EAR Document to be presented to the PZA

Planing
The St. Johns County Growth Management Department has informed Historic City News that the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) nears completion and will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Agency during a workshop on Thursday, October 16th.

According to Florida Statute Chapter 163.3191, local government comprehensive plans shall be evaluated and appraised once every seven years. Such an evaluation and appraisal of the County’s Comprehensive Plan is required to be documented in a report known as the EAR. The County’s last EAR occurred in 1998 with EAR-based amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map Series completed in 2000.

The purpose of the EAR is to assess the effectiveness of the Comprehensive Plan. The EAR must identify major issues of concern to the residents and governmental agencies, review past actions in the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, assess the success or failure of the goals, objectives and policies, identify change conditions since 1998 and ensure intergovernmental coordination.

In the initial preparation of the EAR, a scoping meeting was held on July 18, 2007, and subsequent Planning District Neighborhood citizens meetings were held on August 8, 2007 (Southeast Planning District), August 20, 2007 (Northeast Planning District), August 27, 2007 (Southwest Planning District), and September 10, 2007 (Northwest Planning District).

Since the determination of the major issues, the county has continued to draft the EAR document within the State required format. The St. Johns County Growth Management Department has completed the EAR, and the complete document is available on the county web site at www.sjcfl.us/EAR.

The EAR document summarizes County demographics, planning and economic characteristics. It also identifies the major issues, the successes and failures of the County’s Comprehensive Plan and new growth management law changes over the past seven years, as well as provides recommendations on how the county plans to address the previously identified major issues. The complete list of major issues can be viewed on the County website at www.sjcfl.us/EAR.

The EAR will formally be presented to the Planning and Zoning Agency (PZA) board members in a public workshop on Thursday, October 16, beginning at 1:30 pm in the old County Auditorium, located at 4020 Lewis Speedway. All interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

Following the PZA workshop, it is anticipated that the EAR public workshop for the Board of County Commissioners will be held in December. Once the Board of County Commissioners approves the EAR, this document will be transmitted to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), who has 90 days to either find the EAR document sufficient or not sufficient. Once the EAR is deemed sufficient by DCA, then the county has 18 months to submit to DCA the state’s required EAR-based amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map Series. The EAR-based amendments will take at least one year to complete.
For more information about the EAR, visit www.sjcfl.us/EAR or contact Long Range Planning Director Teresa Bishop at (904) 209-0581.

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