(1) There is hereby created the Florida Quality Developments program. The intent of this program is 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. It is further intended that the developer be provided, through a cooperative and coordinated effort, an expeditious and timely review by all agencies with jurisdiction over the project of his or her proposed development.
(2) Developments that may be designated as Florida Quality Developments are those developments which are above 80 percent of any numerical thresholds in the guidelines and standards for development-of-regional-impact review pursuant to s. 380.06. (3)(a) To be eligible for designation under this program, the developer shall comply with each of the following requirements if applicable to the site of a qualified development: 1. Donate or enter into a binding commitment to donate the fee or a lesser interest sufficient to protect, in perpetuity, the natural attributes of the types of land listed below. In lieu of this requirement, the developer may enter into a binding commitment that runs with the land to set aside such areas on the property, in perpetuity, as open space to be retained in a natural condition or as otherwise permitted under this subparagraph. Under the requirements of this subparagraph, the developer may reserve the right to use such areas for passive recreation that is consistent with the purposes for which the land was preserved. a. Those wetlands and water bodies throughout the state which would be delineated if the provisions of s. 373.4145(1)(b) were applied. The developer may use such areas for the purpose of site access, provided other routes of access are unavailable or impracticable; may use such areas for the purpose of stormwater or domestic sewage management and other necessary utilities if such uses are permitted pursuant to chapter 403; or may redesign or alter wetlands and water bodies within the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection which have been artificially created if the redesign or alteration is done so as to produce a more naturally functioning system.
b. Active beach or primary and, where appropriate, secondary dunes, to maintain the integrity of the dune system and adequate public accessways to the beach. However, the developer may retain the right to construct and maintain elevated walkways over the dunes to provide access to the beach.
c. Known archaeological sites determined to be of significance by the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State.
d. Areas known to be important to animal species designated as endangered or threatened by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, for reproduction, feeding, or nesting; for traveling between such areas used for reproduction, feeding, or nesting; or for escape from predation.
e. Areas known to contain plant species designated as endangered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
2. Produce, or dispose of, no substances designated as hazardous or toxic substances by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This subparagraph does not apply to the production of these substances in nonsignificant amounts as would occur through household use or incidental use by businesses.
3. Participate in a downtown reuse or redevelopment program to improve and rehabilitate a declining downtown area.
4. Incorporate no dredge and fill activities in, and no stormwater discharge into, waters designated as Class II, aquatic preserves, or Outstanding Florida Waters, except as permitted pursuant to s. 403.813(1), and the developer demonstrates that those activities meet the standards under Class II waters, Outstanding Florida Waters, or aquatic preserves, as applicable. 5. Include open space, recreation areas, Florida-friendly landscaping as defined in s. 373.185, and energy conservation and minimize impermeable surfaces as appropriate to the location and type of project.
6. Provide for construction and maintenance of all onsite infrastructure necessary to support the project and enter into a binding commitment with local government to provide an appropriate fair-share contribution toward the offsite impacts that the development will impose on publicly funded facilities and services, except offsite transportation, and condition or phase the commencement of development to ensure that public facilities and services, except offsite transportation, are available concurrent with the impacts of the development. For the purposes of offsite transportation impacts, the developer shall comply, at a minimum, with the standards of the state land planning agency’s development-of-regional-impact transportation rule, the approved strategic regional policy plan, any applicable regional planning council transportation rule, and the approved local government comprehensive plan and land development regulations adopted pursuant to part II of chapter 163.
7. Design and construct the development in a manner that is consistent with the adopted state plan, the applicable strategic regional policy plan, and the applicable adopted local government comprehensive plan.
(b) In addition to the foregoing requirements, the developer shall plan and design his or her development in a manner which includes the needs of the people in this state as identified in the state comprehensive plan and the quality of life of the people who will live and work in or near the development. The developer is encouraged to plan and design his or her development in an innovative manner. These planning and design features may include, but are not limited to, such things as affordable housing, care for the elderly, urban renewal or redevelopment, mass transit, the protection and preservation of wetlands outside the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection or of uplands as wildlife habitat, provision for the recycling of solid waste, provision for onsite child care, enhancement of emergency management capabilities, the preservation of areas known to be primary habitat for significant populations of species of special concern designated by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or community economic development. These additional amenities will be considered in determining whether the development qualifies for designation under this program.
(4) The department shall adopt an application for development designation consistent with the intent of this section.
(5)(a) Before filing an application for development designation, the developer shall contact the Department of Economic Opportunity to arrange one or more preapplication conferences with the other reviewing entities. Upon the request of the developer or any of the reviewing entities, other affected state or regional agencies shall participate in this conference. The department, in coordination with the local government with jurisdiction and the regional planning council, shall provide the developer information about the Florida Quality Developments designation process and the use of preapplication conferences to identify issues, coordinate appropriate state, regional, and local agency requirements, fully address any concerns of the local government, the regional planning council, and other reviewing agencies and the meeting of those concerns, if applicable, through development order conditions, and otherwise promote a proper, efficient, and timely review of the proposed Florida Quality Development. The department shall take the lead in coordinating the review process.
(b) The developer shall submit the application to the state land planning agency, the appropriate regional planning agency, and the appropriate local government for review. The review shall be conducted under the time limits and procedures set forth in s. 120.60, except that the 90-day time limit shall cease to run when the state land planning agency and the local government have notified the applicant of their decision on whether the development should be designated under this program. (c) At any time prior to the issuance of the Florida Quality Development development order, the developer of a proposed Florida Quality Development shall have the right to withdraw the proposed project from consideration as a Florida Quality Development. The developer may elect to convert the proposed project to a proposed development of regional impact. The conversion shall be in the form of a letter to the reviewing entities stating the developer’s intent to seek authorization for the development as a development of regional impact under s. 380.06. If a proposed Florida Quality Development converts to a development of regional impact, the developer shall resubmit the appropriate application and the development shall be subject to all applicable procedures under s. 380.06, except that: 1. A preapplication conference held under paragraph (a) satisfies the preapplication procedures requirement under s. 380.06(7); and 2. If requested in the withdrawal letter, a finding of completeness of the application under paragraph (a) and s. 120.60 may be converted to a finding of sufficiency by the regional planning council if such a conversion is approved by the regional planning council.
The regional planning council shall have 30 days to notify the developer if the request for conversion of completeness to sufficiency is granted or denied. If granted and the application is found sufficient, the regional planning council shall notify the local government that a public hearing date may be set to consider the development for approval as a development of regional impact, and the development shall be subject to all applicable rules, standards, and procedures of s. 380.06. If the request for conversion of completeness to sufficiency is denied, the developer shall resubmit the appropriate application for review and the development shall be subject to all applicable procedures under s. 380.06, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph.
(d) If the local government and state land planning agency agree that the project should be designated under this program, the state land planning agency shall issue a development order which incorporates the plan of development as set out in the application along with any agreed-upon modifications and conditions, based on recommendations by the local government and regional planning council, and a certification that the development is designated as one of Florida’s Quality Developments. In the event of conflicting recommendations, the state land planning agency, after consultation with the local government and the regional planning agency, shall resolve such conflicts in the development order. Upon designation, the development, as approved, is exempt from development-of-regional-impact review pursuant to s. 380.06. (e) If the local government or state land planning agency, or both, recommends against designation, the development shall undergo development-of-regional-impact review pursuant to s. 380.06, except as provided in subsection (6) of this section.
(6)(a) In the event that the development is not designated under subsection (5), the developer may appeal that determination to the Quality Developments Review Board. The board shall consist of the secretary of the state land planning agency, the Secretary of Environmental Protection and a member designated by the secretary, the Secretary of Transportation, the executive director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the executive director of the appropriate water management district created pursuant to chapter 373, and the chief executive officer of the appropriate local government. When there is a significant historical or archaeological site within the boundaries of a development which is appealed to the board, the director of the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State shall also sit on the board. The staff of the state land planning agency shall serve as staff to the board.
(b) The board shall meet once each quarter of the year. However, a meeting may be waived if no appeals are pending.
(c) On appeal, the sole issue shall be whether the development meets the statutory criteria for designation under this program. An affirmative vote of at least five members of the board, including the affirmative vote of the chief executive officer of the appropriate local government, shall be necessary to designate the development by the board.
(d) The state land planning agency shall adopt procedural rules for consideration of appeals under this subsection.
(7)(a) The development order issued pursuant to this section is enforceable in the same manner as a development order issued pursuant to s. 380.06. (b) Appeal of a development order issued pursuant to this section shall be available only pursuant to s. 380.07.
(8)(a) Any local government comprehensive plan amendments related to a Florida Quality Development may be initiated by a local planning agency and considered by the local governing body at the same time as the application for development approval. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require favorable consideration of a Florida Quality Development solely because it is related to a development of regional impact.
(b) The department shall adopt, by rule, standards and procedures necessary to implement the Florida Quality Developments program. The rules must include, but need not be limited to, provisions governing annual reports and criteria for determining whether a proposed change to an approved Florida Quality Development is a substantial change requiring further review.