Local Government Comprehensive Plans: Our firm has experience representing clients in challenging comprehensive plan amendments adopted by local governments. Under Part II of Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, counties and municipalities are required to adopt a comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan is a broad list of goals, objectives, and policies that will govern all aspects of local life, including growth, industry, agriculture, traffic, and environmental regulations. Once the comprehensive plan is adopted, all activities within the subject county or municipality must comply with the governing comprehensive plan. Each aspect of the comprehensive plan must meet certain statutory requirements, as set forth in the Growth Policy Act in Part II of Chapter 163, Florida Statutes.
What Is An Affected Person?
An “affected person” may file a petition challenging the proposed comprehensive plan amendment. An “affected person” includes a person or business who resides or owns property or a business operating within the local government. Further, in order to challenge, the “affected person,” must have submitted oral or written comments, recommendations, or objections to the local government between the transmittal hearing and the adoption hearing of the plan or plan amendment. The “affected person” may challenge the plan or plan amendment to determine if it is “in compliance” with the Growth Policy Act, which means that the plan or plan amendment must be consistent with the requirements of Sections 163.3177, 163.3178, 163.3180, 163.3191, 163.3245, and 163.3248, Florida Statutes. After the petition is filed, the Division of Administrative Hearings will conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the plan or plan amendments are “in compliance.”