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Almanac
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History:
Stories, Maps,
& Photos
Planning:
People, Land Use,
& Water Resources
Geology:
Land, Weather,
& Water
Biology:
Animals, Plants,
& Habitats
People
Land Use
Water Resources

Planning:
People, Land Use, & Water Resources

Economic problems, growth problems, transportation problems, water problems, social problems: what do they have in common? Answer: Planning, planning, planning. Government agencies from the smallest city to the biggest federal agency all make plans to help solve these problems, or at least to lessen their effects.

Some examples of high-profile planning issues in the area include:

  1. Who gets water, and when? The specter of water shortages looms over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river basin. Demands for both surface water and ground water increase. Competing for water are agricultural, residential, commercial and recreational fishing, aesthetic, and ecological interests. The health of Apalachicola Bay and its world-renowned oyster fishery depends not only on the amount of fresh water that enters the bay, but also on seasonal highs and lows in fresh water flow.

  2. Which lands will be developed and which lands should be preserved? The St. Joe Company’s change from the forest products business to real estate and development means big changes for the region. The company has sold some important conservation areas to the state through the Florida Forever program, and is selling large and small parcels to private buyers. The company has plans for developments on its holdings near the coast that may change most aspects of life in that part of the region.

  3. How can the military co-exist with the large numbers of people expected to move to the region in the next few years? Eglin Air Force Base, the U.S. Department of Defense, and The Nature Conservancy have begun an ambitious project to preserve air space for military training flights while at the same time conserving open space. Dubbed the Northwest Florida Greenway, the project includes a significant portion of the southern Apalachicola River drainage basin.

Government planning will become more important as the region’s population rises. One house built in a square mile of otherwise unoccupied land will probably have little impact. However, several hundred homes in that same square mile may have major impacts on a local government’s ability to provide basic services such as law enforcement, fire-fighting, and ambulances.

Because there are several different levels of government, there are also several different levels at which planning decisions and regulations can be made. Most structural details pertaining to a single-family residential home on a one-acre lot are usually addressed at the city or county level. But if that lot borders the Apalachicola River, and if the developer wants to build a 50-foot dock over the river, state approval is required. Generally, the more residents a land use change is likely to affect, the more levels of government are likely to have a say.

The planning section of the ARROW Almanac will provide you with an overview of the planning process in the Apalachicola River region, as well as an introduction to some current planning issues. We encourage you to use this information to become more active in the planning process. By participating, you can help to shape the future of the Apalachicola River region to suit your vision.

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This page was last modified on : 10/01/2004

ARROW
Florida Natural Areas Inventory
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