Q. What is the comprehensive plan?
A. The comprehensive plan serves as the record of the community’s vision for the future and sets out the ways the community will act to achieve their vision by guiding future growth and development.
Q. Why is it important?
A. The comprehensive plan is the main tool used by the county to make decisions on infrastructure improvements, land use amendments and many other “behind the scenes” functions of county life, such as sewer, water services, and quality of life in Sarasota County.
Q. What kinds of things are changed by the EAR?
A. The local government is required to amend its comprehensive plan in order to ‘reflect changes in state requirements’ (a minimal standard) and must transmit those amendments within one year of that determination. Emphasis is on the letter to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). If the local government fails to notify the state by the due date for EARs, or fails to amend the comprehensive plan to reflect state changes, the local government may not amend its comprehensive plan until the local government is in compliance with the section.
The good news for local governments is that amending the comprehensive plan is simplified now - no twice per year restrictions.