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18500 Murdock Circle
Port Charlotte, FL 33948

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Approval Process

Comprehensive Plans are complex documents and can take over a year to complete. Below you will find a simplified timeline for the Comprehensive Plan from initial steps through the approval process.

Step 1: Visioning

​In this stage there are several meetings between the consultants and County Staff to determine their vision for the Comprehensive Plan. Also during this stage is a massive data collection effort including environmental, transportation, employment, housing, population, and much more. This data will inform decision making and aid in issue identification throughout the entire process.

Step 2: Public Workshops

​The County will host multiple workshops at various stages during the Comprehensive Plan update process to gather public input on the various issues and to comment on the vision that has been proposed for the Comprehensive Plan. Data gathering will continue during this time as new issues are raised by the public.

Step 3: Draft Comprehension Plan

​After all the data is gathered and the public input is compiled, writing the Comprehensive Plan can begin. This process takes several months and involves close interaction between County Staff and the consultant team. A first draft of the Comprehensive Plan is usually completed and submitted to the County by an agreed upon date.

Step 4: Review of Draft Comprehension Plan

​Once the draft Comprehensive Plan has been submitted to the County there is a defined period of review where County Staff, elected officials, and the community can make comments and suggest changes. These changes will be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan to create a final draft.

Step 5: Final Draft

​Once the changes from the County and the community are completed, a final draft of the Comprehensive Plan is submitted to the County to begin the Public Hearing process.

Step 6: Planning & Zoning Board Transmittal Hearing

​The final draft of the Comprehensive Plan must go through the public hearing process, which begins with a Planning and Zoning Board Hearing. The Planning and Zoning Board will review the Comprehensive Plan along with County Staff comments and will make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners to either approve or deny the proposed Plan.

Step 7: Board of County Commissioners Transmittal Hearing

​After the Planning and Zoning Board makes a recommendation, the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) will review the proposed Plan and Staff comments. If it meets their requirements, they will decide to submit it to the State for review. If it does not meet their requirements they can decide to reject it.

Step 8: State Review & Comment

​The proposed Comprehensive Plan must comply with all State Law and meet all the requirements for a Comprehensive Plan. To ensure this, the State of Florida has a right to review and make recommendations for changes to the proposed Plan. The agency in charge of reviewing all Comprehensive Plans is called the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). If the proposed Plan does not meet State standards, DCA will issue a report to the County called the Objections, Recommendations, and Comments (ORC) report. This report will itemize all the changes required to answer DCA's questions or bring the Comprehensive Plan into compliance with State laws.

Step 9: Response to State Comments - Adoption Hearing

​The County has a specified amount of time to reply to DCA's questions and make the requested changes or to suggest alternative changes. Once completed, the revised Plan is resubmitted to the State upon its adoption by the County Commissioners.

If DCA finds that the state requirements were met, they will find the proposed Comprehensive Plan “in compliance”. If not, they can find the Plan “non-compliant” and the issues will be scheduled for a hearing with an Administrative Hearing Officer.

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