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A Framework For Transit Oriented Development In Florida

Introduction

Why develop this framework and how can it be used?

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in partnership with the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA), developed A Framework for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in Florida to address how TOD can be a part of transforming Florida's existing auto-oriented, largely suburban patterns of development into more compact, livable patterns that support walking, biking, transit, and shorter-length auto trips. This effort was initiated as local governments in Florida increasingly encountered TOD concepts and projects characterized as "TOD" for adoption in their comprehensive plans, land development codes, and development review processes. A working group composed of agency and local government representatives was formed to develop Florida­specifc TOD design guidelines and implementation strategies. FDOT held a series of ten workshops across the state to present draft TOD materials. In response to input received during those workshops, the scope of the effort was expanded to also address broader transit planning, interagency coordination, and TOD implementation issues.

The purpose of this framework is to provide planners, developers, elected offcials, and the general public with a Florida-specifc resource for TOD and transit planning. As a framework document, it does not provide a how-to guide but rather illustrates the key considerations and questions to be addressed when embarking on TOD and transit planning in the Florida context.

The framework includes TOD place types that address land use and urban design considerations for transit station areas. Presented with both qualitative and quantitative information, they can help planners and developers assess how transit-ready existing development patterns are and help guide decision making in the direction of creating more compact and transit supportive development patterns in the future. Additionally, the framework is intended to assist local governments in defning TOD areas as part of their local government comprehensive plans and to implement recommended development standards for TODs to better support local transit services.

Notably, TOD and transit planning and implementation are at an early stage in the Sun Belt compared to other parts of the nation with long-established transit systems. While guidance and best practices in TOD are readily available, data and analysis pertinent to the implementation of newer transit systems into communities with existing suburban type of development patterns are still being compiled. Retroftting these places for transit provides a host of new considerations relative to expectations on transit ridership, phasing of TOD,redevelopment and economic development potential. Active research related to redevelopment is underway by the Transit Cooperative Research Program and Reconnecting America's Center for TOD, and other organizations. Guidance for TOD and transit planning in Florida will continue to evolve as research is completed, more case studies and best practices emerge, and more experience is gained implementing TOD in Florida.