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Main  |  Land and Zoning  |  DRC  |  Building Permit  |  Compliance and Enforcement

Land Use and Zoning

The first step in the development process is to determine if your project, at the location proposed, is an allowable use under the terms of the Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use designations and the zoning code.

If a property owner wishes to use the property in a manner inconsistent with the designated land use, an application for Comprehensive Plan amendment must be submitted. Similarly, if a property owner desires a use or density that is not permitted under the property's current zoning district, the owner must apply for a zoning change (this may include rezoning from one district to another, rezoning to a Planned Development, or obtaining a special use permit, a temporary use permit, or a special exception). Details of the process, including costs and application requirements, are available on the Growth Management Department website.

All applications for land use, zoning change and development approval are required to submit an inventory of natural resources (also known as the Natural Resources Checklist) that includes site specific identification, mapping, and analysis of each natural resource or natural resource characteristic present on or adjacent to the site. In most cases, a professional biologist is required to conduct the inventory and submit the report (click here for a list of local environmental consultants with experience in Alachua County).

Environmental Inventory Report

The environmental inventory report should include:

  1. An assessment of the existing quality and characteristics of each natural resource
  2. An evaluation of the impact of the proposed activity
  3. A discussion of the proposed measures to protect or mitigate the impacts of the resources
  4. A maintenance and monitoring plan

In reviewing landuse and zoning applications, NR staff uses a combination of GIS resources and field site visits to determine potential impacts that would result if proposed development activity is approved. We provide findings and recommendations to other departments, Board of Adjustments, Development Review Committee (DRC), Planning Commission, and Board of County Commissioners.

For assistance in completing the Natural Resources Checklist or any other environmental requirements, please contact a Natural Resources staff member at (352) 264-6800

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Under Florida law (Statute 119.011), all information, including e-mail, written letters, documents and phone messages, sent to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners is subject to Public Records law. This includes the sender's e-mail address, home address or phone number if shown in the message, the content of the message and any associated attachments to the mail. Also please be aware that electronic correspondence (e-mail) is made available on the Commission's public archive site immediately upon being sent. Instead, contact Alachua County Offices by phone or in writing.