• The Coastal High Hazard Area is an area particularly vulnerable to the effects of coastal flooding from tropical storm events and is defined by section 163.3178(2)(h)9, Florida Statutes, as the area below the elevation of the category 1 storm surge line as established by a Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) computerized storm surge model.
  • Section 163.3177(6)6., Florida Statutes, requires that local governments limit public expenditures that subsidize development in Coastal High Hazard Areas.
  • Section 163.3177(6)(a)10.a., Florida Statutes, requires that local governments designate Coastal High Hazard Areas on their future land use map series.
  • Many local comprehensive plans have objectives and policies which limit or restrict residential density, the type of development allowed, establish special building requirements, and that limit the use of public funds within the Coastal High Hazard Area (see links to examples below).

General Requirements

  • Local governments which abut the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean, or are contiguous to waters of the state where marine species of vegetation listed by rule as ratified in section 373.4211, Florida Statutes, constitute the dominant plant community, are required by sections 163.3177(6)(g) and 380.24, Florida Statutes, to develop a coastal zone management element.
  • Section 163.3178(1), Florida Statutes, expresses the legislative intent that local governments restrict development activities where such activities would damage or destroy coastal resources and that such plans protect human life and limit public expenditures in areas that are subject to destruction by natural disasters (see Post-Disaster Recovery).
  • The coastal management element must contain a component that outlines policies for hazard mitigation and protection of human life against the effects of natural disasters, including population evacuation, which take into consideration the capability to safely evacuate the density of the coastal population proposed in the future land use plan element in the event of an impending natural disaster. Section 163.3177(2)(d), Florida Statutes. (see Hazard Mitigation Planning).

Comprehensive Plan Amendments in the Coastal High Hazard Area

  • Local governments should consult their comprehensive plans when seeking land use changes within the Coastal High Hazard Area to ensure that potential changes are not in conflict with goals, objectives, and policies within the Coastal Management Element.
  • Section 163.3178(9), Florida Statutes, provides that a proposed comprehensive plan amendment shall be found in compliance with state coastal high-hazard provisions if:
    • The adopted level of service for out-of-county hurricane evacuation is maintained for a category 5 storm event as measured on the Saffir-Simpson scale; or
    • A 12-hour evacuation time to shelter is maintained for a category 5 storm event as measured on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and shelter space reasonably expected to accommodate the residents of the development contemplated by a proposed comprehensive plan amendment is available; or
    • Appropriate mitigation is provided that will satisfy subparagraphs 1. or 2. Appropriate mitigation includes payment of money, contribution of land, and construction of hurricane shelters and transportation facilities. Required mitigation may not exceed the amount required for a developer to accommodate impacts reasonably attributed to development. A local government and a developer shall enter into a binding agreement to memorialize the mitigation plan.
    • For those local governments that did not established a level of service for out-of-county hurricane evacuation by July 1, 2008, the level of service shall be no greater than 16 hours for a category 5 storm event as measured on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Adaptation Planning for Sea Level Rise

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