State Gives Rewritten Martin County Comp Plan Stern Reception
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The Department of Economic Opportunity fired a warning shot across Martin County's bow Wednesday, telling County Commission Chairwoman Sarah Heard in a letter that the county's amended Comprehensive Plan may not be "in compliance," as defined in section 163.3184, Florida Statutes.
(See the complete DEO letter in the attachment below.)
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the South Florida Water Management District and "several private parties" have challenged its compliance, wrote William B. Killingsworth, director of the DEO's Division of Community Development.
He explained, "This broader, balanced approach is necessary to ensure responsible management, utilization and preservation of these important state resources.
"The state of Florida cannot have, and will not tolerate, local regulations that are inconsistent with this approach," Killingsworth wrote.
Chairwoman Heard was not immediately available.
At the end of his letter, Killingsworth said the DEO doesn't have to litigate the Martin plan because private parties are already taking Martin to court over the same issues. ("The Department does not believe it is necessary to allocate its limited resources to litigating an additional and potentially duplicative challenge.")
Apart from the Department of Agriculture and SFWMD letters to DEO, at least four private challenges to the Comp Plan are in motion: petitioners are Becker Holding Corp.; Consolidated Citrus, Running W. Citrus and Tesoro Groves; Lake Point Phase I and II; and Midbrook 1st Realty Corp.
Killingsworth recommends Heard and the County Commission enter into a "compliance agreement" -- "to recognize that statewide and regional approaches are the better and required method of managing communal water and agricultural resources."
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423.