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Home > Blog > Buying And Selling Commercial Real Estate > Developing Commercial Real Estate: Fitting in With the Comprehensive Plan

Developing Commercial Real Estate: Fitting in With the Comprehensive Plan


When you intend to develop commercial properties in West Palm Beach, you need a thorough understanding of the city’s zoning and land use regulations. Each property must adhere to its zone’s requirements or obtain a special use permit. However, in addition to these rules, all developments must also fit within the city’s comprehensive plan, which includes the municipality’s goals and policies and how they affect real estate decisions. For more information regarding West Palm Beach’s zoning and land use regulations or comprehensive plan, contact an experienced West Palm Beach commercial real estate attorney of the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray.

West Palm Beach’s Comprehensive Plan

If you own or intend to purchase property within West Palm Beach and want to develop that property, you must review the city’s comprehensive plan. It includes 13 chapters:

  1. Introduction and Administration
  2. Future Land Use
  3. Transportation
  4. Housing
  5. Utilities
  6. Coastal Management
  7. Conservation
  8. Recreation and Open Space
  9. Intergovernmental Coordination
  10. Public School Facilities
  11. Capital Improvement
  12. Historic Preservation
  13. Downtown Master Plan

Some of the goals, objectives, and policies within the city’s comprehensive plan include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing a mixture of land uses in districts/neighborhoods to provide additional opportunities for walking and easier movement and interaction for pedestrians
  • Providing a range of housing opportunities and choices
  • Creating and maintaining walkable environments
  • Fostering a sense of community
  • Preserving open and/or green space
  • Providing a variety of transportation choices
  • Maintaining a predictable and fair development review process

Fitting in With the Comprehensive Plan

When will your intentions for a property fit in with the comprehensive plan? Ultimately, this will only happen when the development is consistent with the plan. Under Florida law, a development is consistent with the comprehensive plan when the land use, densities and intensities, and other aspects permitted by regulation are compatible with and further the objectives, policies, land uses, densities and intensities of the comprehensive plan and the development meets all other criteria according to the local government.

Whether or not your plan is consistent with all or the relevant parts of the comprehensive plan can be a complex issue. Do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney with your questions and concerns.

Seeking Approval

The West Palm Beach Planning and Zoning Division is in control of reviewing and approving all developments within the city, as well as the enforcement of all licensing, construction codes, land use planning, preservation, and other city goals and policies.

The Planning Board recommends whether a development plan should be approved to the City Commission based on whether it conforms to the zoning and land use regulations and the comprehensive plan. Next, the Plans and Plats Review Committee must approve all site plans to ensure they meet the city’s codes and are consistent with the comprehensive plan. If you need to seek a variance for you development or a special use permit, you will need to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Contact a Florida Commercial Real Estate Attorney

If you are new to commercial real estate or are in need of a real estate attorney experienced in West Palm Beach, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. at 561-571-8970 to schedule a consultation.





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