TAVARES — After more than two years of extensive fact gathering, review sessions and public participation tours featuring more than 18 public meetings, staff from the Lake County Department of Growth Management will present the Board of County Commissioners with the draft of a new comprehensive plan, titled Planning Horizon 2025, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. during a workshop session.
After an overview of the document, the Lake County Commissioners will begin taking public comments regarding the comprehensive plan draft on Friday, Sept. 15, at 9 a.m. Both meetings will be held in the Commission Chambers, located on the second floor of the Lake County Administration Building, 315 W. Main St., Tavares. Anyone who would like to address the Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 15 is encouraged to contact the Lake County Planning and Development Division at (352) 343-9739, ext. 5838 to be placed on the agenda.
A comprehensive plan is the foundation for local planning as it acts as an outline of the community's vision and priorities. A relatively new idea to Florida, the comprehensive plan can be an effective tool in managing growth. With the state’s population rapidly increasing in the 1980s, the Florida Legislature enacted the Growth Management Act in 1985. It required growth management in Florida to be implemented through the local comprehensive plan. Today, every local government in Florida — municipal and county — is required to create a local comprehensive plan that “attempts to address the community’s current and future plans for land use, natural resource protection and provision of infrastructure.”
Lake County compiled its first Comprehensive Plan in 1991. While somewhat antiquated, the document served its purpose after a tumultuous time when the dominant landscape of the County switched from agriculture fields to neighborhoods and commercial corridors.
The task of drafting the 2025 Lake County Comprehensive Plan is a partnership between Lake County citizens, land owners, municipalities, county government and other local and regional entities. The County Commission will hold, in addition to the public meetings on Sept. 12 and 15, a public hearing on Oct. 3 on the comprehensive plan to transmit it for review to the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA). After DCA’s review, the plan will be brought back before the County Commission for final adoption.
Upon completion, the new plan titled “Planning Horizon 2025” will provide flexible guidelines for policymakers, land managers and land users about how to conserve, rehabilitate or develop an area. Planning Horizon 2025 will stipulate the ultimate goals of efficient transportation, adequate employment, affordable housing, needed capital improvements and access to clean air, water and open space for the next 20 years. For more information about Planning Horizon 2025 or to view the comprehensive plan draft, log on to www.lakegovernment.com/2025 or call (352) 343-9632.