Orlando is home for two rules meetings

Rules meetings and workshops — they sound boring.

But there are two interesting meetings going on this week that both involve state or federal rules and both are being held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. They are items on the “Week Ahead” published by The Florida Tribune at Lobbytools.com.

Today, the Florida Department of Community Affairs holds a rule development workshop to consider amending Rule 9J-5.006 dealing with local comprehensive growth plans.

Despite the big downturn in the real estate economy, developers still have come forward with or have been talking about requesting land use changes for huge development projects, according to DCA.

They’re doing this despite DCA Secretary Tom Pelham’s insistence that many counties already have much more land set aside for development than population estimates suggest is needed. See “Florida Planners face Legislative Scrutiny on Growth,” Nov. 24, 2009.

The rule change is being considered to require a stronger link between population estimates and land-use changes. The hearing starts at 1 p.m. For more details go to http://www.dca.state.fl.us/Notices.cfm .

Tuesday at the Wyndham Orlando Resort, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection holds a public meeting on a proposed federal rule establishing nitrogen and phosphorus limits in springs, lakes, streams and rivers in Florida.

The proposed rule last week generated an outcry from ranchers, utilities and conservative “Tea Party” activists during U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearings in Tallahassee and Orlando.

At the hearing Tuesday, DEP will explain which waterways could fail to meet the proposed new criterion. Already, DEP has said that many of the most pristine waterways in the state could fail to meet the requirements.

The EPA will be taking comments through March 29. For more information on the proposed EPA rule, go to http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/standards/rules/florida/.