City of Doral Comprehensive Plan
Goals, Objectives and Policies
The State of Florida Growth Management Act authorizes local governments to plan for and guide their development and growth through the comprehensive plan and land development regulations. The Comprehensive Plan is adopted to guide through “principles, guidelines, standards and strategies” the orderly and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental, and fiscal development of an area. In Florida, the comprehensive plan is considered to be the local government constitution for all future development within the local government jurisdictional boundaries. Also, like the Florida or US Constitutions, the comprehensive plan is “hard law” because it is legally binding and not a policy statement.
The specific authority and requirement for municipalities to do comprehensive planning in Florida derives from Chapter 163, Florida Statutes. In 1985, the State Legislature amended Chapter 163 through the adoption of the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act to create the nation’s most comprehensive planning system. The legislation required all local governments to adopt a local comprehensive plan consistent with state statutory standards including Rules 9J-5 and 9J-11 of the Florida Administrative Code. In 2011, Rule 9J-5 of the Florida Administrative Code was repealed by the Florida Legislature (HB 7207). The standards originally included a concurrency requirement that prohibited the issuance of local development permits unless adequate public facilities, like roads, were available concurrent with the impacts of the development. In addition to adopting a comprehensive plan, local governments are required to adopt land development regulations (LDRs) to implement the Goals, Objectives and Policies (GOPs) in the local comprehensive plan. According to Section 163.3167(1)(c), Florida Statutes, local governments have the power and responsibility to implement the comprehensive plan by the adoption of appropriate LDRs. As indicated above, if the comprehensive plan is the “constitution” then the LDRs would be the “statutes”. It is important to note, that the LDRs (at least the zoning regulations) have been described as a “mechanism by which the comprehensive plan is implemented, and involves the exercise of discretionary powers within limits imposed by the plan” (Machado v. Musgrove, 519 So. 2d at 632). Furthermore, the LDRs are “enacted to provide specific legislative standards that must be applied to the general provisions of the Plan and enforced to regulate the various land use categories in the Plan” (Keene v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 22 So. 3d 665, 668-69).
On June 24, 2003, the City was incorporated and adopted, under Section 8.03 of its new charter, the Miami-Dade County Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) as an interim comprehensive plan to serve until a new plan for Doral, tailored to the unique growth and development needs of the community could be prepared and adopted. The interim CDMP continued to be in effect until 2006 when the City Council formally adopted by ordinance its first Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations. The City’s LDRs, which contain zoning, subdivision and other local development regulations, takes its purpose and direction from the GOPs adopted in this Comprehensive Plan. As indicated, the LDRs must be fully consistent with the adopted Comprehensive Plan and also further its goals, objectives and policies. Since its adoption the Comprehensive Plan has been amended on several occasions.
The City of Doral 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update is divided into two (2) components consistent with the state statutory standards:
The "Comprehensive Plan: Part I – Goals, Objective and Policies (GOPs)" is formally adopted by ordinance by the City Council. The intent of the goals, objectives, and policies contained within this Comprehensive Plan is to provide the overall policy framework from which zoning and other land development regulations (or code) are developed and implemented consistent with the state statutory standards. Together, the Plan and implementing tools will ensure that the development patterns for future land uses within Doral match the community vision and quality-of-life expectations of its residents.
The “Comprehensive Plan: Part II – Data, Inventory, and Analysis (DIA) Reports” is a separately bound document and is used to provide supporting data and conclusions as the foundation for the GOPs. The DIA section of the comprehensive plan is not formally adopted by the City Council.
The GOPs contained herein are organized into ten (10) elements (chapters). Each element addresses an important aspect of land development and growth in the City of Doral including, but not limited to, green, future land use, transportation, housing, infrastructure, parks and recreation, educational facilities, intergovernmental coordination, and capital improvements. Eight (8) of these elements are mandated by Section 163.3177 Florida Statutes and the other two (2) (green and public school facilities) are optional elements. The Future Land Use Element contains the official 2030- Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and specific definitions for the various future land use categories referenced in the FLUM. The City's official Zoning Map and Land Development Code must be consistent with the FLUM and accompanying land use category specifications contained in the Future Land Use Element.
The Comprehensive Plan for the City of Doral has been prepared in accordance with State requirements to encourage significant opportunities for public involvement throughout the process. During the preparation of the original plan, the City sponsored two City Council Visioning Workshops and five Citizen Workshops held to develop consensus for the long-range vision of the community. The topics for the five Citizen Workshops were: community identity and issues, parks and recreation, transportation, land use and zoning, and a wrap-up session. The recommendations from these workshops are incorporated throughout the Comprehensive Plan. During the update of the 2016 Comprehensive Plan there were two (2) community and two (2) Council workshops. The Planning and Zoning Department also met with residents and interested stakeholders individually to explain the comprehensive plan update process.
The 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update incorporates a number of individual amendments approved by the City Council since 2013 and 2006, respectively. Primary among these was the adoption of a new Green Element, based on the City’s double award-winning Green Master Plan in 2009. The update includes revisions to the Future Land Use Element to address the city’s rapid growth, future redevelopment efforts along the major corridors and minimize potential conversion of industrial lands to non-commercial uses that will erode the economic base of the City. Other significant changes include additional objectives and policies to further the city commitment to protecting the local and regional water resources through the City’s adopted “Water Supply Facilities Work Plan”. The updated plan also includes new floodplain management policies to reflect recent changes in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and to further the City’s Community Rating System (CRS) ranking. The improvement in the CRS ranking will result in a financial benefit to our residents with flood insurance policy residing in the Special Flood Hazardous Areas (SFHA). The Schedule of Capital Improvements (SCIs) tables in the CIE were updated to reflect the most recent financial and capital projects information.