The Planning & Development Department is responsible for administering & ensuring compliance with Brevard County’s growth management codes & regulations. The department is made up of Building Code, Code Enforcement, Licensing Regulation & Enforcement, Impact Fees, Land Development (Subdivision & Site Plan), Planning, and Zoning all of which have key roles in shaping & defining our neighborhoods & community.
Brevard County’s Comprehensive Plan describes the County’s vision of itself in the future and translates that vision into policies, programs, and public investments. The Comprehensive Plan is comprised of 15 elements, or chapters, that address the full range of topics affecting physical development of the County. Together, these elements shape the County’s growth in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way.
Each element includes one or more goals. A goal is a long-term statement toward which programs and activities are ultimately directed. Each goal is supported by one or more objectives, which are specific, measurable action items that are achievable and mark progress toward that goal. Objectives are implemented according to the direction provided by one or more policies. Policies describe the way in which specific programs and activities should be conducted to achieve an identified goal. These policies are then implemented through the Land Development Regulations. Together, the adopted goals, objectives and policies that make up the Comprehensive Plan to help provide a broad brush to paint the County’s future.
Zoning is a tool that plays an important part in helping local governments guide community growth and development. It is the division of a jurisdiction into “zones” to ensure that growth and development progress in a fashion that minimizes potential conflicts between uses. Zoning is all about preserving the quality of health, safety and welfare in our community.
The Zoning ordinance which was adopted in 1958 consists of two parts, a Zoning Code and the Zoning Map. The purpose of the code is to layout the rules that apply to each of the different zones or zoning classifications. And the purpose of the map is to illustrate how the entire area of the community is classified into distinct zones.
Each zoning classification on the zoning map has a description which contains:
- a statement of public purpose
- a list of permitted uses
- a list of uses permitted under special conditions such as a second kitchen or a guest house.
- development standards and restrictions such as setbacks, height limitations, accessory uses.
The zoning map simply illustrates how the entire area of the community is classified and divided up into distinct zones. Every parcel within the unincorporated area is identified as being in at least one zoning classification. Brevard County has 58 different zoning classifications, 24 of those being single-family residential.
Land Development administers the Site Plan & the Subdivision approval processes. The Site Plan & Subdivision reviews ensure that the site specific improvements necessary to support a development are constructed to County Standards. The key purposes of these processes are to ensure that development within the County:
- Is consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan; and
- Relates to its surroundings; and
- Infrastructure meets minimum standards of health & safety.
The Building Code Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Florida Building Code and County ordinances regulating building construction. This is accomplished through the building permit process that includes review and inspection of projects for compliance with building codes.
Code Enforcement enhances the quality of life in Brevard County through the enforcement of health, safety and welfare regulations. This office investigates complaints on alleged code violations, including but not limited to, zoning, solid waste, junk vehicles, housing, marine turtle lighting, and overgrowth. Their goal is to work with citizens toward reasonable and timely compliance of code violations.
Licensing Regulation & Enforcement (Contractor Licensing) ensures that construction activities are performed by qualified and licensed contractors within the county. This section is responsible for the county licensing of specific trades: drywall, electric, flooring, HARV, painting, roofing, etc. As well as, investigating unlicensed activity & work without a permit.
Impact Fees (Commercial and Residential) help to offset the cost to construct new facilities and expand services necessary to support new growth. Impact Fees are assessed when new homes and new businesses are built, or when an existing business expands. Impact Fees are typically collected prior to issuance of the certificate of occupancy during the building permit process.