Per Section 163 Florida Statutes, local governments are required to create, adopt and maintain a Comprehensive Plan that addresses where residential and non-residential uses are located in the area. Polk County addresses the location of uses within unincorporated Polk County. Florida Statues provides for two methods to amend the Comprehensive Plan – Small Scale and Large Scale Amendments. Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan are proposed by property owners, and sometimes local governments, to change the designation from those listed within the Comprehensive Plan to another one listed in the Comprehensive Plan. Amendments can also include text amendments. Small Scale amendments are for properties 10 acres or less and Large Scale amendments are for text amendments and properties that are larger than 10 acres. Each requires a review by the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. Only Large Scale amendments are reviewed by state and regional agencies.
State Agencies' Roles in Comprehensive Planning
The Growth Management Act authorizes the Department of Economic Opportunity, Division of Community Development (DCD), to review comprehensive plans and plan amendments for compliance with the Florida’s Growth Management Act (Chapter 163, Part II, Florida Statutes, The Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act). Other review agencies, including the regional planning councils, water management districts, the Departments of State, Transportation, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also review comprehensive plans and amendments and issue recommended objections to DCD. Local governments may amend their comprehensive plans twice per year.
Within an established time frame, the Department first issues an Objections, Recommendations and Comments (ORC) report that identify areas of the proposed plan or proposed amendment that are inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter 163, Part II, F.S. The local government may or may not address the recommendations to revise the proposed plan or amendment, or elect to adopt or not adopt the amendment. When the local government adopts the plan or amendment, it is submitted to DCD for a compliance review. Within 20 to 45 days of receipt of the adopted amendment, the DCD issues a public Notice of Intent to find the adopted plan and/or plan amendment either in or not in compliance with the Act. If DCD finds the plan or amendment not in compliance, the local government must take remedial actions to bring the plan or amendment into compliance to avoid an administrative hearing. View a flow chart that explains the plan and plan amendment process or the latest ORC or NOI issued by the state, please press one of the appropriate links below.
For questions regarding the Comprehensive Plan or any of the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendments, please contact the Planner-On-Call.