Volusia County Considers Land Use Issues

Volusia County Considers Land Use Issues

The Volusia County Council put the last piece of multi-part comprehensive planning puzzle that began in 2018 in place earlier this month approving the future land use element of the comp plan.

According to the agenda packet for the meeting, local governments are required to update their comprehensive plans every seven years. The county assessed each element of the plan separately leaving the future land use part for last.

“The proposed ordinance will extend the planning horizon to 2035, update old policies, fix minor grammatical errors and ensure consistency with other county and state rules that have changed over the last seven years,” according to the staff report accompanying the ordinance.

“Future land use is typically the last one you undertake,” said Clay Ervin, Volusia County director of growth and resource management. “It will guide development and basically lay the blueprint for development in Volusia County.”

Ervin said the county conducted a series of outreach programs to solicit comments from residents as part of the process.

“We asked the public to speak with us about development and maintaining the quality of life in Volusia County,” he said. Ervin said residents voiced concerns about growth, traffic and the impact on environmental resources in the meetings.

Ervin said the document does not propose any new policies that would adopt more restrictive procedures because of a bill passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2023 session. The bill, SB 250, restricts local governments located entirely or partially within 100 miles of where Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole made landfall in 2022 from implementing any moratorium on construction, reconstruction or development of any property damaged by either of the storms. Additionally, the new law prohibits local governments from adopting more burdensome procedures concerning review, approval or issuance of a site plan, development permit or development order before Oct. 1, 2024.

According to Ervin, county staff expects to bring additional changes to the comp plan and future land use element to the Council after the October 2024 date.

The ordinance passed unanimously and will be transmitted to state officials in Tallahassee.