Assessing and mitigating the exposure of coastal communities to hurricane flood damage
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Assessing and mitigating the exposure of coastal communities to hurricane flood damage

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    Florida's growth management legislation requires coastal communities to include policies in their comprehensive plans that limit development in and direct population concentrations away from "coastal high hazard areas" (CHHAs). Local governments also are required to adopt policies to maintain or reduce evacuation clearance times within larger areas designated as "hurricane vulnerability zones" (HVZs). State law also requires local governments to enact land development regulations and take other initiatives to implement these policies. This report presents final results from our analysis of the impacts of implementing those policies between the time that local comprehensive plans were approved by the State Department of Community Affairs (DCA), circa 1988-1991 and the year 2002. Specifically we analyzed the following: (1) residential development that occurred within and outside of CHHAs and HVZs during comparable time periods prior to and following state approval of local comprehensive plans, (2) the effects of those land use changes on the exposure of people and private residential property to hurricane flooding, (3) the effects of those land use changes on evacuation clearance times and emergency shelter demand, and (4) the extent to which those land use changes can be explained by the actual content of the coastal elements of local comprehensive plans. In this report, the authors present a summary of their findings from these analyses.
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