What is a Comprehensive Plan?
The Comprehensive Plan is a policy document (usually with a 15+ year horizon) which guides the City's long-term development & provides a blueprint for the future. The Comprehensive Plan (or Comp Plan, for ease) consists of (1) goals, objectives and policies (GOPs); (2) complementary maps that embody the intent of the GOPs; and (3) data-driven analyses that validate the GOPs. The GOPs reflect the community’s shared vision for its future and the strategy for how the City intends to meet the needs of existing and future residents, visitors and businesses. Florida Statutes require all local governments in the state to maintain a comprehensive plan that is consistent with statutory requirements and with the State Comprehensive Plan and regional plans.
The Comp Plan is not an obscure technical document without a clear purpose. In the State of Florida, all proposed development in a given community is required to be consistent with the comprehensive plan for that community. The Plan is used by City staff and by various appointed advisory committees and boards to make recommendations regarding development proposals; and by elected officials on the City Council to make decisions based on those recommendations. In addition, the Plan is often studied by developers and their agents; and it may be consulted by property owners, business owners, and community advocates.
It is also important to remember that the Comp Plan is implemented primarily through the Zoning Code and other ordinances, which translate the plan’s broad policies into the real-world standards and regulations that all development in the City must follow.
The Current Plan
The City's current Comprehensive Plan dates from 2010, with a few more recent updates. As part of the update process, the City will be updating the goals, objectives and policies of the current plan, as well as creating a new set of data and analysis documents to reflect the City's current conditions.