Northeast Florida RC Develops Coastal Hazards Mapping Tool
 
In the Spring of 2019, the Northeast Florida Regional Council partnered with Taylor Engineering, a coastal engineering firm in Jacksonville, to develop an online mapping resource to assist with adaptation planning for coastal hazards in Florida. Effective community outreach and public education strategies are vitally important when it comes to establishing a 'resilience framework'. The online mapping tool licensed by the Northeast Florida RC as the "Regional Resiliency Exposure Tool", has been used to educate local stakeholders about coastal hazards and vulnerabilities.
 
The Exposure Tool allows local residents, business owners and government officials to determine community exposure to specific coastal hazards. In addition to coastal flood layers, other data layers relating to demographic and social measures can be overlaid in a variety of ways. The tool includes the FEMA flood hazard zones, storm surge for evacuation planning, depth of flood at defined storm occurrence intervals and sea level rise at defined water levels from 1 to 6 feet of rise.
 
Once a coastal flood layer is selected, users can overlay other layers such as population densities for low-income minorities and the elderly to determine how a hazard may impact a specific population. In addition to these layers, other featured data layers include critical facilities, historical assets, and "resilience hubs" such as areas that contain measurable benefits relating to ecosystem services and flood mitigation.
 
In promoting the Exposure Tool, the Northeast Florida RC has been able to educate a diverse array of stakeholders about local vulnerabilities. Presentations have been made to Rotary Clubs, professional organizations, government agencies, and elected officials. The Northeast Florida RC plans on expanding the tool and exploring options for further utility at the local level. From a planning perspective, the tool has been utilized to support data and analysis sections of local government comprehensive plans; and is currently being used to better inform the work of the Jacksonville Special Committee on Resiliency.
 
Development of the Exposure Tool was made possible by a grant provided by the Economic Development Administration. Other partners who were instrumental in making the tool possible were the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and NatureServe, who conducted a Coastal Resilience Assessment of the Jacksonville and Lower St. Johns River Watersheds between 2018 and 2019. To check the exposure of a local community asset in Northeast Florida, visit the official webpage for the Regional Resilience Exposure Tool at: http://buildcommunityresilience.com/northeastflorida/ or contact Sean Lahav, Resiliency Coordinator, slahav@nefrc.org.
Central Florida RPC Receives United Way Summit Award
 
United Way President presents Summit Award to CFRPC.
During the United Way of Central Florida's "Spirit Week," the Central Florida RPC received a surprise visit and was presented with the highest award for small business known as the Summit Award for Small Business. The award is based on participation, per capita giving, and participation increases during the 2019-2020 fundraising campaign.
 
For the past eight years, the Central Florida RPC staff served as a Pacesetter organization with 100% participation in the campaign and raising funds that support community programs in Hardee, Highlands, and Polk counties. Through personal gifts, office fundraising and activities, and opportunities to volunteer, the RPC staff shows their commitment to the community and has contributed more than $10,000 each year for the past three years.
 
Unable to hold a traditional annual meeting this summer, the United Way of Central Florida announced the 2019-2020 Campaign Awards in a series of videos released during a "Spirit Week" and announced the campaign raised more than $10.4 million. Learn more here: https://uwcf.org/uwcf-2020-annual-awards/ 
Treasure Coast RPC Assists with Martin County Complete Streets Study
 
The Martin Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) identified complete streets planning and analysis as a priority for the county's transportation network. A "Complete Street" is defined as a public road that provides safe and and accessible options for multiple travel modes for people of all ages and abilities, including modes such as walking, cycling, automobiles and freight.  Complete Streets play an especially important role in providing safe effective connections to transit. Because every transit trip essentially begins and ends as a pedestrian trip, there is heightened focus on the "last-mile" connections to and from transit stops to boost transit performance, with a specific focus on the benefits for accessing transit safely and expanding the utility of the transportation network. With funding from the Federal Transit Administration, the Martin MPO commissioned the Treasure Coast RPC to develop a county-wide Complete Streets: Access to Transit Study, which was adopted in June of 2020.  
 
The study provides a comprehensive, long-term, context sensitive approach to an improved
roadway network as it relates to existing and anticipated transit stops and routes countywide. The Martin MPO's recently adopted Long-Range Transportation Plan incorporates the study to help inform transportation priorities and funding through the 2045 planning horizon. In addition to a detailed literature review and analysis of local regulatory and planning documents, the study provides a catalog of various complete streets "interventions," arrayed by land use context and location along the roadway according to usage zones - transit, pedestrian, frontage, furnishing, bikeway, and vehicular.  
 
A unique methodology to assess various conditions across the County's nearly 1,200-mile roadway network was employed in the Complete Streets: Access to Transit Study to identify and prioritize eligible roadway segments for improvements.  Before and after conceptual diagrams are included for ten select segments, varied by land use context and roadway dimensions, to illustrate how the various interventions can be combined to complete the street and used to solicit public input at multiple open house events. Finally, the study includes a series of recommended implementation activities by the MPO, local governments, and other transportation partners to achieve a safer, more complete street network going forward.
 
SE Cove Road "Before" 
SE Cove Road "After" 
Regional Planning Councils Awarded Technical Assistance Grants
 
On August 7, 2020, Governor DeSantis announced nearly $1 million in community planning technical assistance grants to local governments and regional planning councils. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the technical assistance grants assist Florida communities with the creation of innovative planning and development strategies to promote economic diversity. Four regional planning councils received grants:
  • Apalachee RPC - ($40,000) to conduct training and prepare a toolkit for community planning activities.
  • Central Florida RPC - ($30,000) to prepare a study on Migrant and Farmworker Housing in the central Florida region and a model ordinance that can be incorporated into local government land development regulations.
  • East Central Florida RPC -
    • ($40,000) to develop the East Central Florida Food Resiliency Action Plan for a more resilient local, county and regional food system.
    • ($34,000) to create a Strategic Resilience Action Plan for the recently established East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative.
  • Emerald Coast RC - ($40,000) to develop a corridor master plan for US-90 in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties that focuses on a multi-use trail.
 
APA 2020 Florida Planning Conference  
 
 
FRCA Partners Meetings Schedule 2020  
 
Listed below are the upcoming Partners Meetings hosted by FRCA throughout the year.  If you would like to attend or present at one of the Partners Meetings, please contact Denise Imbler at dimbler@arpc.org
 
December 4, 2020 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.City Hall, Tallahassee
Contact: Denise Imbler  |  dimbler@arpc.org  |  flregionalcouncils.org