About the EAR Project
The City’s Comprehensive Plan is a guiding document that outlines the guiding vision of North Port and what it will look like when it is fully developed. The plan provides strategies and outlines steps that need to be taken in order to make sure that vision is met.
Every seven years, the City is required by the State to review its Comprehensive Plan and make sure that it is reflective of the community’s vision. The review is called an Evaluation and Appraisal Review, or EAR. In North Port’s case, the EAR is required to be submitted to the State Land Planning Agency (Dept. of Economic Opportunity) by December 1st, 2016.
Community Meetings & Conversations
The City of North Port is looking for feedback about its Comprehensive Plan.
For up-to-date information and details about the community meetings, follow the #EARProject hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.
What Is Already Being Planned?
Late last year, the City submitted a State required EAR notification letter to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity advising that the City will be amending the Comprehensive Plan to address statutory changes and “clean-up” revisions to existing goals, objectives, policies, adopted text, and maps.
For instance, the Utilities Element will have more sweeping updates; a revision in population projections will also be made to account for the recent economic downturn and its impact on current and future growth. The following are statutory items that the amendments will address:
- Preservation of recreational and commercial working waterfronts;
- Location/land use compatibility standards for electrical distribution substations;
- Transportation impact mitigation based on recent changes to Chapter 163 whereby the City will develop a ‘complete streets’ and multi-modal plan;
- The Capital Improvement Element regarding financial feasibility and changes in the annual review process;
- Strengthening the tie land use and economic diversity for job creation;
- Deleting references to Rule 9J-5, F.A.C. reflecting the repeal of this rule by the State, and update the reference to Rule 9J-2, F.A.C;
- Updating references to the Evaluation and Appraisal process and revise elements accordingly, to reflect changes in statute;
- Cleaning up policy language that includes incorrect or outdated statutory references;
- Cleaning up or remove policies that are out-of-date or implementation action has been completed.
“These are changes that we have already identified, but we are hoping residents provide us even more feedback and let us know their thoughts on additional updates,” Norton said.
Additional amendments to the Comprehensive Plan will likely take place outside of the EAR review process due to timing, Norton said. For instance, some of the amendments that will be addressed later include: the adoption of the FEMA Flood Maps; an update to the School Element (countywide); adoption of a Water Master Plan currently being developed by North Port Utilities; and a re-write of the Transportation Element in the event the City chooses to join Sarasota County in adopting a mobility fee in lieu of impact fees. Finally, the City is currently rewriting the Unified Land Development Code, which may also prompt changes to the Comprehensive Plan.
For more information, contact the Planning Division of the Neighborhood Development Services at (941) 429-7156 or visit www.cityofnorthport.com.