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from  Bob Hunter, FAICP, Executive Director 

 eNews Issue 2011.15   


Growth Management Legislation

Robert B Hunter, FAICP
Chapter 163 of Florida Statutes outlines the growth management and comprehensive planning process for local governments in the state of Florida.  During the 2011 legislative session, significant changes to the Growth Management Statutes were made; these changes are contained in House Bill  (HB) 7207.  This bill was recently signed by Governor Scott and is now in effect.


HB 7207 makes changes to the plan amendment process and the level of oversight of the planning process by the state land planning agency and other regional and state agencies.  The legislation also modifies the required content of the Comprehensive Plan and eliminated mandates for concurrency related to transportation, schools and parks.  These changes could have significant impacts on not only the Comprehensive Plans of all four governments, but also on the quality of life in these jurisdictions.  As the trend of government budget cuts continue, how each jurisdiction will address the infrastructure needs facing each community is a critical issue.


Planning Commission staff has begun meeting with staff from all four local governments to discuss and come to a common understanding of the changes included in the legislation.  Information on these meetings as well as numerous summaries of the legislation from different organizations can be found on our website at:




Keystone-Odessa Community Plan Update

The Keystone-Odessa Community Plan is in process to update an existing plan adopted into the County's Comprehensive Plan in 2001.  The basis of the update is the Plan's existing Goals and Strategies and changes to existing conditions within the community plan boundary.  Options to update the Community Plan based on analysis and input from experts brought to the series of Citizen Advisory meetings held to date are being presented at the upcoming June and July meetings (scheduled for the 2nd Tuesday of each month, see note on time and location at the end of the article).  Proposed changes include text updates to the original Goals and Strategies and reflect development that has been built since the Plan's adoption.  Issues brought forward during the update process will also be addressed.Gunn Hwy Intersection


One concern that's been brought forward is roadway congestion and safety, specifically along Gunn Highway. Today, there is a high demand for north/south travel through the area, not only within the community but also to and from Pasco and Pinellas counties.  Alternatives, including roadway enchancement options to improve safety and traffic conditions as well as future transportation studies, have been presented.


To help citizens get a clear picture, staff is developing a Visual Preference Survey to illustrate various options.  This survey will be a key vehicle to gather citizen choices at the upcoming August Open House for the Keystone-Odessa Community Plan Update.  An online version of the survey will be made available.  Look for more information in upcoming issues of The Weekly Planner.   The Visual Preference Survey (VPS) tool is used:Visual Preference Survey example

  • For public feedback on planning and design alternatives
  • To make citizens more aware of designs that can be applied where they live, work and play 
  • To make citizens more easily understand how design features influence attractiveness, safety, or comfort level
  • To illustrate with photos and images in order to gauge community support for specific alternatives

The next opportunity for citizens to give their input will be at the Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 14th at 6:00 p.m.  Topics to be discussed include Rural Design, Roadway Alternatives, and Changes to the Plan's Adopted Text. The meeting will be held at the Keystone Recreation Center at 17926 Gunn Highway.


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Growth Management Legislation
Keystone-Odessa Community Plan Update
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What's Going On

June 13th | 2:00 pm

Planning Commission Regular Meeting & Workshop


June 13th | 5:30 pm

Planning Commission Public Hearings 


June 14th | 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm

Keystone-Odessa Community Plan Meeting 


For more information on meetings and events, please visit our website:




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