RCAP Database | Jupiter Case Study of SP-1

Initiative: Adoption of Climate Change Comprehensive Plan Text Amendments

Contact Name: 
David M. Kemp, AICP
Contact Email: 

The climate change text amendments to the Coastal Management Element of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan were adopted to meet the requirements of Chapter 163, Florida Statutes. The text amendments are also consistent with the findings of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (the Compact) 2012 Regional Climate Action Plan (the Plan).

- David M. Kemp, Growth Management Principal Planner

Quick Facts & Statistics

Significant Town statistics:

  • Incorporated on February 9, 1925;
  • Located in northern Palm Beach County along Atlantic Ocean and Jupiter Inlet;
  • The 2014 BEBR Permanent Population Estimate is 57,263;
  • The total area of the Town is 23.1 square miles.

Unique Town Characteristics:

  • Silver Certified Florida Green Building Coalition Local Green Government;
  • Total Blueways and Greenways areas is 3.8 square miles or 2,435 acres;
  • A Florida Certified Local Government, which includes significant historical (Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse) and archaeological resources;
  • Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area (JILONA) – One of only three federal designated areas in the country;
  • Open Space Preservation Program via $17 million land acquisition bond referendum, 58.6 acres acquired for preservation in the last 10 years;
  • Riverwalk – Public access to approximately 2.5 miles of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Jupiter Inlet;

Scripps Florida Institute and Max Planck Florida Institute – Bioscience, High-tech and Research and Development (R&D) located on the Florida Atlantic University – Jupiter campus.  


Adoption of the new Coastal Management Element Objective 2.6 and implementation of Policies 2.6.1-2.6.7 (see attached) pertain to the adoption and implementation of strategies to protect property and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change. The objective and policies will begin to guide the Town’s future efforts, in coordination with the County, to address climate change and implement appropriate recommendations from the Compact’s Plan. It is anticipated that subsequent amendments to the Comprehensive Plan may be considered in the future as individual Town departments become increasingly engaged in the analysis of climate change impacts and identification of potential strategies specific to their areas of responsibility. 

Implementation Process

Through the Palm Beach County Intergovernmental (Comprehensive) Plan Amendment Review Committee coordination process, the Town has previously worked with Palm Beach County to initiate Comprehensive Plan amendments pertaining to regional issues such as climate change.  The Town’s new climate change objective and implementing policies are similar to those adopted by Palm Beach County in 2014, and are consistent with the findings of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (the Compact) 2012 Regional Climate Action Plan. The climate change Comprehensive Plan text amendments were adopted by the Town Council on June 16, 2015.   

Implementation Timeline

The new climate change Coastal Management Element Policies 2.6.4 through 2.6.6 have an action date of December 2018 to complete corresponding initiatives. This action date corresponds to similar Palm Beach County initiatives that are proposed to be completed by 2017. Since the adoption of the new climate change objective and policies, the Town Council has identified climate change as a Town 2nd tier, high-priority strategic initiative for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. A Town climate change initiative workgroup consisting of representatives from each department met in July 2015 and is proposing the following in FY 2016:

  • Evaluate current conditions and threats;
  • Participate with the Compact, in particular the Palm Beach County workgroup;
  • Collaborate with the Palm Beach County Sustainability Office to share expertise;
  • Develop action plans including implementation of Comprehensive Plan objective and implementing policies – Evaluate the magnitude and specifics of threats + future risks;
  • Share with Town Council to obtain direction on what steps to take;
  • Identify funding strategies (capital improvement projects) and timing for necessary improvements.   

Implementation Funding

The new climate change Comprehensive Plan objective and policies did not require any specific funding. With regard to funding for the Town climate change strategic initiative, see implementation timeline section.

Community Benefits

The Town of Jupiter is a distinctive coastal community committed to preserving its unique character, history and vibrant small town feel. Residents and visitors enjoy an abundance of leisure activities along accessible waterfronts and greenways. Developing action plans consistent with the Compact’s Plan to address the effects of climate change will ensure Jupiter’s unique character will be preserved for future generations. The climate change initiatives are consistent with the Town’s mission to strive for exceptional municipal services that add value to residents’ lives and businesses, while assuring a long-term, sustainable community.       

Policy Language & Resource Links

Links to relevant pages on the Town’s Webpage:

Ordinance Language and Implementation