(1) THE FLORIDA TRANSPORTATION PLAN.—The department shall develop a statewide transportation plan, to be known as the Florida Transportation Plan. The plan shall be designed so as to be easily read and understood by the general public. The plan shall consider the needs of the entire state transportation system and examine the use of all modes of transportation to effectively and efficiently meet such needs. The purpose of the Florida Transportation Plan is to establish and define the state’s long-range transportation goals and objectives to be accomplished over a period of at least 20 years within the context of the State Comprehensive Plan, and any other statutory mandates and authorizations and based upon the prevailing principles of:
(a) Preserving the existing transportation infrastructure.
(b) Enhancing Florida’s economic competitiveness.
(c) Improving travel choices to ensure mobility.
(d) Expanding the state’s role as a hub for trade and investment.
(2) SCOPE OF PLANNING PROCESS.—The department shall carry out a transportation planning process in conformance with s. 334.046(1) and 23 U.S.C. s. 135. (3) FORMAT, SCHEDULE, AND REVIEW.—The Florida Transportation Plan shall be a unified, concise planning document that clearly defines the state’s long-range transportation goals and objectives. The plan shall:
(a) Include a glossary that clearly and succinctly defines any and all phrases, words, or terms of art included in the plan, with which the general public may be unfamiliar.
(b) Document the goals and long-term objectives necessary to implement the results of the department’s findings from its examination of the criteria specified in s. 334.046(1) and 23 U.S.C. s. 135. (c) Be developed in cooperation with the metropolitan planning organizations and reconciled, to the maximum extent feasible, with the long-range plans developed by metropolitan planning organizations pursuant to s. 339.175.
(d) Be developed in consultation with affected local officials in nonmetropolitan areas and with any affected Indian tribal governments.
(e) Provide an examination of transportation issues likely to arise during at least a 20-year period.
(f) Be updated at least once every 5 years, or more often as necessary, to reflect substantive changes to federal or state law.
(4) ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANS.—
(a) Upon request by local governmental entities, the department may in its discretion develop and design transportation corridors, arterial and collector streets, vehicular parking areas, and other support facilities which are consistent with the plans of the department for major transportation facilities. The department may render to local governmental entities or their planning agencies such technical assistance and services as are necessary so that local plans and facilities are coordinated with the plans and facilities of the department.
(b) Each regional planning council, as provided for in s. 186.504, or any successor agency thereto, shall develop, as an element of its strategic regional policy plan, transportation goals and policies. The transportation goals and policies must be prioritized to comply with the prevailing principles provided in subsection (1) and s. 334.046(1). The transportation goals and policies shall be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the goals and policies of the metropolitan planning organization and the Florida Transportation Plan. The transportation goals and policies of the regional planning council will be advisory only and shall be submitted to the department and any affected metropolitan planning organization for their consideration and comments. Metropolitan planning organization plans and other local transportation plans shall be developed consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the regional transportation goals and policies. (c) Regional transportation plans may be developed in regional transportation areas in accordance with an interlocal agreement entered into pursuant to s. 163.01 by two or more contiguous metropolitan planning organizations; one or more metropolitan planning organizations and one or more contiguous counties, none of which is a member of a metropolitan planning organization; a multicounty regional transportation authority created by or pursuant to law; two or more contiguous counties that are not members of a metropolitan planning organization; or metropolitan planning organizations comprised of three or more counties.
(d) The interlocal agreement must, at a minimum, identify the entity that will coordinate the development of the regional transportation plan; delineate the boundaries of the regional transportation area; provide the duration of the agreement and specify how the agreement may be terminated, modified, or rescinded; describe the process by which the regional transportation plan will be developed; and provide how members of the entity will resolve disagreements regarding interpretation of the interlocal agreement or disputes relating to the development or content of the regional transportation plan. Such interlocal agreement shall become effective upon its recordation in the official public records of each county in the regional transportation area.
(e) The regional transportation plan developed pursuant to this section must, at a minimum, identify regionally significant transportation facilities located within a regional transportation area and contain a prioritized list of regionally significant projects. The projects shall be adopted into the capital improvements schedule of the local government comprehensive plan pursuant to s. 163.3177(3). (5) PROCEDURES FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN TRANSPORTATION PLANNING.—
(a) During the development of the Florida Transportation Plan and prior to substantive revisions, the department shall provide citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency employees, other affected employee representatives, private providers of transportation, and other known interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the proposed plan or revisions. These opportunities shall include, at a minimum, publishing a notice in the Florida Administrative Register and within a newspaper of general circulation within the area of each department district office.
(b) During development of major transportation improvements, such as those increasing the capacity of a facility through the addition of new lanes or providing new access to a limited or controlled access facility or construction of a facility in a new location, the department shall hold one or more hearings prior to the selection of the facility to be provided; prior to the selection of the site or corridor of the proposed facility; and prior to the selection of and commitment to a specific design proposal for the proposed facility. Such public hearings shall be conducted so as to provide an opportunity for effective participation by interested persons in the process of transportation planning and site and route selection and in the specific location and design of transportation facilities. The various factors involved in the decision or decisions and any alternative proposals shall be clearly presented so that the persons attending the hearing may present their views relating to the decision or decisions that will be made.
(c) Opportunity for design hearings: 1. The department, prior to holding a design hearing, shall duly notify all affected property owners of record, as recorded in the property appraiser’s office, by mail at least 20 days prior to the date set for the hearing. The affected property owners shall be:
a. Those whose property lies in whole or in part within 300 feet on either side of the centerline of the proposed facility.
b. Those who the department determines will be substantially affected environmentally, economically, socially, or safetywise.
2. For each subsequent hearing, the department shall publish notice prior to the hearing date in a newspaper of general circulation for the area affected. These notices must be published twice, with the first notice appearing at least 15 days, but no later than 30 days, before the hearing.
3. A copy of the notice of opportunity for the hearing must be furnished to the United States Department of Transportation and to the appropriate departments of the state government at the time of publication.
4. The opportunity for another hearing shall be afforded in any case when proposed locations or designs are so changed from those presented in the notices specified above or at a hearing as to have a substantially different social, economic, or environmental effect.
5. The opportunity for a hearing shall be afforded in each case in which the department is in doubt as to whether a hearing is required.