Land Use Planning
Planning for 2050
What is land-use planning?
Land-use planning is the process through which citizens decide what land uses should go where in their city or county. In addition to designating areas for commercial, residential, agricultural, and conservation uses, land-use plans can also include other governmental services, such as transportation, water and sewer lines, and schools, which have profound effects on land use.
Who makes land-use plans?
In Florida, state law requires every county to adopt a comprehensive land-use plan. The law also requires incorporated cities with more than 2,500 residents to adopt land-use plans. The Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has adopted standards for these plans.
What are the benefits of land-use planning?
One of the key benefits is to ensure that enough space is available to meet the area's forecasted needs. The plan should cover infrastructure -- roads, schools, sewer and water lines -- that are needed to support future development. Land-use planning gives citizens the opportunity to develop their vision of the future and to set the goals and policies that balance economic development with the protection of natural and cultural resources.
How do land-use plans affect me?
Although land-use plans can be changed, the process requires public hearings as well as review and approval by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.
Thus, if you buy land in an area designated for residential use at a certain density, it's unlikely that you'll end up with a slaughterhouse or a used-car lot for a neighbor.
Land-use plans do not guarantee that designations will never change, but the process of change gives affected citizens opportunities to voice their opinions.