During the 2011 legislative session, the Florida Legislature passed — and Governor Rick Scott signed into law — the Community Planning Act (CPA), which makes significant changes to Florida’s growth management laws. With little or no debate, the Department of Community Affairs, the state agency overseeing growth management, was abolished and its regulations, Rule 9J-5, repealed. Its successor, the Division of Community Development will reside within a new agency, the Department of Economic Opportunity. The legislation is intended to encourage growth in the state by expediting or removing barriers to development. The far-reaching changes include streamlining the Comprehensive Plan amendment process and removing certain concurrency requirements, limits on comprehensive plan amendments and some categories of DRI review.

Florida’s future depends on whether the CPA will provide incentives for new planning initiatives and economic development or simply dismantle the apparatus that had been considered to be in the forefront of state growth management laws. The panel will feature four perspectives on the future of land use management in Florida:  the state, local government, the development community and the public.

Panel Chair:
Tom Pelham (’71) is an attorney and certified planner with more than 30 years of experience in Florida’s planning and growth management programs. He served as Florida Department of Community Affairs secretary during the initial implementation of the 1985 Growth Management Act in 1987-1991 and again in 2007-2011. He has been a recognized leader in both the legal and planning professions, having served as chair of the Florida Bar’s Environmental and Land Use Law Section and the City, County, and Local Government Law Section, and as a member of the Executive Council of the American Bar Association Section on State and Local Government Law.  Pelham also is a past president of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (FAPA) and was a member of FAPA’s Executive Board for 10 years.

Robert C. Apgar (’77) is a land use attorney practicing with Apgar & Spiers who served from 1982-84 as executive director of the second Environmental and Land Management Study Committee (ELMS II). The ELMS II Report provided the foundation for Florida’s growth management legislation adopted in 1985. He also served on the Transportation and Land Use Study Committee created by the Florida Legislature in 1998. In the course of his 30 year career, Apgar has represented local governments, homeowners and developers in a wide range of land use matters.

Nancy G. Linnan (’74) is managing shareholder with Carlton Fields in Tallahassee. Linnan practices primarily in the areas of environmental/land use and administrative law and government consulting. She is cited as one of the crafters of the Community Planning Act. She has served as assistant secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs, assistant deputy attorney general and chief of the Division of Cabinet Affairs for the Florida Attorney General and assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of Administration.

Charles Pattison is president of 1000 Friends of Florida, a non-profit organization that is a leader in promoting healthy urban and natural places by wise management of growth and change. A fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Pattison was the first executive director of the Monroe County Land Authority. He serves on the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium Advisory Council and Apalachee Land Conservancy and has been a member of the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida, the Florida Energy Commission’s Climate Change Subcommittee and the Governor’s Climate Action Team.

David A. Theriaque (’89) is an attorney with master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University. Practicing with Theriaque and Spain, he focuses primarily on land use planning law, growth management law and environmental permitting. Theriaque has represented public and private entities in comprehensive plan proceedings, land use regulation, and development of regional impact review. He has also served as special counsel for numerous local governments throughout Florida on a wide variety of growth management and land use issues.

Call 850.644.7781 or e-mail to reserve a seat at the forum.