State Program May Be Discontinued For Lack Of Use
LABELLE, FL. -- Since the "Local Government Comprehensive Planning Certification Program's" creation in 2002, only five of the state's local governments have chosen to apply for certification. Three local governments were certified by the Department of Community Affairs including the cities of Lakeland, Miramar, and Orlando, but Naples and Sarasota withdrew their applications.
The four certified cities have been subject to less state and regional oversight of their comprehensive plan amendments which has allowed them to expedite the amendments' approval. Counties, regional planning councils, and the Department of Community Affairs generally report they did not experience problems as a result of the cities participating in the program.
The state program is intended to expedite the process of adopting comprehensive plan amendments, as an alternative state review process program. It has been recommended that the Florida Legislature review this pilot program, to consider whether the Local Government Comprehensive Planning Certification Program be continued or discontinued.