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
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 - 2002
RLSA Natural Resource Index Map Series Entire Study Area Map - 2002:
RLSA Procedures Guide - 6/2003
Supporting Documents for Program Creation:
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
Have questions about the RLSA program?