Emerald Coast RC Updates Washington County Vision 2035
The Emerald Coast RC, in partnership with the East Central Florida RPC, recently completed a major rewrite of Washington County’s Comprehensive Plan using current planning principles and best practices. Titled “Vision 2035” the new Comprehensive Plan includes an updated Land Development Code and serves as a guide for future growth, services, development, capital investments, and redevelopment activities within the county.
The primary objectives of the update were to:
1.    Make the plan “user-friendly,” easy to read, and understandable for all users
2.    Be simpler, flexible, and more easily administered by staff.
3.    Incorporate innovative and creative approaches to land-use regulations.
4.    Reflect the smart growth and economic goals of the county.
“Vision 2035” includes updated graphics and improved maps that aid in county representation and clarity. Public and stakeholder input was gathered through surveys and Project Advisory Team meetings. This was key to ensuring the Comprehensive Plan meets statutory requirements; properly informs, empowers, and directs the Land Development Code and other plans to implement its strategies; and reflects the values and needs of Washington County’s citizens.

South Florida RPC Supports Development of Affordable Housing
In 2014, the South Florida RPC spearheaded the creation of the Southeast Florida Community Development Fund, Inc. (SFCDFI). The SFCDFI is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose primary mission is to promote community and economic development, access to capital for small businesses, and job creation. Since its inception, the Southeast Florida RPC has provided lending expertise, loan management, and administrative support to the SFCDFI.
Recently, the SFCDFI partnered with the Lauderhill Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA) and in November 2021 successfully completed the initial phase of four affordable single-family residential homes for first time minority homebuyers residing in the City of Lauderhill, called Renaissance Point (Phase 1A). An additional six homes (Phase 1B) are ongoing with completion anticipated in July 2022.
Through this program, homebuyers have the opportunity to transition from a rental unit to home ownership with the help from the Lauderhill CRA. Financing for the construction of the homes were provided by a partnership of the SFCDFI and the Broward County Housing Finance Authority. To learn more visit: www.sfcdfi.org or contact: Jeff Tart, Senior Loan Officer at jtart@sfrpc.com.
Southwest Florida RPC Promotes SWFL Fresh
The Southwest Florida RPC was selected for the 2021 USDA Regional Food System Partnership grant to implement the trademarked regional brand “SWFL Fresh: Choose Local, Choose Fresh.” The trademarked regional brand will showcase food producers in southwest florida and their products. The RPC will lead the three-year project in collaboration with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services Cooperative Extension Service and Tropical Research and Education Center. The total project amount of $752,426 will support ongoing efforts within the regional food system.

The Southwest Florida RPC attended a guided tour of Collier County’s agricultural and horticultural operations experiencing the sights, tastes, and stories of farm life. The tour featured a variety of showcasing the and diverse agriculture industry in Collier County, including Silver Strand Citrus Grove, JB Cattle, Rojo Vegetable Farms and Famer’s Alliance Greenbean Packinghouse.