The State of Florida has not removed itself from every bit of control over land use and real estate development in the state, despite the huge deregulations of the past two years (see the little ebook in the left sidebar for details). Florida state government still has lots of say-so about roads and highways, for example.
However, there's a new twist on how things are going to be done in Florida. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) together with the Florida Transportation Commission (FTC) and partners at various levels from municipal to state-level groups, has already implemented the Future Corridors Program.
You can read all about the Future Corridors Program here. In sum, what the Future Corridors Program aims to achieve is considering the various roads and highways and byways throughout the Sunshine State and then, with all these different players contributing their expert opinions, determining which Florida roads, highways, etc. -- what they call "statewide transportation corridors" will be built as brand-new projects as well as fixed up, expanded, or altered to better serve the public through new design or other changes. The SIS Corridor Development is one example.
The Future Corridors Program isn't a short term project: it's considering the state's ground transportation needs over the next 50 years.
Read the formal Future Corridors Program Action Plan (published in 2006) online here.
Florida Will Pay $100,000 For Outside Expert Opinion on Future Corridors
Here's where some folk are shocked: the State of Florida isn't just listening to its own experts here. It's 2012 and the current Powers that Be are looking to the future by hiring outside consultants to bring their savvy to the table as these long-reaching decisions are made.
Who's being hired? Two former St. Joe Company executives who bring big real estate developer perspectives to the table, Chris Corr and Billy Buzzett, who will then go out and interview around 20 different major Florida landowners about transportation development proposals and get their input on the plans, and the possible need for changes in state or local laws or maybe agency regulations in order to make the deals more doable.
Input will be gathered from developers, as well as big Florida utilities and Florida's powerful Water Management Districts. Environomentalists, of course, are distrustful. Some are suggesting this is going to result in a wildfire of land development across the state, particularly its Central Region.
We'll see. In this economy, any kind of development wildfire sounds like a pretty dream or memories of days gone by ... or hope. Optimistic home in our future isn't a bad thing.