Wildwood, Florida - Est. 1877

What is a variance?

A variance is a change or relaxation in the required standards of the code that will not be contrary to the public interest, where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the code will result in unnecessary and undue hardship. Variances are available only when special circumstances and conditions exist which are peculiar to the land, structure or buildings which are not applicable to other lands, structures or buildings in the same zoning district. This means that the conditions or circumstances are not a result of the actions of the applicant, that the granting of a variance will not provide special privilege to the applicant which is not available to other properties in the district, that literally interpreting the code would deprive the applicant of rights enjoyed by other property owners in the area, the variance requested is the minimum required, and the granting of the variance would be in harmony with the general intent and purpose of the code, without being injurious or detrimental to the public welfare.

My neighbor is trying to rezone his/her property. How can I have input in this process?

Citizens have the opportunity to speak about zoning related cases during a public hearing, which is held before the Planning and Zoning Board. A public hearing is a meeting in which the general public has the opportunity to speak in support or opposition to a proposed use or development. Many zoning processes must go through a public hearing as a part of the legal process for approving or denying a specific use on a piece of property. Public hearings are conducted on all conditional use permits, planned unit developments, variances, rezoning, annexation and comprehensive plan amendments. For most types of cases, a public notice is required to be mailed to property owners of record that adjoin the location of the case for the public hearing. These notices are also published in a newspaper of general circulation, per state statute. During the hearing, the public is provided the opportunity to comment on the cases on that meeting's agenda.

What are setbacks?

Setbacks are areas measured from the property line to a structure that provide a minimum required amount of building separation. These separations are necessary for easements, utility placement, emergency service access, light, air and sunshine. Each zoning district has a minimum required setback to the front, side and rear property lines, which is designed and set in keeping with the type and purpose of the district.

What are zoning districts?

A zoning district is an area established by City Ordinance that allows only compatible uses to be located within a specifically defined area, known as a zoning district. These zoning districts are established to promote compatible patterns of land use within the city limits. Zoning districts also establish setbacks, impervious surface coverage, and provide a list of principal, accessory and conditional uses allowed within the district. As part of the zoning process, appropriate land uses for an area are identified based on such factors as the intensity, density, height of a proposed project, surrounding land uses, traffic impacts and access to a site, environmental concerns and overall compatibility.

What is a "Comprehensive Plan"?

A comprehensive plan is a written document that provides a "blueprint" for growth and development of all land within the prescribed area, such as a city or county. Comprehensive plans are required by Florida Statutes to be written for every city and county in Florida. Each plan is divided into chapters, known as "elements" which are subject areas such as land use, traffic circulation, housing, solid waste, drainage, sanitary sewer, recreation, aquifer recharge and more. All development occurring within the City is required by state and local law to be compatible with the adopted comprehensive plan.

What is a Future Land Use Map?

The future land use map is a map that delineates areas into different categories such as residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and recreation. Only uses that are determined to fall within these broad designations are allowed within the areas shown on the future land use map. Zoning districts, help implement the future land use map by further categorizing the allowable uses. As an example, an industrial use is prevented from encroaching on residential areas because the industrial use must be located within an area shown as Industrial on the land use map.

What is annexation?

Annexation is the process of expanding the legal boundary of a municipality to include land lying within another jurisdiction. Generally, this means annexing from a county into a city. Annexation provides urban levels of service for fire, police, water, sewer, electricity and other government services. Persons living within annexed areas become citizens of the annexing municipality. Annexation is a legal process with rules and procedures which are required by state and city regulations, including public hearings and review/approval by the governing body of the city. In the majority of cases, annexations are voluntary, meaning that landowners must file an application for annexation with the city. This application must be reviewed by city staff, and forwarded to the City Commission for decision. More information on annexation is available in Chapter 171, Florida Statues.

What is your contact information?

Our department is located inside City Hall at 100 N. Main St, Wildwood, Florida 34785.

We can be reached by phone at (352) 330-1330 x118, by fax at (352) 330-1334 and by email using our online form.

Where does the City get the legal authority to make plans and zone property?

Legal authority to make plans and zone property comes from Chapter 163.3164, Florida Statutes, which require all jurisdictions in the State of Florida to prepare a comprehensive plan in accordance with requirements of the chapter, and rules promulgated by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.