Comprehensive Plan

MAP FLUM 2010 12 OFFICIAL.jpgA comprehensive plan is a "blue print" for the future of a city. It articulates the vision of the community as to what its citizens want it to become in the future. It identifies the goals the community aspires to reach as it grows. It is a document that will guide policy decisions about growth and change. It translates values into a scheme that describes how, why, when and where to build, rebuild, or preserve the community. It includes principles, guidelines, and standards for the orderly and balanced economic, social, physical, environmental, and fiscal development of the City through 2030. It encompasses all the functions that make a community work such as transportation, housing, land use, infrastructure, and recreation. All development orders or land development regulations are required to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Adoption of the Comprehensive Plan is regulated by the State of Florida under the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act. The City of Winter Springs is required to evaluate their comprehensive plan at least once every seven years only to determine if plan amendments are necessary to address changes to new state requirements. The City notifies the State Land Planning Agency by letter of its determination.

Winter Springs Adopted 2030 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

Note- The Comprehensive Plan may be amended from time-to-time. Verify with Staff in the Planning Division that this link includes the latest amendment.


What is Future Land Use?

The Future Land Use Map is a part of the Comprehensive Plan and with the descriptive text of the Future Land Use Element, directs the type of use and density or intensity of use for property within the City. The Zoning of property must be in compliance with its Future Land Use designation. Changing the Future Land Use designation of a property requires an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan.

How to Determine the Future Land Use of a Property

A property's Future Land Use designation can be obtained from either the City Planning office at (407) 327-5967 or you can locate your property on the following Future Land Use Map. If needed, a letter confirming the future land use classification of a property may be obtained from the City of Winter Springs Community Development Department. The property's tax parcel identification number (PIN) or address must be provided to determine the future land use designation.

What are the Types of Future Land Use or Comprehensive Plan Amendments?

Small Scale Amendments are requested changes to the FUTURE LAND USE MAP that involve land area 10 acres or less in size. Application for a Small Scale Amendment may be made at any time, throughout the year. Processing a Small Scale Amendment takes approximately 3 months, or about half the time required for a Large Scale Amendment, due to the fact that a Small Scale Amendment is exempt from the lengthier process of review by the State Land Planning Agency (see 163.3187 F.S.). A Small Scale Amendment requires a public hearing before the Local Planning Agency (Planning and Zoning Board) and two public hearings before the City Commission.

Expedited State Reviews (Large Scale Amendments) are requested changes to the TEXT of the Comprehensive Plan OR requested changes to the FUTURE LAND USE MAP that involve land area greater than 10 acres. Amendments become effective 31 days after the State Land Planning Agency determines the adopted amendment package is complete (subject to no Petition being filed by an affected party).

There is no set schedule for submitting comprehensive plan applications.

What is the Difference between Future Land Use and Zoning?

Future land use designations indicate the intended use and development density for a particular area, while zoning districts specifically define allowable uses and contain the design and development guidelines for those intended uses. The Winter Springs Comprehensive Plan may allow (but not guarantee) various zoning districts within a given future land use designation. If an owner desires to use or develop property in a manner that does not conform to the current future land use designation, they must apply for a future land use amendment, which may accommodate an application for rezoning.

To obtain Staff support, the applicant should demonstrate that the proposed future land use amendment is consistent with the Winter Springs Comprehensive Plan. Future land use applications are decided by the City Commission. Some applications may require a rezoning, which can be processed in conjunction with a future land use amendment request.

What is Zoning?

Zoning is the division of real property into defined districts which have uniform zoning regulations including land use, height limitations, building setbacks, lot size, density, maximum lot coverage, and floor area ratio (FAR). The zoning districts and zoning regulations in Winter Springs help ensure that the City will grow in a managed and predictable way to help safeguard the public health, safety and welfare.

How to Determine the Zoning Classification of a Property

A property's Zoning classification can be obtained from either the City Planning office at (407) 327-5967 or the Seminole County Property Appraiser website or you can locate your property on the following Zoning Map. Additionally, the egov link also includes the zoning classification of parcels within the City.

If needed, a letter confirming the zoning classification of a property may be obtained from the Permitting and Customer Service Division. The property's tax parcel identification number (PIN) or address must be provided to determine the future land use designation.

A current update of the Zoning Map is maintained electronically throughout the year by the Planning Division, followed by the adoption of the Official Zoning Map each November by the City Commission.

Processing a Zoning change takes approximately 3 months and requires a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Board and two public hearings before the City Commission.

What is the Capital Improvements Program?

Article VII of the City Charter regulates the City's financial procedures and describes the City's Capital Program.

The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) furthers the City's legitimate government purpose of meeting the demands for new and properly maintained infrastructure and facilities in a fiscally responsible manner and in furtherance of section 166.021, Florida Statutes.

The CIP is the vehicle that links capital expenditures with adopted public policy. The CIP neither appropriates funds nor authorizes projects; it is a planning document. The CIP integrates planning for significant capital or operating projects with financial planning into a multi-year schedule of projects. It is used as an alternative to considering individual projects one-at-a-time without reference to overall community priorities or fiscal capacity.

The CIP is the primary tool for implementing City Commission initiatives and reflects the various master plans that serve as a blueprint for future capital investment. The proposed CIP also serves as the companion to the Capital Improvements Element of the Comprehensive Plan, which outlines capital improvements that are required to maintain adopted levels of service and keep pace with community growth. The adoption of the CIP does not commit the City to expenditures or appropriations beyond the first year (which were included in the Adopted FY2009/10 budget).

In order to make the CIP meaningful, projects are not included unless the cost exceeds $50,000. Capital projects are defined in the Comprehensive Plan (CIE Policy 1.1.1) and include:

  • Projects necessary to meet Levels of Service (LOS) [elimination of existing deficiencies] identified in the Comprehensive Plan;
  • Projects which increase the capacity or efficiency of existing infrastructure;
  • Projects which replace failing infrastructure[the repair and replacement of existing public facilities]; and/or
  • Projects which enhance facilities and infrastructure [the provision for new public facilities].

Items may include:

  • New and expanded facilities;
  • Rehabilitation or replacement of existing facilities;
  • Major pieces of equipment;
  • Cost of professional studies related to the improvement; and/or
  • Acquisition of land related to a community facility.

Project Request Forms were prepared by department heads with each capital improvement described, listed by year it is to be purchased or commenced, the amount to be spent per year, and the method of financing the improvement. The list is prioritized over the 5-year period and project costs have updated as appropriate.

What is the Capital Improvements Element Update?

With the 2011 legislative changes, the City is no longer required to submit the annual update of the Five-Year Capital Improvement Schedule to the State Land Planning Agency for review. However, the Capital Improvements Element remains a required critical component of the City's comprehensive plan.. The schedule must be reviewed annually by City Commission to reflect the timing, location and funding of capital projects to achieve and maintain adopted level of service standards for public facilities that are necessary to implement the comprehensive plan. Each year the City is required to adopt an update to the Capital Improvements Element. The annual update includes a five-year schedule of capital improvements and supporting data and analysis. The update to the schedule is accomplished by ordinance and is not considered to be an amendment to the comprehensive plan.