About the Comprehensive Plan
Under the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act passed by the Florida Legislature in 1985, and amended again in 1986, local governments are required to prepare a comprehensive plan as a definitive guide for their growth management. This revised act in 1986 modified the 1975 act by addressing the lack of quality and consistency in local plans, as well as the failure to implement them. In addition to growth management, local governments are encouraged to use their comprehensive plans to provide mechanisms for developing and implementing the future vision for their jurisdiction, which is encouraged by the 1993 ELMS III Bill.
Goals, Objectives & Policies
The goals, objectives, and policies of the city’s Comprehensive Plan were developed during the planning process to guide the community and provide clear direction to elected officials, city staff, and citizens alike on certain day to day activities as well as the future vision of the city. The plan states that public and private activities must be consistent with the goals, objectives, policies, actions, and standards of the adopted plan. The plan also allocates authority over the city’s land development regulations and the adopted capital improvement program.
The planning process for the city began with the formulation of general goal statements that reflect the community's future image of itself. These goals provide the basis for how programs or activities are ultimately directed. The objectives, standards, and actions represent the most basic step in the path toward reaching these goals.
Plan implementation is probably 1 of the most important aspects of the Comprehensive Plan. Implementation is the actual carrying out and accomplishment of the goals, objectives, policies, and actions. Effective implementation is directly related to the plan's specificity, precision, and clarity. A Comprehensive Plan is not self-implementing. It is vital that the City Council, Planning Board, and city staff implement this document and make amendments when duly necessary. Unless clearly stated otherwise, actual implementation of this plan will require further action by the City Council, usually through budget appropriations or by amendment or adoption of ordinances.
The Comprehensive Plan ensures that the City of Fort Myers adheres to a Comprehensive Growth Management Plan to direct and plan its future growth. All land development regulations should also support and further implement the goals of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. Planning is an on-going process and as such interpretation and implementation of a single policy shall take into consideration and be consistent with all plan elements.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 163 and Rule 9J-5 provide the details required in a Comprehensive Plan as well as the process for amendment. Visit the state planning agency website, Department of Community Affairs, for more detailed information on Comprehensive Planning in the State of Florida.