The City of Orlando is inviting Orlando residents to a series of community meetings to discuss updating the city’s Wetland Assessment Policy.

According to City of Orlando Public Information Officer, Ashley Papagni, the goal of the study is to look at wetland and open space protection and preservation within the City. The city has contracted with VHB for its environmental services which will be conducting field assessments of wetlands using GIS technology to better catalog existing wetland boundaries. They will also assess the wetland system quality using a Wetland Scorecard. The scorecard will collect information in the following areas: 

  • Zoning – What impacts should be allowed in areas currently zoned for development.
  • Procedures – Implementing when the wetlands scorecard should be used, and when the Protected Wetlands Map should be updated.   
  • Mitigation and Impacts – How impacts and mitigation are connected to wetland quality, clarifying the extent of City-required mitigation requirements and how ongoing land management and maintenance of wetlands might be addressed.  

This scorecard uses metrics based on the uniform mitigation assessment method (UMAM) through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The UMAM provides a standardized procedure for assessing wetlands impacts and evaluates wetlands conditions, such as hydrologic connection, uniqueness, location, fish and wildlife. 

Based on the results of the study, staff will evaluate whether policy amendments or changes are appropriate to provide better direction for development in the city. As you mentioned, as part of the study, together with VHB, we are conducting community outreach opportunities through focus groups and workshops. Some upcoming meetings include: 

  • Public Townhall 1: Englewood Neighborhood Center – September 12, 2023  
  • Public Townhall 2: Dr. Smith Neighborhood Center – October 4, 2023 

Click HERE for more information.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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