COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2001-2011
Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan are processed through the Palm Bay Planning and Zoning Board/Local Planning Agency, City Council, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Small scale amendments do not require submittal to the Florida Department of Community Affairs.
The City of Palm Bay originally developed a Comprehensive Plan in 1981 in compliance with Chapter 163 of Florida Statutes (1975). The 1981 Palm Bay Comprehensive Plan adopted by Ordinance No. 81-19, was non-binding and had no requirements for implementation. The Florida Legislature, in 1985, adopted sweeping changes to the planning laws in Florida, requiring adoption by municipalities of binding comprehensive plans and more importantly, implementation of the plans. The City of Palm Bay adopted a plan to meet the new statutory requirements in 1988. That plan has been updated constantly, most recently in 2006.
The fast growing City of Palm Bay has been experiencing increasing demands for services including fire and police protection, transportation infrastructure improvements and maintenance, utilities and more recreational facilities. The current edition of the 2001 Comprehensive Plan provides a framework for effectively addressing such needs of the municipality, managing growth, and maintaining the quality of life in the present and the future. This ten year comprehensive plan contains the future development plan for land use, capital improvements, coastal management, conservation, housing, infrastructure including sanitary sewer, solid waste, drainage, water and natural groundwater recharge, transportation including mass transit, roads, ports, aviation and related facilities, intergovernmental coordination, recreation and open space. Each of these elements is based upon detailed background material which assessed present needs, future needs, constraints and opportunities. The adopted 2001 Comprehensive Plan identifies the long-term goals for each element, the objectives within each goal, and the policies necessary to achieve these objectives and goals. Each adopted element is supported by maps or figures of Future Conditions where applicable. This includes adoption of a future land use map, future traffic circulation map, and procedures for monitoring as part of the plan. To keep up with the rapidly changing needs of the City, the comprehensive plan would be continually evaluated and updated at least every 5 years. The monitoring and evaluation procedures are also laid out in the Plan. The next Evaluation and Appraisal Report required for the Palm Bay plan is to be completed by May 1, 2008.Briefly, the issues addressed in the 2001 Comprehensive Plan through each element are as follows:
- Future Land Use Element
Land Use in the City of Palm Bay has been largely determined by planning and platting of the area that occurred in the 1960s. Presently, even though about 90% of the area is committed to urban growth, much of it is undeveloped. A traditional growth pattern is not possible due to fragmented ownership of land and completed infrastructure. Also, regardless of availability of services, development is permitted in almost any part of the city. Such constraints have led the City to deviate from conventional growth management practices and adopt a multi-level system instead. At the first level, a growth management area boundary physically defines the areas of the City that require major infrastructure improvements. Growth occurring outside this boundary is thus limited and discouraged by only providing services when an overriding public need is identified. At the second level, new development may not be approved if the level-of-service standards for public facilities and services would drop below adopted standards set forth in the 2001 Comprehensive Plan. At the third level, new growth management would be site specific based on design criteria and standards developed in the 2001 Comprehensive plan, to allow for a better mix of land use types and provision of adequate public services.
- Capital Improvements Element
The Capital Improvements Program allows the City of Palm Bay to anticipate specific needs and plan and allocate monies accordingly to meet those needs in the future. The Capital Improvements element of the 2001 Comprehensive Plan is in conformance with the Growth Management Act and its subsequent regulations, and provides for fiscal guidance when implementing the plan. Based on constraints and opportunities identified in the plan, the Capital Improvements Schedule relates to expenditures on maintaining adopted levels of service for transportation, potable water, sanitary sewer, drainage and recreation. The Schedule provides for all City funded capital improvements and capital projects by the county, state or federal government identified by other elements of the comprehensive plan.
- Coastal Management Element
The location of the City of Palm Bay necessitates a coastal management element in the comprehensive plan. This element addresses hurricane evacuation, flood and hurricane hazard analysis, public access, water dependent and water related issues, water quality, wildlife habitat and species and the level of service for public facilities in the Coastal Management area
Based on the needs of the municipality, the goals, objectives and policies for the conservation element are focused on environmental education, surface water quality, groundwater quality, conservation of natural resources including aquifer recharge and air quality. This element insures that new and existing development is reasonably compatible with the area’s natural resources.
The number and type of housing unit, age and condition of housing, housing costs, group homes and mobile home developments were given consideration in the development of goals, objectives and policies within Housing Element of the 2001 Comprehensive Plan. Based on analysis of these, the plan addresses the availability and variety of housing, future needs, maintaining housing quality, group homes, historically significant housing and fair housing.
An important element of the 2001 Comprehensive Plan is the Infrastructure Element that includes the City’s sanitary sewer, potable water, drainage and solid waste issues. The goals, objectives and policies under this element are based on detailed inventorying and analysis of existing conditions, service areas, system design capacity, current demand, standards for level of service, capacity surpluses and deficiencies, impact on natural resources, and an assessment of future needs for an initial five year planning period and the remaining five year period.
- Intergovernmental Coordination Element
Various agencies, groups or governmental entities affect Palm Bay in different ways. Their interaction with the City of Palm Bay is addressed under this element. It also includes special districts (viz. Port Malabar Holiday Park Recreation District) and private groups (viz. Audubon Society)
- Recreation and Open Space Element
The City of Palm Bay classifies its parks in four different categories. These include Neighborhood Parks which are relatively small and serve the needs of the immediate area for active and passive recreation; Community Parks which are greater than 10 acres, serve the needs of many neighborhoods and have many on-site facilities; Urban District Parks having an average size of 200 acres which serves the entire City; and Regional Parks that serve more than one community and are farther from population centers. The City of Palm Bay currently has an urban district park- Palm Bay Regional Park, but does not anticipate the need for a Regional Park. Based on this classification, the Recreation and Open Space Element of the 2001 Comprehensive Plan addresses the current and future recreational needs of the City.
- Transportation Element
Transportation is a key element of the 2001 Comprehensive Plan. For developing the goals, objectives and policies for this element, vast data was inventoried and analyzed. This included evaluating existing road programs, identifying the functional classification for all roads in the City, analyzing need for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, assessing airport, rail and port facilities and services, identifying major traffic generators, mapping and tabulating major accident data, identifying public transit components and projecting future transportation needs.
Comprehensive Plan [PDF]