Guiding Principles

1.  The Concept of Sustainability shall Guide Village Policy:

Palmetto Bay shall be committed to meeting its existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The long term impacts of policy choices will be considered to ensure a sustainable legacy.

2. Protecting, Preservation, and Restoration of the Natural Environment is a High Priority of the Village:

The Village shall be committed to protecting, preserving and restoring the natural environment. Village decision making will be guided by a mandate to maximize environmental benefits and reduce or eliminate negative environments impacts. The Village shall lead by example and encourage other community stakeholders to make similar commitments to the environment.

3. Environment Quality, Economic Health and Social Equity are Mutually Dependent:

Sustainability requires that our collective decisions as a Village allow our economy and community members to continue to thrive without destroying the natural environment upon which we depend. A healthy environment is integral to the Villages long term economic and societal interest. In achieving a healthy environment, we must ensure that inequitable burdens are not placed on anyone geographic or social economic sector of the population and that the benefits of a sustainable community are accessible to all members of the community.

4. All Decisions Have Implications to the Long-term Sustainability of Palmetto Bay:

The Village shall ensure that each of its policy decisions and programs are interconnected through the common bond of sustainability as expressed in these guiding principles. The policy and decision-making process of the Village will reflect on our sustainability objectives. The Village will lead by example and encourage other community stakeholders to use sustainability principles to guide their decisions and actions.

5. Community Awareness, Responsibility, Participation and Education are Key Elements of a Sustainable Community:

All community members, including individual citizens, community-based groups, businesses, schools and other institutions must be aware of their impacts on the environmental, economic, and social health of Palmetto Bay, must take responsibility for reducing or eliminating those impacts, and must take an active part in community efforts to address sustainability concerns. The Village will therefore be a leader in the creation and sponsorship of education opportunities to support community awareness, responsibility and participation in cooperation with schools, colleges and other organizations in the community.

6. Palmetto Bay Recognizes Its Linkage with the Regional, National, and Global Community:

Local environmental, economic and social issues cannot be separated from their broader context. The relationship between local, regional, national and global issues will be recognized and acted upon in the Village programs and policies. The Village programs and policies should therefore be developed as models that can be emulated by other communities. The Village shall act as a strong advocate for the development and implementation of model programs and innovated approaches by regional, state and federal government that embody the goals of sustainability.

7. Those Sustainability Issues Most Important to the Community Will be Addressed First, and the Most Cost-Effective Programs and Policies Will be Selected:

The financial and human resources which are available to the Village are limited. The Village and the community will reevaluate its priorities and its programs and policies to ensure that the best possible investments in the future are being made. The evaluation of the programs cost effectiveness shall be based on a complete analysis of the associated cost and benefits, including environment and social cost and benefits.

8. The Village shall be Committed to Procurement Decisions which Minimize Negative Environment and Social Impacts:

The procurement of products and services by the Village and Palmetto Bay residents, businesses and institutions results in environmental, social, and economic impacts both in this country and other areas of the world. The Village shall develop and abide by the environmentally and socially responsible procurement policy that emphasizes long-term values and will become a model for other public and private organizations. The Village shall advocate for and assist other local agencies, businesses and residents in adopting sustainable purchasing practices.

9. Cross-sector Partnerships Are Necessary to Achieve Sustainable Goals:

Threats to the long-term sustainability of Palmetto Bay are multi-sector in their causes and require multi-sector solutions. Partnerships among the Village government, businesses, residents and all community stake holders are necessary to achieve a sustainable community.

10. The Precautionary Principle Provides a Complimentary Framework to Help Guide City Decision-Makers in the Pursuit of Sustainability:

The Precautionary Principle requires a thorough exploration and analysis of a wide range of alternatives, and full cost accounting beyond short-term and monetary transaction cost. Based on the best available science, the Precautionary Principle requires selection of alternatives that represent the least potential threat to human health and the Village natural systems. Where threats of serious or irreversible damage to people or nature exist, lack of full scientific certainty about cause and effect shall not be viewed as sufficient reason for the Village not adopt mitigation measures to prevent the degradation of the environment or protect the health of its citizens. Public participation and an open transparent decision making process are critical to finding and selecting alternatives.