Public gives input on comprehensive plan changes

Public gives input on comprehensive plan changes
Around 30 stakeholders gathered on Dec. 8 at Holmes Beach City Hall to learn more about the changes planned for the city’s comprehensive plan. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Work on the proposed revisions to the city’s comprehensive plan are almost complete and planning commissioners are seeking input from the public on the changes they’ve come up with.

About 30 members of the public along with city staff, Mayor Judy Titsworth and Commissioner Terry Schaefer gathered on Dec. 8 at City Hall for a town hall meeting on the comprehensive plan held by the city’s planning commissioners. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposed changes to the comprehensive plan and get feedback from members of the community. From residents to business owners and visitors, everyone was invited to come and have their opinions heard.

Planning commissioners will discuss the feedback they received at an upcoming public meeting. However, those who were unable to attend may submit public comment by email through the middle of January at

The comprehensive plan is a document that is adopted by city commissioners to provide a guide for the future of Holmes Beach and what types of policies they should implement in the city. There are 10 elements to the comprehensive plan: Future Land Use; Property Rights; Infrastructure; Capital Improvements; Coastal Management and Conservation; Recreation, Open Space, Arts and Culture; Transportation; Housing; Intergovernmental Coordination; and Public School Facilities. Here are the primary proposed changes to each element:

Future Land Use

– Added objective relating to the city’s desire to promote arts, culture and creative design

– Added language which reinforces the city’s stated vision and values

Property Rights

– New element being added to comply with recent legislation enacted by the Florida Legislature

  • Four statements of rights that require the city to consider private property rights in all local decision-making


– Continue to urge Manatee County to eliminate all septic tanks and to hook up to the central sewer system when available

– Incorporate drainage projects within the five-year schedule of capital projects

  • Pursue mitigation efforts associated with stormwater, drainage and floodplain management

Capital Improvements

– Language added to reinforce the city’s stated vision and values to fund strong safety programs, such as police, fire and emergency personnel

– Emphasis on sharing of school recreation facilities, including funding if appropriate

– The five-year schedule of capital improvement projects has been updated

– Removal of:

  • Rigid and poorly-worded guidelines for prioritization of capital improvement projects
  • Rigid levels of service for recreational facilities
  • Outdated lists of capital improvement projects
  • Outdated concurrency management section so that provisions in the Land Development Code can be updated as needed

Coastal Management and Conservation

– Reorganization of elements

– Objective added to address energy efficiency, waste reduction and other sustainability measures

– Objective added regarding the protection of habitat and endangered/threatened species

– Objective added to address the city’s desire to promote ecotourism

– Objective added to reduce impervious surfaces

Recreation, Open Space, Arts and Culture

– Incorporation of arts and culture as a part of recreation activities

– Maximize and continue improvement of municipal recreation facilities

– Protection of Grassy Point Preserve as a conservation asset while providing passive access

– Emphasis on linking transportation generators and attractors with bicycle and pedestrian paths


– Added policies to improve transit routes, options and facilities

– Added objective related to the city’s mission to improve the resiliency of transportation facilities


– Policies added to maintain and encourage affordable and workforce housing

– Objective added to address the city’s desire to encourage energy efficiency and sustainability

– Objective added to encourage resilient building practices

– Objective added to address the city’s desire to encourage development within the mixed-use overlay district to promote the live, work, play lifestyle within the city

Intergovernmental Coordination

– Objective added to emphasize the city’s position that home rule and local authority be preserved

Public School Facilities

– Language added to reinforce the city’s position that Anna Maria Elementary should be retained as a community school

– Re-establishment of the Manatee County School District’s responsibility to adequately fund capital improvements for public schools

– Removal of redundant policies

To learn more about the proposed changes to the comprehensive plan and how they can affect the future of Holmes Beach, visit the LaRue Planning website.