The Development Review Process is designed to provide feedback to applicants to ensure an application's consistency with the City of Alachua Comprehensive Plan and compliance with the City's Land Development Regulations (LDRs.) The development review procedures are established by Article 2 of the City's LDRs, and provide multiple opportunities for citizen involvement. The development review process is established to provide a means for all stakeholders to be involved in the review of applications impacting the growth and development of the City.
The following five-steps outline the process:
Step 1. Pre-Application Conference
The purpose of a Pre-Application Conference is to familiarize the applicant with the applicable provisions of the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs) which may be applicable to the proposed development and to provide the applicant information necessary to prepare the application for submission. For more information regarding Pre-Application Conferences, please refer to the Pre-Application Conference page on our web site or reference the City's LDRs.
Step 2. Neighborhood Meeting
Informal citizen input begins with the Neighborhood Meeting, which is an informal meeting between the applicant and any interested citizens. Property owners within 400 feet of a development are notified by mail. In addition, a notice of the meeting is published in a newspaper of general circulation. Neighborhood Meetings offer an opportunity to encourage informal communication between nearby property owners, the public, and the applicant. Although all issues may not be resolved, the Neighborhood Meeting allows for early citizen input and discussion. For mor information regarding the Neighborhood Meeting, please refe to the Neighborhood Meeting page on our web site or reference the City's LDRs.
Step 3. Application Submission
Following submission of a complete application, staff review commences.
Step 4. Staff Review
After an application has been submitted, it is reviewed by the Planning and Community Development Department to determine its consistency with the City's Comprehensive Plan and compliance with the City's Land Development Regulations (LDRs.) In most cases, Staff will prepare a Staff Report which reviews the application's consistency with the City's Comprehensive Plan and compliance with the City's LDRs. Staff will provide a recommendation based upon the findings provided within the Staff Report.
Following Staff review, the public may receive notification of public hearings by written correspondence or by published or posted notices. All property owners within 400 feet of a subject property will be notified by mail. The general public receives notification through notices published in local newspapers and through notices posted along public roadways adjacent to the land subject to the application.
Citizens are able to provide input during staff review by contacting City staff if they wish to review an application. Citizens may submit written comments, which will be provided to the members of the reviewing board(s).
Step 5. Public Hearing by Reviewing Board(s)
At public hearings, City Staff, the applicant, and the general public give formal comments and evidence to support their position on the proposed project. Depending upon the type of application, an application may be presented before the Planning and Zoning Board, the City Commission, and/or the Board of Adjustment. Table 2.2-1 of the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) identifies which reviewing board will hold a public hearing for an application. For more information regarding public hearings, please contact the Planning and Community Development Department.
Reviewing Boards include:
Planning & Zoning Board: a six member board appointed by the City Commission. Five members are voting members; one is a non-voting member representing the Alachua County School Board.
City Commission: A five member board elected by the public
Board of Adjustment: Reviews Zoning Variance Permits and appeals for certain applications. The five members of the City Commission are authorized by the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) to act as the Board of Adjustment.