Developments of Regional Impact

The Florida Legislature first visited the subject of growth management and comprehensive planning in 1972 with the adoption of two land use programs:

  1. Areas of Critical State Concern Program, which protects areas of critical state concern through state designation and,
  2. Developments of Regional Impact Program, which provides a process to identify regional impacts stemming from large developments and appropriate provisions to mitigate these impacts (Section 380.06, Florida Statutes - Developments of Regional Impact).

The Rules governing Developments of Regional impact are set forth in Rule 73C-40, Florida Administrative Code (see Community Planning: Rules of Procedure and Practice Pertaining to Developments of Regional Impact).

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) reviews developments of regional impact for compliance with state law and to identify the regional and state impacts of large-scale developments and makes recommendations to local governments for approving, suggesting mitigation conditions, or not approving proposed developments. The developer or DEO may appeal local government decisions to the Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission.

Definition of "Development of Regional Impact"

Pursuant to Section 380.06(1), Florida Statutes, a development of regional impact is "any development which, because of its character, magnitude, or location, would have a substantial effect upon the health, safety or welfare of citizens of more than one county." A Development of Regional Impact is determined in part based on the size of the development. Numerical thresholds for different types of development are identified in Section 380.0651, Florida Statutes, and Rule 28-24, Florida Administrative Code. Depending on the size of the project the determination of whether the project is a Development of Regional Impact may be based upon whether the development is significantly impacting state and regional resources and facilities. If the project is at 100 percent or between 100 and 120 percent of numerical threshold it is presumed that the project must undergo Development of Regional Impact review. However, this presumption may be rebutted. If the project exceeds the applicable threshold(s) by 20 percent or more then the development must undergo Development of Regional Impact review.

Statutory Changes Affecting Developments of Regional Impact

Approval Process

Effective May 14, 2015, a new proposed development otherwise subject to the review requirements of section 380.06, Florida Statutes, shall be approved by a local government pursuant to a comprehensive plan amendment adopted under the state coordinated review process in section 163.3184(4), Florida Statutes, in lieu of proceeding under section 380.06. See section 380.06(30), Florida Statutes; Chapter 2015-30, section 18, Laws of Florida. DEO reads the new statute to mean that a site specific plan amendment approving the development is required.

Development of Regional Impact Exemption for Dense Urban Land Areas

Developments of Regional Impact - Thresholds

Developments of Regional Impact - Status

Developments of Regional Impact - Forms

Florida Quality Developments Program

The Florida Quality Developments Program was created to encourage development which has been thoughtfully planned to take into consideration protection of Florida's natural amenities, the cost to local government of providing services to a growing community, and the high quality of life Floridians desire. Developments that meet the Florida Quality Development standards can expect an expeditious and timely review and are allowed to use the Florida Quality Development certification mark for promotional, informational or advertising purposes. There are 18 developments designated as Florida Quality Developments, the last of which was designated on June 9, 1999, the last of which was designated on June 9, 1999. For more information, see Status of Florida Quality Developments and Section 380.061, Florida Statutes - The Florida Quality Developments Program.

An application for a Florida Quality Development is handled in much the same way as an application for a development of regional impact under section 380.06, Florida Statutes, prior to the 2015 statutory change. The development of regional impact application form is utilized and an additional section is added to the application to consider the specific Florida Quality Development requirements.

DEO and the appropriate local government determine if a development has met the Florida Quality Development requirements. A finding of no designation may be appealed. Unlike developments of regional impact, development orders for Florida Quality Developments are issued by DEO, not by the local government. Developments undergoing Florida Quality Development review are allowed to convert to a standard development of regional impact at anytime during the process.

A developer who wishes to abandon a development order for a Florida Quality Development should contact DEO.

Additional Information

For more information, please go to the Community Planning Review Team Assignments page and contact the planner assigned to local government.


  • Donna Harris

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