Land development is one of the biggest economic engines in Florida. This important industry is often impacted by changes to construction law and environmental law. In 2020, Florida started to issue construction permits in wetland areas. This measure is controversial in some circles.
The change and the controversy
This change to construction law was instituted at the state level, but the state of Florida was only able to do this because of changes at the federal level. The Environmental Protection Agency made it possible for the state to initiate these changes in December of 2020. This move has been controversial for a number of reasons.
Wetlands are regarded by environmentalists as being crucial to the survival of Florida’s ecosystems. Some scientists believe that wetlands are as important to wildlife and human success as environments like rain forests. Wetlands are sites for spawning by fish, and they can also provide a buffer for inland communities when there are hurricanes or other significant weather events.
In the wake of the new permit system, it’s expected that construction will increase. This will be especially true in Central Florida. However, due to the practical issues of building on wetlands, it’s unlikely many new projects will be drawn to the area. Site selection is one of the most important parts of development, and wetlands simply won’t fit the bill for many projects.
Anyone who is interested in building on formerly protected wetland sites may want to consult an attorney throughout the process. Construction law is always evolving, so it might be difficult to stay up to date on all of the changes to this legal area without help from a professional.