Comprehensive Planning


Future Land Use Map

The Comprehensive Planning Section’s principal role is to protect the public good for the long-term future of Manatee County. This is done by analyzing the pros and cons of various scenarios, and balancing competing interests to reach community consensus. These shared community desires are given expression via Plans, Policies, and Strategies. This ensures that short term decisions are made in perspective of the long-term good.

The section updates and maintains the required Comprehensive Plan consistent with state laws and the local community vision. The Comprehensive Plan contains the long range policy structure for the County. It contains Goals, Objectives, and Policies on land use, transportation, environmental protection, coastal protection, affordable housing, utility services, and historic preservation. Per state law, the Comprehensive Plan is required to be thoroughly reviewed and updated every seven years [Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR)] to meet the changing needs of our community.

This section conducts analysis on a wide variety of issues facing Manatee County. These issues have recently included: post disaster redevelopment plan; promoting urban development; protection and expansion of the industrial base; ensuring an available water supply and adequate school facilities; identification and protection of community character; and developing a coordinated land use plan with a supporting transportation network in the emerging suburban areas.

Comprehensive Plan


Manatee County Comprehensive Plan Amendments

There are three typical types of amendments which may be initiated by the County or privately:

  • Policy (text) amendment (processed as a large scale amendment)
  • Large scale map amendment (greater than 50 acres)
  • Small scale map amendment (50 acres or less)

Justification for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan (General Introduction C.2.3.2):

  • Shall be considered as a major policy decision by the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Shall occur only where it is determined that growth and development patterns and/or goals, objectives and policies initially sought by Manatee County are no longer appropriate.
  • How does the amendment benefit the county?
  • If proposed amendment is considered a change in circumstances, shall identify what has changed in area to warrant a land use change; development trends; potential impact to surrounding area; land use compatibility issues for the area; justification of “need” for request; etc.
  • If an error in mapping (explain how and why)
  • If an inconsistency (explain how/why); or an oversight (explain why/how).
  • Shall meet requirements of Chapter 163. Florida statutes 

Staff requests a meeting with applicant/agent to discuss the proposed amendment on the property. This meeting will give applicant/agent a general idea of issues/ suggestions and/or recommendations regarding the request.

Comprehensive Plan Amendment Process

Expedited Review

The 2011 Legislature approved HB 7207 which modified the Comprehensive Plan amendment process. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) provides an “Expedited Review” [(163.3184(3)] for most plan amendments. A large scale map amendment or text amendment still requires a transmittal hearing and an adoption hearing.

The State and reviewing agencies submit their “comment” letter to the county within 30 days of receipt of a completed amendment package. The adoption of the amendment must be scheduled within 180 days of receipt of the “comment” letter however staff typically schedules the adoption hearing within 30-45 days.

The adopted amendment package is returned to the State Land Planning Agency for consistency review. Once the State deems the amendment package is complete, the amendment becomes effective 31 days from that date.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) no longer issues an Objection, Recommendation and Comments Report (ORC) under the Expedited Review. There are no more cycles for plan amendments. Amendment requests are processed as received.

Small Scale Amendment

The amendment process for small scale map amendments (50 acres or less) has not changed. The amendment is effective 31 days after adoption by the Board of County Commissioners. A plan amendment package is forwarded to State Land Planning Agency as a courtesy. The State does not review or issue comments on small scale map amendments.

State Coordinated Review

There are only a few instances where an amendment request requires a state review called “State Coordinated Review” [(163.3184(4)]. The State Coordinated Review requires the standard transmittal process, the issuance of an ORC, the County’s response to the ORC, adoption of the amendment, DEO’s final review with the issuance of a Notice of Intent (NOI) before the amendment becomes effective. The types of amendments that must follow the State Coordinated Review are as follows:

Areas of Critical State Concern

  • Rural Land Stewardship
  • Sector Plans
  • EAR based amendments

Map & Text Amendment Lists

Map and text amendments can be found in the Comprehensive Plan.