| Everglades Protection Area Bill Takes Next Step Forward
|SB 1364, Everglades Protection Area, sponsored by Sen. Calatayud (R-Miami), Chair of the Community Affairs Committee, provides that any proposed changes to a local government’s comprehensive development plan, within a development-free buffer zone to protect the Everglades, must undergo Florida’s coordinated review process.
This would require the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to determine whether the changes would adversely impact the Everglades Protection Area and, if so, require that they be altered to eliminate the potential harm.
The Everglades encompasses an area twice the size of New Jersey and its restoration footprint is the largest initiative of its kind in the world. Recent residential and commercial development proposals are a threat to the agricultural and protected lands surrounding the Everglades.
The bill was passed favorably in the Community Affairs Committee this week. The bill’s House companion, HB 0723, is sponsored by Rep. Cabrera (R-Coral Gables).