History

Citizens' Master Plan
History Charrette Report Implementation North St. Lucie County and TVC-Related Materials
                 
The development wave that has impacted South Florida's communities during the last five decades has finally reached North St. Lucie County. For the most part, this rapid wave of development has rendered communities unrecognizable. Throughout South Florida, natural open spaces and rural communities have gradually disappeared to make room for development that fosters an inflexible separation of uses and degraded roadway networks. As a result, roads are increasingly congested, are characterized by high speed and poor access, and lack transportation choices. Infrastructure has been downgraded or non-existent. Development lacks well-defined public open spaces, and housing is uniform and segregated. All of this results in an inevitable loss of the community's character. In essence, rapid growth has been a synonym of sprawl.

However, something changed Northern St. Lucie County. Sprawling development has encountered serious opposition. The residents of North St. Lucie County have a good understanding of the damage posed by rapid, poorly planned, widely dispersed development. North St. Lucie County residents decided to put a temporary stop to growth in this are not because of the rapid pace or change in the population but because of the form that this rapid development was slated to take. Hundreds of unwavering residents urged elected officials to strike a balance. They wanted to develop a master plan for the North County region that utilizes development as a tool to:

   
preserve large areas of the countryside
comprehensively plan for water management
address traffic and infrastructure needs
maintain the urban service boundary in its current location
 

Above all, residents wanted a plan to accommodate the next fifty years of growth in a predictable manner that ensures the preservation of the residents' quality of life.

This master plan was prepared during a weeklong charrette. During the week of the charrette, the residents of this twenty-eight square mile area worked together with property and business owners and the development community.

The result of this week-long public planning effort is a plan that responds to both residents and developers' needs while giving elected officials and policy makers a strong basis for making decisions regarding future land uses and the pattern in which settlement occurs in this area. Essentially, the master plan is a change from the current model.

This change from the current model is absolutely necessary since the County's current plan, the future land use plan, allows the same type of development residents of the North County area want to avoid. The St. Lucie County's future land use plan provided the same type of instructions found in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties that resulted in endless sprawl