Comprehensive planning is a process that brings together business and community leaders, elected officials, and government agencies. The Broward County Comprehensive Plan identifies goals and policies that will improve our economy and quality of life. The Board of County Commissioners adopts the Comprehensive Plan and amendments to keep it updated.
We provide professional support to the Board in comprehensive planning and a broad range of planning services, including:
- Verification of Compliance and Land Use Plan Amendments Review
- DRIs and Special Districts
- Special Projects and Reports
What is the Comprehensive Plan?
The Comprehensive Plan
(“Plan”) describes how Broward County will provide required services to meet the current and future needs of the community and economic development, while protecting the natural environment. This policy document provides a coordinated approach to making many decisions regarding land use and the location of development, the extension of urban services, the placement of community facilities, adaptation to climate change impacts and others.
The Plan is composed of 18 Elements that contain Goals, Objectives, and Policies (GOPs) organized by topics. Each Elements’ Support Document contains the data and analysis used in developing the GOPs. The Plan also contains a map series that generally describes existing or future conditions related to the Plan's Elements. The Future Unincorporated Area Land Use Element Map Series (FUALUEMS) depicts future land use designations that specify what uses are allowed on each property, which may be amended from time to time through a process that includes the property owners. The FUALUEMS map is further implemented through the Zoning Map and the land development code.
Local comprehensive plans in Florida are required to meet a number of state statutes, in particular Chapter 163.3177, F.S.
The County’s Plan must also be consistent with the countywide Land Use Plan and Map administered by the Planning Council
Updating the Comprehensive Plan
The principles and strategies contained in the GOPs guide the County’s future decisions to help ensure that we are prepared to meet challenges today and in the future. The Plan is a “living” document that is updated to respond to changing conditions in matters such as population, technology, organizational structure, the economy, and climate. The process of developing and updating the plan is a community-wide effort that requires compiling and analyzing new data, jointly developing coping strategies, and amending the GOPs.
Evaluation and Appraisal Review
Since 2011, local governments have more discretion in determining whether they need to update their local comprehensive plan. Previously, local governments needed to submit evaluation and appraisal reports (EARs) to the State for a sufficiency determination every 7 years. State law requirements are now limited to reviewing the Plan every 7 years to determine whether amendments are needed to reflect changes in state requirements. However, the State does not limit amendments to the Plan.
Plan Amendments and Rezoning
If the property is located within the Broward Municipal Services District (BMSD) or other unincorporated areas of the County, the property owner must apply for a Future Unincorporated Area Land Use Element Map Series (FUALUEMS) amendment. Future land use designations are required to be substantially compatible with the Planning Council's Land Use Plan Map. Applications for map amendments are generally required to be submitted to us and the Planning Council for processing.
There are 2 types of amendments:
- Regular Scale Amendments: for properties that are 10 acres or larger, propose increases in density to 10 dwelling units/acre (DU/Ac) or more, and/or will add 100 or more new dwelling units.
- Small Scale Amendments: for properties less than 10 acres, will result in densities lower than 10 DU/Ac and/or fewer than 100 new dwelling units.
The process begins with a pre-application meeting to discuss the proposed amendment and what to expect. Email us
to schedule a meeting.
All amendment requests are reviewed by County staff and other agencies. Recommendations are published in a staff report that is reviewed by the Local Planning Agency (LPA), which makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners at a public meeting. All public meetings are advertised and surrounding property owners are noticed prior to the meeting.
Once the map series (FUALUEMS) is amended, the property needs to be rezoned to the appropriate designation for the desired use. For more information, please review the application or contact our Zoning Administrator at 954-357-6618.
Flexibility and Compatibility Review
Increases in density and small changes in land uses may also be achieved through flexibility
. Flexibility Units and/or Reserve Units may be assigned by the County to properties within the BMSD through rezoning and in some cases, through an amendment to the County’s FUALUEMS, but would not require any action by the Planning Council.
To ensure compatibility with adjacent land uses (LUP Policy 13.01.10
), written notification and additional processes are required if the application for flexibility units or reserve units is for properties under the following circumstances:
- If located contiguous to another municipality, the adjoining municipalities must be notified
- If located east of the Intracoastal Waterway, or adjacent to an Environmentally Sensitive Land, Broward County or regional park; Broward County must be notified.
Local Planning Agency
The Local Planning Agency (LPA) makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners (“Commission”) on proposed rezonings, amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Map Series, and updates to the Land Development and Zoning Codes. The meetings are open to the public and notices are published at least 10 days in advance in the Sun Sentinel and on the County’s website. Public comments are incorporated into the staff report that is forwarded to the Commission.
From time to time, we organize workshops to discuss and receive input on planning issues of interest to the community, local governments, regional and state agencies, and other interested parties. Upcoming and recent workshops and related materials are listed below.
Broward County’s Land Use and Comprehensive Plans are currently under review to ensure that they reflect our current and anticipated growth and priorities. These priorities include things like transit, affordable housing, climate change and economic development. Let your voice be heard and help us plan Broward County’s future! Visit BrowardNext.org
In November, 2016, we are planning a series of community workshops to review updates to the Broward County Comprehensive Plan Elements which will incorporate changes made to the countywide Land Use Plan as part of #BrowardNext efforts.