What are Small Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments?

  • 10 acres or fewer - 20 acres in a designated Rural Area of Opportunity (formerly called Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern).
  • 120 cumulative acres in a calendar year.
  • Limited to Future Land Use Map (FLUM) changes for site-specific small scale development activities - no text changes except those that relate directly to and are adopted simultaneously with the small scale FLUM change.
  • Property is not in an Area of Critical State Concern except for certain affordable housing projects.
  • The change must maintain internal consistency between elements of the comprehensive plan.

Adoption Process

  • One public hearing before local government board.
  • The local government is invited to transmit a copy of the adopted small scale amendment to the State Land Planning Agency, so that the Department can maintain a complete and up-to-date copy of the local government’s comprehensive plan.

Challenge by an Affected Person

  • An affected person files a petition with the Division of Administrative Hearings within 30 days following local government adoption of the plan amendment and provides a copy to the local government.
  • An Administrative Law Judge holds a hearing in the local government's jurisdiction not less than 30 days or more than 60 days after the petition is filed.
  • Parties: Petitioner, local government, and any intervenor.
  • DEO may not intervene.
  • The Administrative Law Judge issues a recommended order.
    • If in compliance, the recommended order goes to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) - DEO has 30 days after it receives the recommended order to issue a final order or send the matter to the Administration Commission (if DEO thinks the amendment is not in compliance).
    • If not in compliance, recommended order goes directly to Administration Commission, which has 90 days after it receives the recommended order to issue a final order.

Effective Date

  • Small scale development amendments become effective 31 days after adoption if no challenge is filed.
  • If challenged within 30 days after adoption, small scale development amendments do not become effective until the state land planning agency or the Administration Commission, respectively, issues a final order determining that the adopted small scale development amendment is in compliance.
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