Zoning Participation

Having Your Say

The public has an important role in the application process and participation is highly encouraged. It is necessary to participate in the process for all case types while the public record is open. The public record for an application opens at application submittal and closes when the public hearing for the application is conducted.

For some case types, typically those which are heard by the Zoning Hearing Master (ZHM), the process requires an additional public meeting in front of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) which follows different procedures than the previous public hearing.

The Zoning Code prefix for each application indicates the type of zoning-related application being requested. Common codes you may see on public hearing signage include:

Rezoning Application Types

PD - Planned Development: A request has been made to develop a non-standard zoning designation governed by its own development standards and allowable uses. A planned development district is proposed as part of a specific site plan to function as the zoning.

RZ-STD - Standard Rezoning: A change in the allowable use for a property is being sought. Standard zoning districts are developed according to existing regulations.

Modifications to Existing Planned Development Zoning

MM - Major Modification: Significant changes are being requested to an existing Planned Development.

PRS - Personal Appearance: A minor change is being made to an existing Planned Development

Special Uses and Variances in Existing Zoning

SU - Special Use: A use has been requested, which is permissible, but is subject to specific review criteria and additional conditions that may be imposed to promote compatibility with the surrounding community

VAR - Variance: A specific adjustment from an existing zoning or development regulation is being sought for a property

After viewing detailed information on an application, the public can provide comments on a case by attending the public hearing in-person, or by providing them up to two business days in advance of the advertised public hearing date. Written comments and evidence may be mailed to the 20th floor of the County Center or submitted via email. It is recommended that residents contact staff and submit testimony and/or evidence as early in the process as possible.

  1. BOCC Hearing Participation (PRS, SU-LE Applications)

    For applications such as Personal Appearances (PRS), the open record period culminates in a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Prior to the hearing, the public can provide input on an application by emailing testimony and/or evidence to Hearings@hcflgov.net. The email should include a mention of the appropriate application number. Ideally, this should be done as far in advance of the hearing as possible in order to be given consideration in the preparation of Development Services Staff’s Final Report to the BOCC, or at least two business days prior to the hearing in order to be included as part of the record of that hearing.

    During the hearing itself, the public will have the opportunity to provide testimony in person to the BOCC.

    Participation at the hearing does not require testimony to be submitted ahead of time or vice versa.

    During the hearing, the BOCC will render a decision after the application is considered.

    I WANT TO SPEAK AT THE BOCC HEARING

  2. LUHO Hearing Participation (VAR, SU-GEN, SU-AB w/ Waiver Applications)

    For applications such as Variances (VAR) and certain Special Uses (SU), the open record period culminates in a public hearing before the Land Use Hearing Officer (LUHO). Prior to the hearing, the public can provide input on an application by emailing testimony and/or evidence to Hearings@hcflgov.net. The email should include a mention of the appropriate application number. Ideally, this should be done as far in advance of the hearing as possible in order to be given consideration in the preparation of Development Services Staff’s Final Report to the Land Use Hearing Officer, or at least two business days prior to the hearing in order to be included as part of the record of that hearing.

    During the hearing itself, the public will have the opportunity to provide testimony in person to the LUHO.

    Participation at the hearing does not require testimony to be submitted ahead of time or vice versa.

    After the hearing, the LUHO will render a decision on the application within 15 days.

    I WANT TO SPEAK AT THE LUHO HEARING

  3. ZHM & BOCC Hearing Participation (MM, PD, RZ-STD Applications)

    Applications such as Standard Rezonings or Planned Developments follow a process involving a public hearing in front of the Zoning Hearing Master (ZHM) followed by a public meeting in front of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).

    The Zoning Hearing Master (ZHM) Hearing

    The first part of the sequence is a hearing before the Zoning Hearing Master (ZHM). Prior to the hearing, the public can provide input on an application by emailing testimony and/or evidence to Hearings@hcflgov.net. Please ensure you include the application number to expedite your request. Ideally, this should be done as far in advance of the hearing as possible in order to be given consideration in the preparation of Development Services Staff’s Final Report to the ZHM, or at least two business days prior to the hearing in order to be included as part of the record of that hearing.

    The email should include a mention of the appropriate application number. During the hearing itself, the public will have the opportunity to provide testimony in person to the ZHM.

    Participation at the hearing does not require testimony to be submitted ahead of time or vice versa.

    An individual who participates in the ZHM hearing will qualify as Party of Record in order to participate in the BOCC Public Meeting if desired. Only a Party of Record may speak during the subsequent BOCC Meeting.

    I WANT TO SPEAK AT THE ZHM HEARING

    The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Land Use Meeting

    After the hearing, the ZHM will submit a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) for consideration and final decision at a subsequent public meeting.

    During the BOCC Land Use meeting, the BOCC is limited to reviewing the information presented during the prior ZHM Hearing and contained within the official record. The public may participate in this meeting as well if they are a Party of Record and restrict their testimony to items already contained within the official record.

    A Party of Record is one of the following:

    • A person who was present at the Zoning Hearing Master (ZHM) hearing and presented either oral testimony or documentary evidence
    • A person who was notified by Letter of Notice of the ZHM hearing. This includes the Designated Representative(s) of the registered Neighborhood Organizations within 1 mile of the site for which the request was made.
    • A person who submitted documentary evidence to the master file two (2) business days prior to the ZHM hearing or by proxy during the ZHM hearing.

    I WANT TO SPEAK AT THE BOCC HEARING

IMPORTANT: Prior to the scheduled hearing you would like to participate in, please check the schedule and agenda to ensure that the application you would like to speak about is on the agenda and has not been continued to a subsequent hearing. To view the schedule and agenda, please visit HCFLGov.net/ZoningSchedule.

For more zoning-related resources, visit HCFLGov.net/Zoning or call (813) 307-4739 for assistance.

Additional Resources

Zoning Hearings Map
Zoning Documents and Records (PGM Store)