Rural Land Stewardship Area (RLSA) Overlay Program

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The Rural Lands Stewardship Area (RLSA) program was established under the Future Land Use Element (FLUE) of the Growth Management Plan (GMP). Its objective is the creation of an incentive-based land use overlay system based on the principles of rural land stewardship found in Florida Statutes, Section 163.3177(11), including environmental preservation, agricultural preservation and smart growth development.

Through the RLSA program, Stewardship Sending Areas (SSAs) can be approved for preservation purposes, creating credits to entitle Stewardship Receiving Areas (SRAs), typically towns, villages, hamlets and compact rural developments (CRDs). The credit system is designed to incentivize preservation of the most import environmental lands, including large, connected wetland systems and significant habitat for listed species, by awarding higher credit values for high value preservation areas.

The policies that implement these concepts are contained in 5 groups. Group 1 policies describe the structure and organization of the RLSA overlay. Group 2 policies relate to agriculture. Group 3 Policies relate to natural resource protection. Group 4 policies relate to the conversion of land to other uses, development, and economic diversification. Group 5 policies ensure that land not voluntarily included in the overlay by its owners nevertheless meet 5 minimum requirements.

Department of Florida: Final Order AC-99-002

Program information:   

Group 1 thru 5 Policies - CURRENT Future Land Use Element (FLUE)
Attachment A - Stewardship Credit Worksheet- 2002

Attachment B - Land Use Matrix - 2002

Attachment C - Stewardship Receiving Area Characteristics-

RLSA Natural Resource Index Map Series Entire Study Area Map -

 Northeast Study Area Map

Northwest Study Area Map

Southwest Study Area Map

East Central Study Area Map

West Central Study Area Map

RLSA Procedures Guide - 6/2003

Supporting Documents for Program Creation: 

RLSA Overlay participation is voluntary and has specific goals

Rural Lands Stage 1 Report - 12/2000

Rural Lands Stage 2 Report - 4/2001

Main Rural Lands Final Report Immokalee Area Study - 5/2002 

RLSA Ground Water Memorandum - 9/2002

Public Hearing:

Transmittal Resolution 2002-273

BCC Transmittal Executive Summary - 6/2002

CCPC Transmittal Hearing Minutes - 5/2002

BCC Transmittal Hearing Minutes - 6/2002 

SWFRPC to DCA - 8/2002

ORC Response 1 - 10/2002

ORC Response 2 - 10/2002

Adoption Ordinance 2002-54

BCC Adoption Executive Summary - 10/2002

CCPC Adoption Hearing Minutes - 10/2002

BCC Adoption Hearing Minutes RLSA p 106-210 - 10/2002



SSA Application

SRA Application

 Have questions about the RLSA program? 




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