DEO re Martin’s Comp Plan Amendments: ‘Significant issues…private challenges pending’

Local attorney and civic activist Virginia Sherlock interprets the Department of Economic Opportunity’s response to the Martin County Comp Plan Amendments which were adopted to restore protections of our Comprehensive Plan that were lost over the last decade.

Essentially, the agency agrees that South Florida Water Management District and the Department of Agriculture have raised “significant” issues that should be addressed by the County.

BUT …

Since there are private challenges pending (filed by King Ranch, Hobe Grove, Lake Point Rockpit, Becker Groves), the DEO does not want to spend its resources filing a petition to challenge the Amendment.  No other state agencies filed comments or objections.

The DEO will decide whether the Amendment is “in compliance” with state law after reviewing the Administrative Law Judge’s recommended order in the private challenges.

“This decision is not meant to express or imply a determination of compliance — a determination that the Department or the Administration Commission can make in a final order after the administrative law judge submits a recommended order in the pending challenges.  The Department notes, however, that the County may resolve the significant concerns raised by entering into a compliance agreement.  See Sec. 163.3184(6)(a), F.S.  The Department strongly encourages the County to explore this option and to recognize that statewide and regional approaches are the better and required method of managing communal water and agricultural resources.”

 

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