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Sustainability Plan Presented to Orange County Board of County Commissioners

Orange County, FL – Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the Board of County Commissioners were presented with the Sustainable Orange County Plan known as “Our Home for Life” during the scheduled board meeting on Tuesday.

The Sustainable Orange County Plan, presented by the Sustainability Committee appointed by the Mayor, outlines specific incremental and transformative changes for the County through 2040 to improve the quality of life for current and future Orange County citizens.

Containing 37 goals designed to continue Orange County on a path of transformation and sustainability, the plan focuses on seven target areas of impact including Community, Natural Resources, Mobility, Built Environment, Arts & Culture, Education, and Civic Engagement.

“Our Sustainability Plan, known as ‘Our Home for Life,’ continues our efforts to create a future in which Orange County will be known as the best place in the world to live, work, play and raise a family,” Mayor Jacobs said. “We are committed to leaving a legacy for future generations that will provide them with a quality of life that is even better than today. Our Sustainability Plan will lead us in achieving a more diverse, resilient, and thriving economy while protecting and enhancing our cultural and environmental legacy for generations to come.”

The Sustainable Orange County Plan is the result of the Mayor’s Sustainability Initiative, which began in 2013 as an effort to plan for future population growth in a way that enhances the quality of life for current and future generations.

An ad hoc Sustainability Committee was formed with the purpose of bringing together community-leaders and subject matter experts to create a plan for a more prosperous, healthy, and livable community by holistically addressing economic, environmental, social, and cultural issues.

Former Orange County Commissioner John Martinez, Director of Public Finance for PNC Capital Markets LLC, assumed the role as chair of the committee. He and 11 other committee members worked to address the seven focus areas identified by an internal steering committee for the sustainability plan. External representatives were invited to participate in subcommittee discussions whose first task was to develop a Sustainability Assessment—a snapshot of where we are now, including challenges, opportunities, assessment of available metrics, recent accomplishments, and current initiatives.

Once the Assessment was completed, a total of 153 stakeholders consisting of local professionals, interested parties, and local government representatives from the community participated in developing the plan. In addition to the input from community leaders who served on the Sustainability Committee and subcommittees, opportunities for public input were provided at each Sustainability Committee meeting and at community workshops held in March and April 2014. The County also used PlaceSpeak, a virtual town hall discussion tool, to obtain input on the draft goals and strategies from anyone living or working in Orange County.

The plan recommends several priorities for implementation, including the establishment of a Sustainability Advisory Board to oversee plan implementation, to review progress in meeting goals and targets, and to make adjustments as necessary. Additionally, the plan recommends reports on Sustainability Plan progress to the Board of County Commissioners and the public on at least an annual basis; the continuation of the staff Steering Committee to oversee implementation of Orange County Government’s role in implementing the Sustainability Plan and to continue to pursue integration of sustainability guiding principles throughout Orange County Government’s operations.