Recently, there was a special call City Council meeting to discuss the update to the Comprehensive Plan Policy Document, which describes in policy, on maps and technically, the goals of the city’s land use. Each City and County is required by law to adopt a comprehensive plan that “shall provide the principles, guidelines, standards, strategies for orderly and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental, and fiscal development of the area that reflects community commitments to implement the plan and its elements.” The City’s 1992 plan has not been comprehensively updated. The state requires an update every seven years; we are obviously way behind. Over the past few years, there have been strong efforts through Vision Plans, Planning and Zoning updates, workshops, open meetings, and hiring outside help to update the Comprehensive Plan. This is the first attempt to submit a plan to the state for their approval.
After the Planning and Zoning Commission thoroughly reviewed the plan, it recommended that the City Council approve and submit the plan to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. This special call City Council meeting offers the public a chance to react to the plan as written, is the first reading of the plan, and then at a subsequent meeting, the City Council would vote on submitting the document to the state for approval.
There were several speakers with comments on the plan, both for and against. The meeting lasted about five hours, and the conclusion by the council was that the plan needs to be submitted soon, city council members have some concerns about certain parts of the plan, so the city council needs to meet and amend those parts that are problematic, and then approve the plan submitting it to the state for approval, as the city is significantly remiss in not having a plan in place, as the plan guides all planning and zoning activity, an essential and basic city function.