 Growth Management Act (GMA) (Pelham 2007: 10). Floridas Growth Management Framework The states growth management framework established in 1985 did more than establish a local planning requirement. It called for regional planning councils, local governments and state government to prepare comprehensive growth management plans based on the concepts of concurrency (ensuring that development and governing and service capacity would grow simultaneously), consistency (requiring that plan content be internally consistent and that plans prepared by one level of government be compatible with plans prepared by other governmental levels) and eventually, compact development (encouraging land use patterns to take on more urbanized character in population centers) (Ben-Zadok 2007). Appropriate to their compr ehensive nature, local plans are required to encompass a broad range of themes or e lements related to growth. These include: future land use, housing, transportation, infrastructure, coastal management (only a requirement for coastal counties), cons ervation, recreation and open space, intergovernmental coordination, and capital improvements. Initially, plans at all three levels (local, regional and stat e) carried legal authority and were subject to both review and sanction by the states planning ag encythe DCA (Pelham 2007: 9). Timothy Chapin, Charles Connerly and Harrison Higgins describe the design of the growth management framework as a near fulfillmen t of the good planning model; detailed, rigorous, regionally coordinated comprehens ive plans supported by state funding and linked directly to the local government capital budgeting process (2007: 2). Comment [A6]: Is this a new subheading
38 The strength of the states growth management programs framing, however, has not extended to its implementation. While one of the frameworks primary strengths was its financial feasibility provision that connected plan content to government expenditures, throughout the legislations hist ory, the state has struggled and failed to fully fund infrastructure needs associated w ith local growth management plans (Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 55). At the time of the legislations drafting, in order to meet expected costs (ten year costs were estimated at $52. 9 billion) the legislature decided to implement a service tax, a $.10 gallon gasoline tax and expand local governments revenue generating capacity (Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 58). The near disastrous fallout over the states short experiment with a service tax (the experiment, the first and last of its kind in the country, survived less than six months) put the other two funding two options on a permanent hold (Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 58). The gasoline tax was never implemented and the state has upheld requirements that local tax increases be put to referenda (Pelham 2007: 12). The legislatures inability or reluctance to fully fund local growth management needs has seriously unde rmined the effectiveness of the growth management program; local governments have not on their own, been able to meet all their infrastructure needs, blunting their ability the effectiveness of the concurrency mandate and local abilities to achieve compact development16 (Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 59). The actual preparation and review of plans also deviated from the policys original designs. Two time DCA secretary, Thomas Pelham writes that the state never took seriously or updated its own comprehens ive plan, originally meant to synthesize various regional perspectives on growth to provide an overall state view (Pelham 2007: 16 Without transit provisions, cars have become the principal focus of the concurrency requirement.
39 13). In the early 1990s, the state ruled that local governmental planning need not be consistent with regional plans dramatica lly reducing the role of regional planning councils to that of, largely advisory bodies (Chapin, Connerly and Higgins 2007: 309). The DCA, for the most part, has proven pretty lax in its role of reviewing plan content, with an over 90% amendment approval rate, suggesting that local planning content may not be as tightly monitored as the framew ork envisioned (Pelham 2007; 14). The evolution and enactment of Floridas growth management system has been shaped not only by legislative decisions but also, Floridas generally shaky fiscal condition and even, its deferential property rights laws as well as public understandings of growth and growth control (Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 64). Florida has no income taxes and strict limits on the extent to which the state may raise property taxes (Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 53). These policies have long level the state highly dependent on sales taxes (a tr aditionally volatile source of income) and limited in its ability to fund critical services such as education and infrastructure. These shaky fiscal conditions have forced local gov ernments to turn to fuel taxes, special assessments and other limited local discretionary funding sources to supplement incomes (Nicholas and Chapin 2007: 55). State fiscal policies have contributed to a planning and regulatory environment poorly suited to robust growth management efforts: The Florida growth management model ha s been saddled since the very beginning with a fiscal model that has hampered implementation, promoted urban sprawl, and created an entrepreneurial environm ent in which local governments pursue revenue streams that are politically feasible and acceptable to existing residents (2007: 66). The states property rights policies may be described as having parallel effects for local planning. In the middle nineties, the st ate passed the two part Burt Harris Act to
40 supplement existing constitutional property rights protection. The Acts first aspect allows property owners to seek compensa tion from the state when governmental action has inordinately burdened private property without quite taking it (White 2000: 2). The second part of the legislation offers aggrieved property owners the ability to seek compensation for unfair (a lesser standard than inordinate burden) governmental action through a mediation process (White 2000: 3-4). Evaluations of the legislation have shown that the tangible administrative and legal costs created by the legislation, while hard to know exactly, have so far been less than what critics of the act feared but still note-worthy (White 2000: 4) (UF Law Conservation Clinic 2004). Though courts have yet to produce a clear standard defining the legislations practical meanings (only a few claims have gone all the way to circuit co urt) researchers report that the threat of litigation created by the legislation has been sufficient to produce a chilling effect on local governmental planning, and has made local planners more cautious in their approach to growth management (Deyle, Chapin and Baker 2007: 188; White 1999: 5). The disastrous outcomes of the states laiss ez-faire, mid-century approach to growth control combined with its inadequate tax structure, lukewarm commitment to its own growth control framework and the continuing population expansion within the state, has at least ensured that growth strains have not gone away in the state. Based on these conditions, the Florida electorate has historically been supportive of growth control efforts, though this support is colored by appr ehension regarding the states strong role in planning and growth control functions and by disillusionment regarding the actual effects of growth management within the state. How growth control is viewed today is of
41 critical importance to how adaptation options might be viewed tomorrow. This importance merits a review of resear ch on citizen views toward growth. Timothy Chapin and Charles Connerly have described growth issues as at the forefront of state and local politics in Florida for the better part of 30 years (2007: 76). The public discussions of growth in Florida, while heated, have not followed a definitive or conclusive trajectory. Floridas growth management framework has simultaneously been heavily disputed and ardently defended throughout its relatively short history. There have been pushes to return control over growth management to local government and pushes (though more lethargic ones) to correct the growth control frameworks policy, implementation deficit, and even more attempts to tinker with its design 17 Discussing survey results on citizen attitudes toward growth management from 1985 (the year of GMAs implementation) to 2001, Chapin and Connerly found that while decreases in support for growth management certainly occurred over the 16 year period, broad support for growth control remained in 2001, with 67. 7% of all respondents affirming that growth should be controlled if not disallowed.18 Despite this, seemingly, broad-based support, study also suggested dissatisfaction with the program and public alienation from it (despite the GMAs inclusion of public participation requirements). A troubling majority, 68.6% of respondents, indicated not being familiar with Floridas growth management system (Chapin and Connerly 2007: 76). When respondents who indicated familiarity with the growth management program were asked to evaluate the impacts of growth management on traffic, local water supply, the environment and disaster preparedness issues, for all four issues only a minority i ndicated positive effects (negative and neutral 17 Governor Jeb Bush promoted a devolution of growth management authority during his tenure as Governor. A similar proposal has recently found a new champion in Florida State Senator Bennett. 18 71.8% of respondents affirmed in 1985 that growth should be limited or stopped.
42 responses equaled a majority) (2007: 78). A nd crucially, while respondents indicated in 1985 a belief that state government should ha ve primary discretion over growth issues (versus federal, county, city/town bodies) a substantial majority from 2001 (66.4%) suggested that county, city or town should have primary discretion (counties received a greater share of responses than city/town) (2007: 78). Two primary meanings might be teased out from these equivocal indicators of individual attitudes toward Floridas growth management system. Perhaps the most important one, is that despite Floridas mixed history of growth controls and the near hopeless despair many express regarding the na ture and extent of Floridas high-rise coastal and sprawl development, Florida, rema ins at least highly self reflexive regarding growth issues. This self-reflexivity has ensu red the issues political importance over the last 30 years through today. It has manifested both in the policy design of the growth management framework and, of course, outside policy arenas, in civic based projects19. In a statement describing state level de bates on the future of Floridas growth management program that might parallel currently ongoing debates, Chapin and Connerly write, [I]t is clear that growth management is here to stay in Florida Even as Governor Bush attempts to remake the DCA into a user-friendly organization oriented toward providing technical support for local comprehensive planning efforts, the debate has centered not on whether or not growth management is needed, but what form growth management should take in Florida and what that appropriate role of the sate government is to these efforts (Chapin and Connerly 2007: 79). 19 More, perhaps, than any other state, New Urbanisms influence in the state has gone beyond its associated development projects. The movements concepts, methodologies and vocabulary have percolated formal planning practices and policy and the state and local level (at least two of the countys studied, Charlotte and Sarasota either had or were developing long range planning documents based on Charette work).
43 A historical narrative of Floridas growth experience demonstrates the inertia of development trends. The few decades of more or less unregulated growth around might century continue to shape settlement and deve lopment preferences within the state (still heavily weighted toward the coast) and remain manifest in the contemporary built environment, observable in street layouts, platting arrangements etc. Yet the backlash these patterns inspired is also part of thei r legacy and is embodied today in the strong civic energies assembled around the goal of changing Floridas development trends and breaking away from these maladaptive historical development patterns. Floridas planning framework might be described as organizing debates among competing claims on coastal space rather than reconciling them These mixed or indecisive debates on the appropriateness of technological intervention into coastal ecology or how to balance the communal benefits of coastal lands with privat e property interests present at the coast today serve as focal points for the state s emerging discussion on sea level rise adaptation. Land use planning serves as an arena in which these tensions manifest and potentially one in which they might be mediated. Floridas Historical Growth and the Evolution of Its Growth Management Framework and Implications for Future Sea Level Rise Because of Floridas peculiar growth time line (its late and intense onset), growth control in the state has mostly been retroa ctively applied to already formed (and often dysfunction) built environments. This ha s limited its capacity to reconfigure the development patterns in these spaces. The st ates wavering commitment to the design of its own growth management system has further compromised the systems effectiveness. Just as the state has never shown itself enti rely comfortable with its own state designed and locally implemented system, it has been si milarly equivocal in balancing the various,
44 often countervailing, environmental, ecologica l and socially-inflected claims upon coastal space. The present condition of Floridas coasts the persistent development pressures present at the coast, lukewarm views in the state toward regulation of coastal development, the importance of beach resour ces to the states tourism industry and the states longstanding planning tradition represen t different elements of the broader context surrounding coastal hazard adaptation options. The high density development observable at many points along Floridas co asts complicates retreat as an adaptation option and may diminish the feasibility of implementing retreat-supporting, land use regulatory tools such as rolling easements. Second, while the extent of development would seem to easily provide economic justif ication for shoreline protection and defense measures, the importance of beach assets to tourism along with current state regulation of beach armoring and wetland removal, may limit the degree to which armoring is employed as an adaptation technique at least at beaches. The prospects of other options are less clear. Future adaptation at the coast is likely to reflect the variety that characterizes contemporary adaptive techniques and be driven by environmental, economic and social justice concerns. Fu ture local coastal development decisions will reflect the influence of local, cultural factors as well as structural ones. The next chapter addresses this latter category of influence a nd describes the structural conditions that interlace with local development practices by detailing Floridas coastal development regulatory framework, national legislation de aling with coastal development and federal involvement in hazard insurance and hazard mitigation.
45 Chapter 3: Intergovernmental Conditions A key role for place-based governance is to identify which relations really make a difference to the quality of a place, for all the different relational webs; which ones cause major problems through the conflicts they genera te in their use of the locality; and where could mutual benefit be achieved by attempts to make lin ks between relational webs, that while transecting, do not currently interrelate (Healey 1999: 115) The coast has long been both recognized and experienced as a precarious location for human habitation and activity. For nearly as long, the many attractive features of these lands have been favorably weighe d against their risks and humans have energetically settled alongside the shore. Not surprisingly then, state and federal government bodies have evolved special re gulations and institutions to manage the delicate tensions that arise from coastal development. In Florida, within the broad category of coastal manageme nt policies, those that deal specifically with coastal development, hazard mitigation, and the environmental protection of coastal resources shape and suggest possibilities for governme nt-led sea level rise adaptation. While each one of these policy areas shares a common function of defining development possibilities for coastal environm ents, they do not always have congruent content or outcomes. Similarly, though each one has important implication for climate change, their history of application predat es contemporary understandings of climate change and they have not, for the most part, been evolved to addre ss new climate realities specifically (though this process of updating th em to new climate realities is certainly in motion). The chapter describes the climate sensitivity expressed in coastal hazard, coastal development and coastal environment policy and how these policy contexts might influence local land use decision. Each is de scribed in terms of specific legislative items, key programs or institutions. For brevity s sake the chapters discussion of coastal
46 development and environmental policy is limite d to a review of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. Its section on hazard policy focuses on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), FEMAs various hazard mitigation programs and to a lesser extent Floridas state-controlled insurance programs. Lastly the chapter reviews Floridas coastal planning mandate for local government s in anticipation of next chapters more focused exploration of local governmental engagement with sea level rise issues20. Coastal Management: The Coastal Zone Management Act The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in seeking to, preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or en hance, the resources of the Nation's coastal zone for this and succeeding generatio ns encourages sustainable planning and management practices at the state level (C ZMA Section 303). The legislation provides federal technical and financial assistance to co astal states that create coastal management programs and planning documents that fulfill the legislations requirements. Under the program, individual states are required to manage lands on a comprehensive basis, giving full consideration to ecological, cultura l, historic, and aesthetic values as well as the needs for compatible economic development (CZMA Section 303). The CZMAs guidelines for individual state programs an d plans, require that states address the protection of natural resource s and species, public access, multiple coastal hazards (including sea level rise), coastal dependent facilities, aquaculture, the revitalization of deteriorating urban waterfronts in addition to process related items. States must define 20 These are not the only policy contexts that deal with the coastal environment, local management of coastal resources, or local climate action. Other important programs include National Estuary Program, The Army Corps of Engineers renourishment and coasta l construction programs, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act which regulates dredge and fill activities, the Endangered Species Act, and climate action programs at the state and federal level. Even this list, though might be expanded to include fiscal policies, education programs etc. that shape attitudes toward hazard and development.
47 their coastal zone, areas of concern, list usage prioriti es, address degradation and destabilization issues and e xpress management strategies through regular reports to NOAA which, as the legislations administ rator, assesses state compliance (CZMA section 306). The legislation requires both environm ental monitoring activities and gives priority to water dependent development at s horelines (i.e. development associated with traditional-water resource based industries). The legislation is not mandatory; it encourages but does not require that coastal states engage in coastal planning efforts, providing financial assistance to states that adhere to its guidelines and granting compliant states review authority over fede ral and federally spons ored activities that occur within state boundariesa right known as consistency reviews. Consistency reviews and the provision of federal financia l assistance to states serve as effective incentives for program participation, as evid enced by the widespread participation in the CZMA among coastal states, reflected in the fi gure that coastal management plans are in effect for 99% of the nation's coastline (Fletcher 2008: 153). While the legislations provision that states address sea level rise in their coastal planning does not constitute a formal mandate, given the widespread participation in the program by coastal states, in effect it functions as one. The CZMAs effectiveness in achieving its goal of encouraging responsible state level coastal management practi ces has been difficult to evaluate, though Cicin-Sain and Knecht offer that the program has had the positive effect of empowering the Coastal States Organization as an effective advocacy group and prevented undesirable development in thousands of instances at the coast (Cicin-Sain and Knecht 2000: 127).
48 Yet the degree to which the legislation simply organizes coastal planning and ensures that it attends to a broad range of criteria versus promote tangible desired outcomes is hard to pin down.21 Floridas coastal management program s most recent strategic plan is instructive of some of the legislations lim itations. Though Florida s plan recognizes the risk implied in accelerated sea level rise, its discussion of the subject is limited to giving it a medium risk classification and descri bing nonspecific plans for expanding hurricane shelter facilities and toughening building requirements per its participation in FEMAs Community Rating System (explained below) (Florida Coastal Management Program 2006; 8). Responding to the vagueness of the CZMAs mandate, Cicin-Sain and Knecht recommend a tightening of its language, recommending that states integrate measurable, on-the-ground goals into their progra m (Cicin-Sain and Knecht 2000: 245-6). CZMAs Effects on Florida Local Governments Floridas coastal management program provides the state with about 3 million dollars annually for carrying out essential management functions. Floridas coastal management program is a networked program, meaning that instead of a freestanding program, responsibilities for coastal planni ng and management practices have been woven into preexisting state agency operations spread out over 23 state statutes, 5 water management districts and 8 state agencies, with coordinating repos abilities residing with Florida Department Environmental Protec tion (FDEP). The National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the CZMAs administrator notes Floridas program is distinguished by its Coastal Partne rship Initiative which provides grants to 21 This tension was actively debated in the early days of program implementation. At this time, NOAA decided, Cicin-Sain and Knecht write, that the legislation called neither for strict protection in every instance (though protection of the unique resources of the coastal zone was certainly called for), nor for the siting of proposed energy facilities, but that the legi slation was principally aimed at rational and informed management of the coastal zone (2000: 127).
49 coastal counties and local governments with in coastal counties to develop planning documents, for resource stewardship, enhancing public ac cess and revitalizing deteriorating waterfront districts (NOAA: http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/mystate/fl.html). While excelling at community assistance, other aspects of the program ha ve less strength, most notably its shallow engagement with hazard and climate change issues. While the CZMA does not apply regulation or provide a definitive context fo r applying climate concerns to coastal management practices, it does at least ackn owledge the connection between the two, a useful function that might be expanded. Similarly, while CZMA content is mainly oriented toward state bodies rather than local ones, incorporating more on the ground goals may increase its effects at the local level. Hazard: National Flood Insurance, FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants, and Florida Insurance Programs The national flood insurance program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grew out of a recognition that traditional market insurance could not realistically be depended upon to extend coverage at a reasonable cost to populations vulnerable to flooding and that a national program might reduce future damages and post-disaster relate d federal expenditures through expanding insurance coverage (FEMA 2002: 2). The programs design combines goals of community wide and individual protection. Individuals are eligible for insurance under the program only when their community formally joins adopts and implements FEMAs floodplain management criteria, a set of la nd use ordinances that encourage greater hazard sensitivity in local land management practices (FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/floodplai n/floodplain_management_ordinances.shtm ).
50 These criteria regulate development according to different risk graduations, mainly focusing on construction requirements for individual buildings though also calling for communities to consider hazard risk in utility siting decisions and in evaluating subdivision location proposals (FEMA 2002: 12). The program prepares and relies on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to asse s insurance rates, promulgate hazard information and set flood plain management criteria. When flooding damages structures and claims are made, NFIP covers repair co sts (policies values are capped at $250,000) and in a limited number of cases, such as when it is determined that a building will experience continued flooding at its site the property owner may qualify for a NFIP buyout of 75% of a buildings market value. The program has, from an early date, struggled to pay its costs through premiums. Arguments that the program encourages risky develop have pointed to the fact that the program constantly requires funding injections from the treasury to illustrate its overall effect of subsidizing maladaptive and risky growth.22 Responding to low levels of participation from floodplain communities, in 1973 congress established the requirement that communities participate in the program in order to be eligible for certain post disaster financial aid as well as the requirement that all federal and federally backed lending institutions require flood insurance as a loan criteria for flood plain property loans (FEMA 2002: 3). Through its history the program has depended on loans form the treasury, has raised fees, taken various me asures to extend coverage by enforcing 22 This characterization is one FEMA itself, not surprisingly, adamantly resists. Responding to these criticisms, FEMA is quick to cite that it receives funding from the treasury in the form of loans that the agency is required to pay back.
51 compliance among lenders and, and to reduce future expenditures, has developed hazard mitigation programs.23 Currently, the program operates various tailored hazard mitigation programs. The community rating system reduces insurance premiums for communities that go above and beyond floodplain management criteria. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Flood Mitigation Assistance program (FMA) and Pre-disaster Mitigation program (PDM) provide money to states to pass on to local communities for pre-disaster planning and projects (including el evating buildings, acquisition of at risk or previously damaged property and demolition or relocation assistance, floodwalling for critical facilities etc.) (FEMA 2002: 35). It has two additional hazard mitigation programs tailored to repetitively damaged properties, most of which are properties that were constructed before flood mapping (fini shed in 1974) and were grandfathered into the program and receive subsidized insurance. While seriously repetitive loss structures (those who have had major claims over 4 time s or 2 claims exceeding the cost of the building) only account for 1% of the programs policies, they account for around a quarter of its payouts (Bunning Bereuter Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004). Additionally, the program has embarked on a $1 billion map updating project24 and is imposing tougher elevation requirements for repetitively damages structures (Field 2007: 637). The flood insurance program operates uneasily with FEMAs additional hazard focus. Raymond Burby writes that FEMAs hazard mitigation programs do not go far 23 Hazard mitigation has increasingly been prioritized within the program in recent years, with important mitigation programs established in the last 10 years. 24 This updating, not yet complete, is focused on correcting misinformation in current maps and will not incorporate sea level rise or climate elements.
52 enough in offsetting the perverse incentives established by other components of its involvement in disaster response. The broa d relief and financial assistance that FEMA provides following disasters, its use of old data and slow response to map updating, and practice of reducing (and in some cases rem oving) its insurance purchase requirement to buildings within floodplains protected by hur ricane works structures, have been shown to increase development in risky areas and allow for local governments to shirk responsibility for maladaptiv e land use decisions (Burby 2006: 180). To mend this dysfunctional relationship, Burby proposes that permanent risk reduction might be achieved by placing more responsibility for ri sk costs on local governments, that they should at the very least be required to prepare hazard mitigation and post-disaster reconstruction plans in the context of a state-controlled framework. His more ambitious proposals call for FEMA to provide insuranc e at the community level, strengthening incentives of local governments to take even bolder, more permanent steps (in his vision, pursue retreat options) to reduce hazard ex posure (Burby 2006: 186). His second, more daring proposal might have special usefulne ss for Florida which, despite having strong local hazard mitigation planning requirements in place (which are described in more depth below) remains a site for persistent high risk development. Impact on Florida Local Governments Floridas insurance woes go beyond FEMA practices, which only provides insurance for flood damage. Floridas height ened risk for hurricane damage has made it an exceedingly costly market for wind insuranc e and other types of property insurance. Responding to high costs, the state assumed responsibility for wind insurance provision in 2002 with the creation of its Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.. The programs
53 short history has so far been dominated by deficits and defects. The fund has relied on ex-post levies to pay its debts while bor rowing extensively ($715,000,000) from the general fund in order to keep itself afloat (Jaffee and Russell 2008: 2). The state also operates a reinsurance fund, the Florida Hurri cane Catastrophe Fund. While the fund has failed at reducing insurance costs (its intended purpose) it too has been massively costly for the state, leading to calls from political leaders that it be reconfigured, reduced or disbanded (Lehrer 2008: 2-4). James Murl ey et al. has looked at Floridas state insurance system from a climate change ad aptation perspective and has responded to the obvious climate change insensi tivity built into these programs with suggestions that, in addition to being reexamined by the state legi slature, public insuranc e bodies in the state should invest in climate impact preven tion and research, the climate should be incorporated into the states CFOs responsibilities and that the state should incentivize weathering and other climate protective practices for property owners (Murley et al. 2008: 43). On one level, FEMAs various hazard mitigation programs have pipelined millions and millions of dollars into the state. A condition of FEMAs hazard mitigation programs is that states with enhanced statewide mitigation plans qualify for expanded access to grant money (while most of the programs have a 75%-25% federal and state cost split, a few offer 100% federal funding) ( http://www.fema.gov/government /grant/fs_mit_grant_prog_shtm ; DEM 2008; 2)25. Florida has such an enhance d plan. FEMA notes in its is report of 2009 grant money expenditures that mitigation funding for Florida and Texas may soon exceed a 5 year 25 Floridas state mitigation strategy focuses on the connection between state and local pre-disaster and hazard mitigation planning.
54 $20,000,000 cap, in which case the program will grant the states waivers. Though such assistance is exciting for adaptation prospects in the state, this cash flow is ultimately a reflection of Floridas heightened hazard vulnerability. While Florida does have a strong planning tradition that incorporates hazard concerns that approximates Burbys recommendations for mandated local planning (indeed this planning framework is the main reason Florida qualifies for increased FEMA grant money) its persistent high vulnerability to hazard and the ostensible failure of its current insurance system suggests the need fo r more fundamental changes to the way the state deals with risk. This recalls Burbys second, more ambitious set of recommendations for ways by which planning might be made to more seriously engage with risk reduction. His view affirms the importance of land use planning to community resiliency while emphasizing the need for state level controls or the placement of incentives to ensure responsible planning practices at the local level. Planning: Floridas State-controlled Framework State statute requires that each county and municipa lity in the state prepare a long-term comprehensive plan to guide grow th using a 5 (required for budgeting content mostly) and 10 year planning horizons (163:377 2008; F.S.)26. State mandates for local planning content are detailed and extensive. The states coastal planning element mandate requires local government to do a detailed land use inventory of coastal areas; to analyze the environmental, human and fiscal impact s of anticipated future growth on coastal areas; to describe non-point and point source pollution issues within a county and the status of regulatory programs from a coas tal perspective; discuss hazard mitigation 26 Additionally, every seven years local governments are required to submit evaluation and appraisal reports (EARs) in which they describe their success in implementing their plan and suggest revisions to the comprehensive plan based on developing community needs (163.3192)
55 efforts underway in a county with special at tention directed to evacuation programs and capacity (when evacuation conc erns come to cross jurisdictional boundaries, they must be discussed in a special section of the Co mprehensive Plan on intergovernmental coordination of activities); ma ke provisions for the preservation of coastal geological forms and species; provide a visioning scheme to guide potential future periods of redevelopment; make provisions for the cont inued economic productivity of waterfront areas; discuss port facilities (governed by their master plans that are required to be harmonized with the county Comprehensive plan); identify coastal high hazard area (the area below Category 1 storm surge line is established as the minimum) and; discuss regulatory activities by government that might mitigate hazard threat and potential possibilities for public land acquisition al ong the coast (163.3178 2008; F.S.). More specifically, in terms of hazard preparation, coastal counties and those municipalities within coastal countie s are required to do the following: Limit public expenditures that subsidize hazardous development Make provisions for hazard mitigation and human life protection appropriate to coastal population densities and regional evacuation studies Designate and map a Coastal High Haza rd Area to encompass lands below category 1 storm surge line Analyze the future land use element for its affect on the coast Ensure that public facilities, such as shelters, will be in place to service new development Develop regulatory and management tech niques to mitigate threat to human life and development Prioritize coastal properties for land acquisition Maintain level of service (LOS) for hurricane evacuation Develop guidelines for redevelopment so that it exhibits stronger resiliency (163.3177-163.3178 2008; F.S.). In addition to these requirements, state st atute establishes a coastal setback line, requiring that new development and certain redevelopment be located 50 feet from the mean high water mark or landward of an erosion control line if such a line is present and
56 deemed to represent a more restrictive standard27. The closest state level planning mandates come to recognizing the possibility of changing climate is the ambiguous requirement that local government limit pub lic expenditures and population in, known or predicted coastal high hazard areas(my emphasis) (9J-5.012 F.A.C.). While coastal planning mandates notably do not explicitly recognize climate change they do require close attention to hazards by local governme nts; Robert Deyle, Timothy Chapin and Earle Baker write that, Florida is widely recognized as having the strongest state mandate for local governments to incorporate hazard mitigation policies in their comprehensive plans (Deyle, Chapin and Baker 2007: 170). While public safety concerns are certainly well worked into the state planning framework, once again, the actual coastal development conditions in the state and indicators of emergency preparedness such as shelter capacity, as will be seen in Chapter 4, show that problems persist with Floridas attempts to discipline hazardous growth. Studying the effects of comprehensive plans on reducing hazard exposure, Robert Deyle provides a consolidated list of five political conditions that limit local planning implementation: A lack of or weaker local political constituencies for state goals Competing local issues of greater priority Disjuncture between short term politi cal and fiscal costs and uncertain future benefits Limited local capacity to implement state directives Pre-existing local development mana gement measures are perceived to have established political and legal entitlements (Deyle, Timothy Baker forthcoming; 5). 27 Florida coastal construction control line has been heavily critiqued in a number of places. One principle drawback is that the statute offers a number of ex ception categories. These include cases where sufficient engineering data can show durability of shore line; in cases where construction would be contiguous with neighboring construction or land ward of existing armoring; or in cases where construction is intended to modify an existing structure and does not modify a building's foundation (161.052).
57 Conclusion This chapter illustrates other influences on local coastal development decisions (Healy 1999; 113). Burbys description of FEMAs perverse incentives regarding development in risky areas along with the description of the state of Floridas shallow commitment to long term coastal retreat or permanent hazard reduction shows some of the negative aspects to this relationship between local governments and institutional structures outside local jurisdictions. However, these bodies may also help local jurisdictions develop and implement adaptati on goals. While climate change may have difficulty competing with other concerns for prioritization in planning, federal and state formal acknowledgement of the issue might improve its prospects. Though, directed at state government, the CZMA offers a means by which the general government might promulgate sea level rise awar eness. Though Florida doesnt yet have concrete directives regarding climate change planning, its extensive and strong hazard policies established in its comprehensive planning framework, while not perfectly adapted to addressing climate change might prove fertile ground for fostering local engagement with sea level rise. Moving local climate action forward hinges on local conditions, on community receptivity to adaptation, geographic constrai nts, political leadership etc. The next chapter examines the challenges and possibilities associated with local climate action in the context of four local jurisdictions.
58 Chapter 4: Local Action through a Comparative Lens Notwithstanding its importance, the planners ro le in history is not a determining one. Thought follows practice, and planners have to take their cues from practice, responding to actors need for information, interpretati on, problem definition, projection, evaluation, and strategic programming. Because of this organic relationship to the requirements of political practice, planning must also deal with purposes; it seeks the utility of the future in the present (Friedmann John 1987: 11) In the absence of definitive mandates or compelling incentives from higher levels of government requiring, encouraging or otherwise offering local governments guidelines for incorporating climate adaptation into regular planning activities, this process is largely driven by local factors. While scientif ic consensus on the reality of sea level rise has elevated the issues importance among pl anners, citizens and other local decisionmakers, anticipatory adaptation to sea leve l rise remains techni cally and politically difficult. Moving climate action forward requires understanding these technical and political challenges as well as the strategies local governments employ to address them. The burgeoning body of literature on local governments and climate change has related success in initiating local climate action to a number of local factors. Not surprisingly, a public with an established tradition of environmental action, experience of a recent storm or focusing event, the availa bility of financial and institutional resources (e.g. a tradition of long-range planning), the energies of a devoted cadre of actors or single individual to champion climate action and discursive framing (e.g. linking climate action to financial savings or some other preexi sting concern) are all related to success in local, government-led climate action (Adger 2 007: 720; Young 386; Bulkeley and Betsill 2003: 173, 74; Frankhauser, Tol and Smith 1999: 75).28 While interesting, these 28 Describing the more structural aspects of conditions, Lennart, Lundqvist, and Chris von Borgstede suggest that larger local governments may have larger and more diverse municipal administrations and thus a stronger response capacity and propensity to act on climate imperatives (Lundqvist, Borgstede 2008: 302).
59 correlations are limited by their rather narr ow focus on the initiation of climate action (rather than implementation), and on mobilizing public support (versus other preconditions for climate action). They dont de scribe the full panoply of challenges local governments face in responding to climate chan ge, or how the differential weight of these various challenges or how they might differ for different policy communities. My research sought to broadly describe wh at general land use planners from four Florida counties (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Collier) perceived as the role of local government in responding to sea level rise, what they understood as the proper role of state and federal government in responding to it, what challenges local governments faced in moving action forward and what strate gies they had employed to advance local climate resiliency. To do so, I compared how planners articulated sea level rise and general hazard risk, the different planning elem ents they had in place to respond to that risk and the challenges and opportunities they identified as supportive or discouraging of local action and what types of assistance pl anners saw as potentially supportive of local adaptation efforts. In pursuit of this information, I re viewed each countys comprehensive plan29 and administered a brief survey to local gene ral land use planners, recruiting participants by requesting referrals from county planning departments. This chapter describes both the design and results of my research. It includes a close description of my methods, 29 In deciding to look at comprehensive plans, I ignored potentially relevant more focused planning documents including the state mandated post-disaster reconstruction plan (PDRP), local mitigation strategies required by FEMA (LMSs) and comprehensive emergency management plans required by the state (CEMPs). I ignored them in part because not all of the counties in the present study have already prepared these auxiliary plans and because of the broad range of content covered within comprehensive plans requires disaster mitigation material be expressed within the comprehensive plan, which has legal authority as primary guides for local day to day land use decision making
60 descriptions of the counties studied, a comp arison of their sea level rise engagement, and lastly, reports research findings. Methods I surveyed and evaluated comprehensive pl an content of four coastal, nearly contiguous30 southwestern Florida counties: Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Collier. I administered the survey to representatives of each countys planning departments and reviewed copies of each countys comprehe nsive plan published online, collecting a total of four surveys and reviewing four plans Survey The survey I used was designed by Mote Marine Laboratory Scientist, Ernest Estevez for a study he conducted on local gov ernmental awareness of sea level rise in 1990. I used his mixed question type survey in its entirety, updating the sea level rise predictions contained in two survey questions to reflect current IPCC estimates and adding a question of my own in which I as ked participants to describe what has contributed to their past engagement with sea level rise and what forces held back this engagement. The inclusion of my own question brought the total number to eleven. In addition to identifying questions, the survey asked planners to answer the following: (1) describe plan elements addressing sea level ri se and extent of plan coverage; (2) specify if the issue of sea level rise had been discus sed in the following related planning contexts (public workshops by planning staff, staff st atements, elected offici al statements); (3) describe your local governments interest in th e issue of sea level rise; rank your primary sources of information on sea level rise; (4) is there an employee in planning or another 30 Lee County which, were it included in the present study would establish contiguity, declined my survey requests.
61 agency of your government who monitors the i ssue of sea level rise; (5) identify the risks that historical sea level rise rates posed to 16 different coastal resources;31 (6) specify the risks that accelerated sea level rise might pose to these resources; (7) describe particular forces have positively contributed to your de partments engagement with sea level rise, conversely, what are some of the limitations that have restricted you departments ability to address sea level rise; (8) describe what t ype of policy or technical support would help you the most, in planning or other local gove rnment functions, with respect to sea level rise. I used Estevezs survey both for its high-quality construction and to gain a longitudinal perspective on loca l responses to sea level rise. Estevezs study from about two decades ago, covered a much wider te rrain than the present study, involving 22 of Floridas 35 coastal counties and 54 of the states estimated 160 coastal cities representing a good cross section of the state and, like mine, included both review of comprehensive plan content and survey res ponses. His research found ample recognition of sea level risks among local planners (35% of survey responses indicated predicted accelerated sea level rise would pose major impa cts to various coastal resources). At the same time, the planners he surveyed described the issue as having little political importance or relevance in da y to day planning activities and only local government explicitly mentioned sea level ri se in their comprehensive plans.32 He found that 31 The categories listed were: sand beaches and dunes, barrier islands, wetlands, estuaries and lagoons, surface water supplies, ground water supplies, farm lands archeological sites historic structures, transportation lines, utilities drainage systems, ports and industry. 32 Back in 1990, the only jurisdiction to explicitly mention sea level rise in its goals, objectives and policies section was Collier County which had the vague advisory item that sea level rise shall be considered in permittinga provision still on their books today (Estevez 1990).
62 technical planning was the ma in request local planners had of higher levels of government (Estevez 1990: 87). In a more recent study, Deyle, Bailey and Matheney assessed how different coastal Florida management agencies, gene ral land use and infrastructure planners viewed the importance of sea level rise Of the local comprehensive planners interviewed, 60% identified sea level rise as a major to a moderate threat (another 20% said they were unsure of its risks). Meanwhile, over half were unable to recount or provide an estimate for how high seas might rise by 2100 and only two communities had plan content addressing sea level rise explicitly (Collier and Miami-Dade)33 (Deyle, Bailey and Matheney 2007: 33). Taken together the two studies attest not so much to disengagement on the part of planners and managers (their expressed concern with the issue would suggest at least an awareness of the issue) but persistent uncertainty on how to respond to integrate the issue into planning policy. The findings of the two researchers were compared with those of the present study and were highly instructive on the need to sharply distinguish between rhetorical ackno wledgment of sea level rise and concrete, policy robust, engagement with the issue. Comprehensive Plan My purpose in reviewing comprehensive plans was to compare the respective countys sea level rise planni ng content and the level of dept h of general hazard. I read 33 Miami-Dade County created a Climate Change Advisory Task Force in 2006 involving multiple governmental and non governmental participants and recently submitted a report detailing adaptation priorities and strategies for the county. The report is well detailed and covers lots of ground, outlining adaptation options for the built environment, natural environment as well as economic, social, and health systems including the recommendation that all public investments incorporate sea level rise, immediate land acquisition to accommodate retreat, in depth study of storm water and drainage capacity, use of a 50 year planning horizon etc. The recommendations are intended to steer comprehensive plan changes, but this has yet to occur.
63 each countys Intergovernmental Coordinati on Element, Capital Improvements Element and in the case of Manatee County, the monitoring34 chapter (Manatee was alone in having such a chapter). I mainly focuse d however closely on each countys Coastal Element and Future Land Use Element intended to serve as the primary pronouncement on future growth patterns (Charlotte County 3-4). While plan content evaluation can be quite technical (see Brody and Highfield 2003 ), I used broad and simple criterion for assessing sea level planning items. First, I looked for any mention of climate-change induced accelerated sea level rise. Next, I determined whether any specific risks from the phenomenon were identified or relationship to other planning priority established. Third, I determined if plan content regarding sea level rise included concrete implementable directives to address sea level rise, such as provisions for monitoring sea level, incorporating sea level rise into permit approval processes, adding it to capital expenditures programming, or otherwise desi gnating a context for regular engagement with the issue. I used a similarly broad meth od for assessing coastal hazard planning and measured depth of engagement by identify ing whether local governments implemented any policies or ordinance beyond state statute minimum requirements. Findings The counties A brief comparison of the biophysical, institutional and soci al defining features of each of the four counties is summarize d (admittedly, narrowly and imperfectly) in 34 Many planning policies contain monitoring provisions that provide criteria by which to judge implementation. Manatee Countys plan featured an expanded list of monitoring provisions in chapter form.
64 figure 4.1.35 The figures show a rather notable diff erence in population size (Charlotte was the only one under 250,000 people) mirroring wealth differences (Charlotte was substantially less wealthy than Sarasota or Collier). The background discussion on growth trajectories and coastal development situations provided in comprehensive plans, offered a more focused description of the four counties. All counties, struggled to provide adequate public beach access36 They additionally faced the challenge of retroactiv ely imposing (often piecemeal) regulation and incentives onto already well-established development trends that favor high density high hazard development on coas tal lands and suburban development inland. Charlottes plan was clearest in expressing the frustration associated with retroactive plan implementation (see figure 4.2): Although the concepts embodied in the Growth Management Act have provided many alternatives when the county considers new plants and development, they do not provide relief to the problems that exist after years of extensive previous platting (Charlotte County 2007: 3-120). Charlotte might be distinguished among the group for its high hazard vulnerability and its recent experience of a major hurricane direct hit with Hurricane Charley in 2004 (in contrast, the last time Sa rasota sustained a direct hurricane hit was in the 1920s) and major 500 year flooding event following an 8 hour downpour in 1995 35 The dangers to this approach are easily grasped wh en considering figures such as the percentage of Collier Countys population over the age of 65. While 25.2% clearly demonstrates the aged character of the countys population, considering that the median age of coastal communities in the county is about 48.4 and that inland farm worker community of Immokalee has a median age of 24.7 highlights the unique geographic distribution of this more aged population and provides a richer view of the countys population characteristics (Environmental Services Division Comprehensive Planning Department 2003: 8). Considering wealth in a more contextual fashion produces a similar effect. 36 Charlottes plan, for instance, discusses its rather extensive Marine Land and Water Use Siting Study, in which the county inventoried all platted coastal lands and analyze possibilities for public facilities such as docks (2007: 3-140). Sarasotas plan details its own coastal land acquisition activities, steered by a citizens advisory group, funded with a an ad-volorem tax and significant bonding authority (2007: 2-101).
65 (Charlotte County 2007: 3-142). Bisected by a harbor and containing 2 prominent rivers (Peace River and Myakka), a large majority of the Charlottes infrastructure is located in floodplain lands (74% of all of its platted lands along with a large portion of its infrastructure are located in the evacuation zone for a category 3 hurricane or less). (Charlotte County 2007: 3-16). The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council recognized Charlotte as, probably the most vulnerable county in the state (Charlotte County 2007: 3-140).37 The county also had the most elaborate treatment of hazard in its comprehensive plan. Charlotte was the only county to mention the political importance of hazard, noting widespread support for a slight increase in sa les tax to support shelter retrofits. Besides Collier County which referenced annual plans for a hazard educatio n blitz, Charlotte was the only county to mention collaborative hazard planningnoting various examples of its teaming with neighborhoods to develop community-based hazard mitigation plans since the early 1990s. Other potentially im portant distinctions among the counties include the fact that Sarasota County along with of its jurisdictions (Sarasota and Venice) and Naples located in Collier County are members of the transnational local government climate network ICLEILocal Governments for Sustainability. Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties are all repres ented in the governance structure for the nationally recognized Charlotte Harbor which recently partnered with the EPA in the context to help determine climate preparation or adaptation options for estuaries. 37 All of the countys 16 hurricane sheltering facilities are also located in these lands. None of these facilities are, needless to say, certified by the red cross) (SFRC quoted in Charlotte County 2007: 3-17).
66 Figure 4.1 Summary of Essential County Features by County Collier Charlotte Sarasota Manatee Miles of beach 36 12 35 27 Percentage of population residing in category 1 hurricane zone (2003) 3.5% 34.9% 27.7% 38% Total population (2007) 315,839 152,814 372,073 315,108 Population change from April to July (state average=14.2%) 25.6% 7.99% 14.1% 19.4% Population over the age of 65 (2007) as a percentage of total population 25.2% 29.7% 22.4% 30.3% Median household income (in thousands of dollars) 58,519 47,804 50,031 48,940 Average coastal property values (2007) 1,681,110 582,432 917,255 795,698 Property tax revenues from coastal parcels (millions of dollars) (2007) 70.6 15 110.9 25.4 Volume of Beach Nourishment Projects (1944-2006) (cubic yards) 6,768,499 819,151 12,067,114 8,950,000 Based on estimates for number likely needing sheltering services during a storm, coastal sheltering deficits in people (2003) 27,263 28,149 19,401 18,754 Category 3 county clearance time (Hours) (2003) 27.1 12.5 10.5 11 Ad Valorem Tax Rate (2007) 5.9651 6.2388 4.8538 7.0649 Voting behavior in the last three presidential election (from top to bottom: 2008 2004, 2000) (republican/democrat percentage of the vote) 68.8/38.4 65.0/34.1 65.6/32.5 52.9/45.7 55.7/42.9 53/44.3 49.47/49.37 53.5/45.20 51.63/45.27 52.94/45.93 56.62/42.66 52.58/44.61 Sources: American Fact Finder, U.S. Census; Department of Community Affairs; Kildow et al; Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Collier County; Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Collier County Comprehensive Plans, Manatee Chamber of Congress, Office of Economic and Demographic Research of the Florida Legislature, Leip, David. Sea Level Rise Content in Comprehensive Plans While discussion of the sea level rise issue was rather limited in all of the counties, Collier County stood out as th e only county to have included tangible, implementable policies to respond to the issue. Sarasotas plan did not feature an explicit policy to address the issue but did have a well developed discussion of the implications of accelerated sea level rise for the county and what role local planning may have in ameliorating future sea level rise impacts. Charlotte County provided only passing
67 mention of the issue and Manatee County was virtually silent regarding it. The extent of sea level rise coverage is summarized briefly in figure 4.2. Sarasota was the only county to include sea level rise predictions within its planning document and specify sea level rise risks. The comprehensive plan cited expected sea level rise predic tion of 5.9 inches by 2050 and between 1.2 and 2.1 feet by 2100 (2007: 2-25). It specified that such increases, may destroy coastal wetlands and salt marshes, inundate coastal sediment and induc e salt water intrusion into aquifers. It came closest to developing a policy on the basi s of these risks in its connecting the issue to armament: How our community responds to these changes may very well determine whether we have beaches or hardened shorel ine in their stead (Sarasota County 2007: 229). The plan also recommended that the issue be incorporated into the content of the Sarasota Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (Sarasota County 2007: 2-150). Of the four counties considered, Collier Countys plan went the farthest in articulating concrete policy items to respond to sea level rise. Perhaps reflective of its relatively minimalist style, the county neither identified specific predictions on future accelerated sea level rise nor did it discuss potential local sea level rise impacts. The County noted that the review of development and redevelopment proposals, shall consider the implications of potential sea level rise and requires of all development requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)38 that, an analysis shall show development to be faithful to use amid six in ches of sea level rise (Collier County 2007: 49). 38 EISs are required of federal construction projects or construction in which the federal government is implicated and that has potential environmental impacts.
68 Manatee did not mention the issue in its comprehensive plan. Charlotte only briefly acknowledged it, noting, two main facets are responsible for the coastal erosion problem along the coast human activates an d sea level rise (Charlotte County 2007: 3-117)39 Figure 4.2 Sea Level Rise Content in Comprehensive Plans County Language Recognizing SLR Specification of SLR risk Tangible Policies in Place to Address SLR Manatee Sarasota X X Charlotte X Collier X X While each countys relative level of enga gement with sea level rise varied, none of the counties pursued sea level rise adaptation on a comprehensive basis or made the issue a central feature of coastal management activities, infrastructure planning etc. While sea level rise targeted content offers a direct mechanism for integrating climate into planning, robust hazard mitigation activity might support eventual adaptation options just as easily. Doing a simultaneous assess ment of sea level rise and general hazard planning content opens up the possibility to consider questions on the relationship between hazard mitigation and more clim ate focused planning, can well-developed content in one of the areas be expected to follow from well-developed content in the other? Hazard Mitigation Content in Comprehensive Plans Looking at the general coastal hazard policies of each of the four counties presents a slightly more equivocal view of ea ch countys level of in stitutional capacity to respond to sea level rise. In compliance wi th state hazard mandates, all four counties 39 The distinction between human activities and sea level rise casts doubt on the degree to which the statement affirms the realities of climate change versus describing a basic facet of coastal ecology.
69 discussed and developed policy to maintain coastal geological forms, maintain species, protect development from coastal hazard, and control different types of point source and non point source pollution. They limited density in coastal high hazard areas and designated certain lands for protection. The thoroughness of state mandates created high baselines for hazard planning that can make comparing the level of detail or depth each countys hazard policies difficult. Nevert heless, differences do emerge in comparing each of the counties that are worth noting. In moving from policy statements to implementation efforts, or in the words of Sarasotas comprehensive plan, from basic emergency service provision to hazard mitigation, Charlotte stood+ out for its strong and mandatory implementation mechanisms. Most notably, the comprehensiv e plan established a mandatory transfer of density program, capping net development density within the county at its present levels while allowing for and encouraging the reshuffling of density in order to consolidate development within the urban core or suburban areas appropriate for infill and thin it out in high hazard or otherwise rural lands deemed inappropriate for suburban development. The program follows the design of a typical TDR program. Land that is proposed for additional densification must apply for a receiving zone de signation which allows it to purchase density credits from land carrying a sending zone designation. After the transfer occurs, a conservation designation is applied to the sending zone property that limits development densities to existing levels. Transfers are limited to certain conforming cases. For example, transfers of densities from urban centers to high hazard lands are not allowed (Charlotte County 2007: 3-169).
70 None of the other three counties studied, developed a similarly comprehensive or restrictive (in that it was applied across th e entire county on a mandatory basis) policy within their plans. While Sarasota and Ma natee established voluntary TDR program, cluster zoning and OUC options (see chapter 2 for description), Sarasotas description of its cluster Zoning, TDR, and OUC programs, noted that, TDR and OUC have rarely been used. Notably, Collier County also had a TDR program, though its version seemed oriented toward preservation of agricultural land, but otherwise seemed to offer a much less robust hazard mitigation provisions th an Charlotte. Considering Charlottes TDR program and Colliers two sea level rise ones, its unclear the degree to which they might differentially support adaptation. While Charlotte doesnt name sea level rise preparedness as a goal of its program, both Co lliers policies also had limitations. Its first, requiring that sea level rise be considered in permitting decisions, offers no benchmark, guideline for carrying out the policy or any implementation provision to track the policys effect. The more robust and concrete requirement that buildings show an ability to withstand 6 inches of sea level rise is limited by the fact that it only requires to buildings requiring EISs. Comparing the two raises the question of what extra value might naming sea level rise, climate concerns, or explicitly noting adaptation application add to planning content? Survey Responses Compared The survey was intended to fill in some of the relevant contextual information for describing local engagement with sea level rise missing from comprehensive plan content. It was meant to capture how planne rs understood political challenges associated
71 with action, how they understood sea leve l rise risks and how they formed these judgments. Question: Planning for Sea Level Rise: describe pl an elements addre ssing sea level rise and extent of plan coverage All counties had an approved and current plan, though Charlotte indicated that their plan was currently undergoing a major rewrite. Only Collier County fully answered the second question on the extent of sea level rise coverage within comprehensive plans and location of coverage (i.e. in what section discussion might be found) indicating that discussion of the issue in the coastal, conservation and future land use section of the comprehensive plan. Wh ile Manatee (which by my review had no explicit mention of sea level rise within its comprehensive plan) did not identify locations in which sea level rise discussion occurred or extent of plan coverage, it did express that their plan contains multiple policies [that] relate to coastal protection and lessening the impact of storm surge. Question: What have been your primary sources of information on sea level rise? To get at risk assessment and how counties communicated with the scientific community or otherwise attained sea level rise, three ques tions asked planners to rank their reliance on different information sources according to those most often us ed, specify in what planning related contexts outside the comprehe nsive plan the issue ha s been discussed, and to evaluate the effect of historical sea le vel rise rates (median rate from the previous century) on 16 different coastal resource categories40 Answers for sea level rise informational sources (see figure 3) for the counties varied widely. Manatee s choices reflected most heavily a reliance on popular sources (in descending order they ranked
72 their informational sources as: television, popular magazines, professional meetings, newspaper, journals, staff meetings, citizen in put and local scientists). Sarasota, only choosing four sources, also expressed pref erence for popular material (Newspaper, Television, Journals, Popular Magazines). Ch arlotte and Collier showed a greater mix in the materials they relied upon and with both including local scientists and journals in their top four. Charlottes top four were pr ofessional meetings, journals local scientists and television. While Colliers were: professional meetings, journals, popular magazines scientists. Interestingly no county in cluded citizen input in their top four. Figure 4.3 Information Sources and Rank of Preference Television Newspaper Journals Professional Meetings Citizen Input Local Scientists Popular Magazines Staff Meeting Manatee (1) Sarasota (2) Charlotte (4) Sarasota (1) Manatee (4) Collier (2) Charlotte (2) Sarasota (3) Collier (1) Charlotte (1) Manatee (3) Charlotte (3) Collier (4) Manatee (2) Collier (3) Sarasota (4) Question: Please specify if the issue of sea level rise has been discussed in the following related planning contexts (Public workshops on the local plan; Statements by other department staff and comments/actions by elected officials). Generally how would you describe your local government's inte rest in the issue of sea level rise? Only Collier County indicated that sea le vel rise had been di scussed in public planning workshops, statements by other de partment staff and comments or action by elected officials. Charlotte and Manatee indicated the issue had only been raised in statements by department staff. Sarasota no ted hosting a focus group to discuss the issue with an invited group of stakeholders to par ticipate in a focus group to discuss sea level rise adaptation options for the county in part nership with Penn State (they did not note if this partnership was of their own formation) Sarasota also noted future plans to create a community Energy and Climate Action plan (a requirement of membership in ICLEI that
73 Question: Describe the effects of historic rates of sea level rise on 15 coastal resource categories While Sarasota evaluated historical an d future risks the same way, perhaps suggesting the respondent did not fully read the two question prompts, planners in the other 3 counties gave substantially different answers. In response to the question on historic impacts and question asking for plan ner assessments of future risks, except Sarasota, the three other planners indicated that historic rates of sea level rise had either no impacts or unknown ones, though Collier indica ted that historic rates of sea level rise had a minor effect on ground water supplies, estuaries and lagoons. Except for Sarasota, planners were clear in affirming the increased risks associated with accelerating sea level rise. Collier for example indi cated that accelerated sea level rise would have a major effect on 10 of the resource categories; Charlotte indicated major effects for 9 of the resource s listed; while Manatee did this for 6 of the categories. All four counties suggested major effects for sand beaches dunes, estuaries, barrier islands and lagoons. Question: What particular forces have positivel y contributed to your department's engagement with sea level rise? Conversely, w hat are some of the limitations that have restricted your department's abi lity to address sea level rise ? Though a free response question, local governments (only Collier, Manatee and Sarasota answered) produced thematically sim ilar answers to both parts of this question. Collier County cited recent professional meetings as helpful factors and the budget and foreclosure crisis as a principal restra int. Sarasota noted, Some local and nationally recognized experts that have shown wh at will happen in the next 100 years as supportive of local engagement, and like Col lier put forth lack of resources as a principle restraint along with naysayers. Manatee County, reflective of its general
74 shallow level of engagement with sea level ri se and climate issues notes that, This issue has not risen to the level of real public pol icy debate in our community at this time. Question: What type of policy or technical support would help you the most, in planning or other local government functions with respect to sea level rise? Answering this question Collier offered, Planners are adept at dealing with chan ge, even preparing for it. However, policy makers typically have to focus more on the immediate (next 5-10 years) requirements of their communities. Until our policy makers are given a specific time when planning for sea level rise needs to begin in order to ensure the safety of the community, sea level rise planning will be forever relegated to the back burner. Then it will be too late to ad equately protect our communitys assets from the devastation to come. Manatee requested education and Charlotte GOPs (GOPs refer to Goals, Ordinance and Policies and are a mandated components of co mprehensive plan). Sarasota offers Policy examples/best practices from other communities around the country and specific projections of impacts (geographi cally and in time) and recommendations of high hazard zones as its primary requests. Discussion Studying local government engagement with sea level rise in its early stages is important because it offers a way of identifyi ng the low hanging fruit, or preliminary measures that might be taken to help local governments advance climate policy. Each of the four counties studied faced a wide range of challenges in moving climate action forward related to political resistance to adap tation, the limited technical capacity of local governments to respond to the issue, diffic ulty managing the scientific aspects of the issue and challenges associated with intergovernmental coordination. The most consistently and frequently cite d challenge related to intergovernmental relations. Local governments expressed uncertainty on how to address sea level rise within the current
75 state-designed planning framework given th e frameworks short-term planning time tables and its silence regarding how the various tasks related to sea level rise planning might be divided among state, regional and local bodies. Though clarifying local sea level rise planning responsibilities was the mo st often invoked need by local planers, it is worth describing the range of issues planners faced. Ultimately, these challenges are all related to one another. Clarifying the institu tional arrangements in place to respond to the issue represents a way for local governments to address problems of limited technical capacity and political controversy surrounding sea level rise action. Planners discussed science in two related contexts: as a tool to help decisionmakers produce more certain outcomes by thei r action and as political tool that might encourage political action responding to sea level rise or undermine this possibility. The first application of science was the most of ten mentioned one. While all four planners were able to differentiate their estimates of sea level rise risks according to different categories of coastal resources, and seemed to have at least a working knowledge of how sea level rise might affect local geography, at least Sarasota, which requested that models describing the rate and spatial distribution of effects as a type of planning support, emphasized the partialness of this knowledge and expressed a desire for more precise scientific information on local impacts. In addition to its pragmatic application, planners also noted sciences political usages and potential to give credibility to policy decisions reduce pu blic uncertainty and move action forward or alternatively, to fan co ntroversy, increase doubt and stall action. Both potentialities of science are reflected si multaneously in Sarasotas survey statement that growing scientific understanding of c limate scenarios had been a primary factor
76 encouraging local engagement with sea level rise while naysayers had held back action. While Sarasota doesnt describe the origins of this naysaying, the coupling of the two answers suggests a relationship between scientific data and the political tenability of adaptive action. Collier County showed a simila r recognition of the mi xed, if not volatile aspects of the science, policy interface. Given Colliers distinction among the counties studied for its policy robust treatment of sea level rise and considering that Collier was alone in acknowledging a reliance on local sc ientific sources for attaining information regarding sea level rise, its silence regarding actual figures or predictions for future sea level rise rates or impacts is conspicuous a nd might be read as an attempt to deflect scientific-based controversy. Controversy wasnt exclusively seen as stemming from science, but was also associated with material resour ces and resistance to perceive d tradeoffs. While the four counties faced challenges from inadequate scie ntific information, insufficient material resources and having to face political cont roversythese were not as focused upon in planner requests for assistance than their desire for clearer guidelines on how to fit sea level rise into current planning framework procedures. Planners requests for techni cal planning assistance might easily be interpreted as a request for increased scientific input. Such a conclusion however would mistake the distinction between planners desire to clarify their understanding of actual sea level rise impacts and their desire for cues from state planning department rega rding how to fit sea level rise into current planning procedur es, timetables and the current division of planning responsibility among state, regional and local bodies. While all four local governments acknowledged the connection be tween local land use decisions and climate
77 adaptation, they noted the limited political capacity of loca governments and their inability to assume primary exclusive or prim ary responsabiltiy for adaptive planning.. Collier County was clearest in expressing this qualified view of the role of local planning in responding to sea level rise Planners are adept at dealing with change even preparing for it. However, policy makers typically have to focus more on the immediate (next 5-10 years) requirements of their communities. Until our policy makers are given a specific time when planning for sea level rise needs to begin in order to ensure the safety of the community, sea level rise planning will be forever relegated to the back burner. Then it will be too late to ade quately protect our community's assets from the devastation to come While Colliers statement affirms the effec tiveness of local planning efforts, it simultaneously underscores the importance of st ate guidance for local planning efforts. Manatee Countys cryptic suggestion of GOPs as a potential helpful form of assistance also reflects the needs and dependencies of local level planning on other spheres of governance. While the focus of local requests seemed to be the state, Sarasota provides a slightly less state-dependent request for pl anning assistance, [p]olicy examples/ best practices from other communities around the country. Conclusion The four local governments studied all took sea level rise risks and the role of local planning departments in responding to the issue seriously. The importance local governments ascribed to intergovernmental issues, suggests an important role for state government in facilitating local engagement with climate change. Since Floridas institutional framework is designed as a state controlled system, addressing sea level rise might be expected to involve strong state action. Floridas planning framework doesnt just lack specific climate provisions. Many
78 of its specific elements are actually hostile to addressing climate issue such as its short timetables. Yet, incorporating sea level rise into the framework in a holistic way requires far more than changes to timetables. It requires that th e state elaborate clear standards for integrating the issue into comp onents of the planning framework such as environmental protection, building and siting requirements etc. and that state level divide up various planning functions related to the issue sea level (e.g. data collection, monitoring, implementation, criteria setting etc. ). Parceling out pl anning responsibilities among state, local and regional bodies mi ght reduce redundancy in planning work and relieve local governments some of the political burdens associated with shouldering full accountability for the outcome of po tential climate action policies Methodological Concern This study, designed as an in depth i nvestigation into local engagement with sea level rise was chiefly limited by the shallowness of its investigation into the distinguishing features of the counties themselves, how planners within each of the counties viewed sea level rise risk and their responsibility to address it, and how they organized action. This can be attributed to the choice of relying on survey and document review techniques rather than including in terviews with planner themselves. While interesting and revealing information was certainly obtained from survey tools and document research, these texts raised myriad questions that went unanswered. Having the ability to ask follow up question and to surv ey responses would have been valuable in a number of occasions, such as in reply to Manatees request for education as a request for assistance Sarasotas offering of naysayers as a description for barriers to climate action.
79 A second limitation of the present study was that it didnt address implementation of coastal development restrictions. This omission is especially glaring considering research showing that while coastal developm ent restriction have slowed the rate of development in coastal high hazard areas, development continues to proceed in these areas. Comparing the relative rates of grow th in high hazard areas for each of the counties would have contributed greatly to the comparison. Doing so, however would have been technically challenging (the re search on plan implementation used tax assessment data and advanced GIS techni ques to produce its findingsmethodologies that are beyond the abilities of the present re searcher). Related, a firmer historical understanding of each of the countys growth experience would have enriched the final comparison. A third related drawback was sampling. Though the comprehensive plan is intended to be the leading guide for development decision making and provide a crosswalk of auxiliary planning content, it cant be assumed that the comprehensive plan would contain all of the relevant provi sions for post disaster development decisions or that they would explicitly state a county s method for including public bodies in the planning practice.
80 Conclusion: State Level Policy Recommendations This thesis has argued that, within the panoply of institutional relationships established at the coast, land use planning, though limited in its impacts, offers an essential platform for adaptive action, as an important context in which local, state, maybe regional bodies and po ssibly civic ones might comingle and confront the geographic underpinning of hazard and vulnera bility. In its empirical study, it found surprising evidence that though myriad factors limit the ability of local governments to promote sea level rise adaptation (including th eir need for policy-robust, locally oriented science and their exposure to political resist ance regarding adaptation), planners most immediate need was for the state to develop explicit procedures and guidelines for sea level rise planning. While its hard to imagine the Florida Department of Community Affairs providing strong guidance regarding loca l sea level rise planning under present circumstances, given recent revived attempts to reduce state involvement in local land use decision making this thesis argues that maintaining a strong, state-controlled growth management framework, represents the states best hope for advancing anticipatory adaptation. Beyond this fundame ntal precondition fo r advancing adaptation options in the state, the thesis recommends the following: The Department of Community Affa irs should provide strong language specifying sea level rise planning criteria to inform local development decisions. It should assign responsibilities for sea level rise data collection and processing to regional sources, mirroring its current system for handling evacuation and hurricane planning. Where possible stat e statute should encourage the use of non-science dependent criteria for implementing sea level rise planning policy. It
81 should strengthen provisions for the disclosure of hazard information during property transaction. In coasta l lands subject to moderate or low development pressure, the state should encourage the use of rolling easements for select sites. The state should expand strategic land acquisition activities In order to make land acquisition financially feas ible, the state should encourage buy and lease back or sell back land acqu isition options to allow for continued economic activity at coast while specif ying low intensity development. More of fundamental change, the state should reconsider its narrow emphasis on increasing the durability of high hazard construction and encourage movable or collapsible coastal building. For good measure, to make sure hazard mitigation doesnt induce sprawl and weaken the states fitful and already compromised attempts at promoting compact development, it should continue to encourage urban infill in non high hazard areas. While the magnitude of the sea level rise issue calls for systematic and bold changes to development patterns in coastal environments, social and political realities of these places mean that such changes will have to build upon and attend to preexisting management practices, traditi ons and norms in order to gain traction. Florida isnt exactly primed for adaptation, but it can hardly be described as antagonistic to adaptation either. `
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