Planning Department

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					Date: 06/04/2008
                            Manatee County - Board of County Commissioners
                                     Department Description FY2008-2009


     Department: 19 / Planning Department


     Manatee County has always looked to its future in a thoughtful and progressive manner. The County elected
     to go beyond required planning and evaluate a vision for its future that was the consensus of informed public
     input from throughout the County.
     The Imagine Manatee program identified the following vision for our community:
     - A Green County
     - A Beautiful County
     - An Accessible County
     - An Equitable County
     - A Prosperous County
     - A Collaborative County
     - An Educated County
     While this vision seems easy to articulate, this is a challenging vision to achieve. The role of the Planning
     Department is to move the county toward this adopted vision in a way which balances the many and varied
     interests of our community with knowledge and perspective.
     Bringing forth the vision is the responsibility of the four programs of the Department:
     - Comprehensive Planning
     Establishment of the Comprehensive Plan and development policies after concentrated, thorough and
     thoughtful evaluation of the future and all of its possibilities.
     - Development Review
     Evaluating development proposals in a balanced manner to ensure fair representation of all interests and
     decisions made today that consider the future.
     - Natural Resources
     Participating in policy establishment and evaluating development in a way that recognizes both the beauty
     and functionality provided by our environment.
     - Impact Fees
     Implementing a program to ensure that as we grow we have the necessary infrastructure to meet our
     expectations and the expectations of our future residents.
     The members of the Planning Department come from a variety of disciplines - planning, engineering,
     biology, geography, and natural resources. We come together to look forward, share our perspectives, and
     help Manatee County ensure its future as a community filled with promise and opportunity.

     Program: 1901 / Comprehensive Planning
     Program: 1902 / Impact Fees Administration
     Program: 1903 / Planning/Natural Resources
     Program: 1904 / Development Review
Date: 06/04/2008
                                 Manatee County - Board of County Commissioners
                                            Program Description FY2008-2009


     Department: 19 / Planning Department
     Program: 1901 / Comprehensive Planning
               Program Report Links:   Decision Unit Summary   Decision Unit Detail   Estimated Revenue


     The Comprehensive Planning Division's principle role is to understand and protect the public good for the
     long-term future of Manatee County. This is done after analyzing the pros and cons of various scenarios,
     balancing competing interests then reaching community consensus. These shared community desires are
     given expression via Plans, Policies, and Strategies. This ensures that short term decisions are made in
     perspective of the long term good.
     The Division updates and maintains the State required Comprehensive Plan consistent with state laws and
     the local community vision. The Comprehensive Plan contains the long range policy structure for the
     County. The Plan is primarily focused on managing land use in the unincorporated area. It contains Goals,
     Objectives, and Policies on land use, transportation, environmental protection, coastal protection, affordable
     housing, utility services, and historic preservation. Per state law, the Comprehensive Plan is required to be
     thoroughly reviewed and updated every seven years to meet the changing needs of our community.
     The Division handles a wide variety of work efforts including:
     - Development of special area plans
     - Conducting scenario analysis to determine appropriate actions
     - Coordinating the Local Hazard Mitigation Strategy
     - Providing population and employment projections
     - Reviewing municipal annexation requests
     - Providing staff support to the Historic Preservation Board
     - Providing data and analysis for utilities and transportation planning
     - Coordinating the yearly updates to the Comprehensive Plan
     - Maintaining the Concurrency Reservation System of pending development
     - Providing graphics and mapping support to the department
     - Conducting inter-governmental coordination with outside agencies
     - Maintaining the official zoning map
     - Reviewing privately initiated amendments to the Comprehensive Plan
     This division conducts analysis on a wide variety of issues facing Manatee County. These issues have
     recently included: rural land protection; promoting urban redevelopment; protection and expansion of the
     industrial base; ensuring an available water supply and adequate school facilities; identification and
     protection of community character; and developing a coordinated land use plan with a supporting
     transportation network in the emerging suburban areas.
     In the upcoming year, the Division will be coordinating the development of a Post Disaster Redevelopment
     Plan which will guide decision making during the long term recovery period after a disaster. The Division is
     also developing the Port Manatee Encouragement Zone to spur economic expansion on lands near Port
     Manatee.
Date: 06/04/2008
                                 Manatee County - Board of County Commissioners
                                            Program Description FY2008-2009


     Department: 19 / Planning Department
     Program: 1902 / Impact Fees Administration
               Program Report Links:   Decision Unit Summary   Decision Unit Detail   Estimated Revenue


     New construction in Manatee County has been required to pay Impact Fees since 1986. These one-time fees
     are collected for roads, parks, public safety and law enforcement. These fees are collected from
     development in the unincorporated portions of Manatee County. Educational facility (school) impact fees
     are collected by all local governments in Manatee County and transferred to the Manatee County School
     Board for new schools.
     New development increases the demand for county services. Impact fees are designed to help guarantee the
     new development pays its share of the costs incurred by Manatee County to meet those needs. Impact fees
     can only be required after careful study and analysis. It is essential that new development not pay more than
     its share for the capital costs of meeting road, law enforcement, public safety and park needs. As a result,
     impact fees can only be spent on certain things such as buying land, building roads, building parks and
     providing equipment. Impact fees cannot be used for on-going costs such as salaries, nor can they be used to
     maintain or replace existing facilities.
     The Manatee County Comprehensive Plan calls for the Impact Fee Program. Established by the County
     Land Development Code and by the School Impact Fee Ordinance, the Impact Fee Program must meet all
     requirements established by law.
     The Impact Fee Program is responsible for:
     - Determination of required Impact Fees
     - Collection of impact fees
     - Coordination and monitoring of credit applications
     - Preparation of periodic reports on collections and credits
     - Evaluation, revision and implementation of the program
     This program requires significant coordination with the Building, Financial Management, Public Works,
     Public Safety and Parks Departments. There is also a great deal of contact with the public, particularly
     applicants for development approvals.
     In the Planning Department, two full-time staff operates the Impact Fee Program. Other positionsin the
     Planning and Building Departments receive partial impact fee funding. (Note: salaries are paid by
     administrative surcharges, not impact fees.)
     The impact fee program has collected more than $153 million in funds for county infrastructure and $50
     million for schools since inception.
Date: 06/04/2008
                                 Manatee County - Board of County Commissioners
                                            Program Description FY2008-2009


     Department: 19 / Planning Department
     Program: 1903 / Planning/Natural Resources
               Program Report Links:   Decision Unit Summary   Decision Unit Detail   Estimated Revenue


     The Natural Resources program is charged with implementing the evironmental policies of the Manatee
     County Land Development Code by providing reviews and comments on all development proposals. The
     program directs the conservation of environmentally significant areas including the preservation of forested
     uplands and wetlands. Interests between landowners and the public are diligently evaluated to balance
     preservation and development. The purpose of this program's review of projects is to achieve
     environmentally sustainable developments.
     Program activities include providing advice at pre-application conferences, reviewing technical reports,
     preparing staff recommendations and reports, presenting environmental assessments at public hearings such
     as Planning Commission, Board of County Commissioners, and Hearing Officer. Additionally, the program
     provides language and recommendations on policy issues on an array of environmental matters.
     This program was initially created after the adoption of the County's 1989 Comprehensive Plan and was part
     of the Environmental Action Commission, created by a special act of the Florida Legislature. After a few
     short years, this legislation was sunset. The responsibilities were brought under the Board of County
     Commissioner's umbrella with the creation of the Environmental Management Department. This program,
     Natural Resources Management, was housed within that Department for approximately thirteen (13) years.
     During that time, the Natural Resources Program responsibilities included; Development Review, Coastal
     Programs (Boat Ramps, Derelict Vessels, Artificial Reefs, Aids to Navigation and Manatee Protection were
     included). Some changes occurred through the years:
     Summer of 2000 - The Beach Renourishment program was assigned to the Ecosystems Administrator.
     Spring of 2004 - Tree Protection (Section 714 of the Land Development Code) responsibilities were added
     and, an Urban Forester was brought onboard to assist with this regulatory program.
     Fall of 2004 - To provide better coordination of development reviews, the entire Program (Natural Resources
     Management Division) with all associated staff and responsibilities was transferred to the Planning
     Department.
     Spring of 2006 - Coastal Program activities were transferred to Conservation Lands Management.
     Th
     e existing program is currently supported by an experienced team of eight (8) Environmental p
     rofessionals, with each member having a Bachelor of Science Degree. T
     he Program's development review activities for fiscal year 2006- 2007 included 779 formal written reviews
     and over 300 site visits. Additionally, there were 258 site inspections performed for compliance with
     required Sedimentation and Erosion Control measures (Section 717 of the Manatee County Land
     Development Code). During the same time period, the program investigated and resolved 61 Citizen Action
     Center (CAC) requests.
Date: 06/04/2008
                                 Manatee County - Board of County Commissioners
                                            Program Description FY2008-2009


     Department: 19 / Planning Department
     Program: 1904 / Development Review
               Program Report Links:   Decision Unit Summary   Decision Unit Detail   Estimated Revenue


     The Planning Department is the gatekeeper of development activity in unincorporatated Manatee County.
     The Development Review program is the focal point of that activity. The program includes the public
     information, application coordination, planning review and record keeping for the development activities and
     also houses the administrative and fiscal support for the entire Planning Department.
     The Development Review program is the first point of contact for inquiry about what is possible on a piece
     of property. Requests come from citizens, developers and neighbors. Inquiry are made by phone, letter, or
     in person. Applicants receive information about what is necessary to develop and required procedures. The
     program also maintains the Neighborhood Registry, a program designed to keep neighbors informed of
     development activity.
     The Planning Department receives applications and sends them to all review agencies. Applications undergo
     completeness review to ensure the minimum necessary information is included. The initial review process
     often requires a public hearing - usually for rezoning. Staff evaluates the request for conformance with
     appropriate policies and regulations and makes a professional recommendation to the Planning Commission
     and County Commission. This recommendation requires the analysis and balancing of a number of issues to
     ensure that the best choices are made for the future of the county. This requires notification to surrounding
     properties by letter, sign, and newspaper, preparation of detailed reports, and presentations at hearings and
     meetings.
     Properties with appropriate zoning, are required to submit detailed plans to ensure that development follows
     county rules. Plans are reviewed to make sure the use is permitted, the buildings are located properly and
     that there is adequate parking, water, sewer, landscaping and drainage. These detailed plans are reviewed by
     planners, engineers and technical staff from throughout the county and other agencies. Development
     Review staff coordinates these responses and ensures that all issues are addressed. Once a project begins,
     developments are inspected to make sure everything is completed according to the plans.
     The Development Review program is also responsible for coordinating the subdivision process and assigning
     addresses.
     This program keeps the official records for both the Building and Planning Departments. The program has
     begun a scanning program which makes building permit and inspection information available in digital
     form. Scanning of planning files will begin in late 2008.
     This program also includes the department director, fiscal support and administrative support for the entire
     department. This program has been structured to add personnel in a way that keeps a balance between the
     disciplines of the program and the required levels of expertise.