Solin and Associates, Inc. (SAI) has 30 years of expertise in comprehensive planning, amendments and evaluation and/or appraisal of comprehensive plans for more than 30 local governments. Below is a sample of local governments that have used SAI services to prepare comprehensive plan elements.
- Altamonte Springs1
- Coral Gables1
- Central Florida RPC
- Daytona Beach Shores
- Delray Beach
- Fernandina Beach
- Fort Walton Beach
- Haines City
- Indian River County
- Indian River Shores
- Key West1
- Martin County1
- Melbourne Village
- Nashville-Davidson Co. (TN)
- Port St. Lucie
- Longboat Key
- Opelika (AL)
- Orange City
- Port Orange
- Port Sanford1
- West Palm Beach
- Winter Haven
- Winter Park1
- Vero Beach
EXAMPLES OF SAI’s COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING
The Martin County Comprehensive Plan
SAI’s first assignment (1981), was recognized with an Award of Merit by the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). The Plan established one of Florida’s first Urban Services Boundary and agricultural land protection programs. Following 40+ public meetings in 12 months, the plan was adopted and challenged in litigation. Les Solin provided expert testimony on plan methodology, growth management concepts, and implementation policies, including a capital improvement program and budget supported by a comprehensive work program for enhancing fiscal management. The work program incorporated diverse strategies for funding infrastructure needs, including performance standards, users fees, and impact fees.
In rendering an opinion on challenges to the legal standing of the Plan, the District Court Judge upheld the Plan on all counts including extensive praise for the Plan’s methodology, growth management principles, and implementation policies.
The Key West Comprehensive Plan
Received an Award of Merit from the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). The plan commenced with an analysis of the function, form, features and infrastructure characterizing City sub-areas. Distinctions in the gallery district and entertainment center of the Duval Street’s heavily traveled pedestrian corridor were documented, as were characteristics of other activity centers and environmentally sensitive areas such as the Salt Ponds, shoreline, inland waters, and habitats. The Future Land Use Map designation nomenclature carries acronyms representing the type land use, function and form of their subarea. SAI’s new City Zoning Map has the same delineations and nomenclature as the respective Future Land Use Map sub-areas. The LDC contains an affordable housing linkage fee. The LDC also implements a transfer of development rights (TDR) program contained in the Comprehensive Plan. SAI was recognized with the American Society of Consulting Planners’ Award for Sustainable Planning in Government for the City of Key West Land Development Code that implements the City’s Comprehensive Plan prepared by SAI.
The Coral Gables Comprehensive Plan
Evaluation and Appraisal and Plan Amendment Coral Gables assessed the development of Coral Gables, a planned City. During the 1920’s George Merrick, architect, produced a visionary plan for the City. SAI’s methodology included an interactive approach featuring a series of community interviews and workshops that investigated the City’s:
- ▪ Function and Form
- ▪ Transportation and Gateway Corridors
- ▪ Aesthetics/Appearance
- ▪ Housing
- ▪ Economic Development
- ▪ City Planning, Management and Regulations
- ▪ Infrastructure and Services
- ▪ Quality of Life
SAI facilitated discussions with the Planning Board and City Council on proposed Plan Amendments that addressed incentives for redevelopment and infill; annexation; downtown development; focused economic development of Miracle Mile, the Industrial Design District, and the North de Leon Corridor; street closure issues; housing conditions for young and old; infrastructure; focus on improving gateways, entrances, and public spaces.
City of Destin Comprehensive Plan
Solin and Associates was also contracted to review all of the City’s site plans and serve as the City’s Expert Witness on related Quasi-Judicial Hearings on the site plans. SAI prepared a rewrite of the Destin Comprehensive Plan and comprehensive re-write of most articles within the City’s Land Development Code. Major issues included:
- ▪ Maintaining land use compatibility;
- ▪ Incentives for Destin Harbor redevelopment and preservation of charter fishing fleets and unique features of the Fishing Village.
- ▪ Criteria for managing land use transition and design associated with density; intensity; height; scale and massing of structures; and preventing walling off of the Harbor, Gulf, and Bay.
- ▪ Criteria for managing façade design including windows, dormers, entryways, roof design, building articulation, and other features to promote an attractive pedestrian orientation, vitality and a festive marketplace along the harbor and fishing village.
- ▪ Upgrades minimum criteria for landscaping, buffering, tree protection, and retention of pervious open space.
- ▪ Requirement for incentive based private investments to be beyond minimum code requirements and to advance the overall public benefit. Criteria governing incentives required that developer bonuses be proportionate to the applicant’s contribution to public improvements and commensurate with the increment of increase density, intensity or use the applicant seeks. The applicant bears the burden of demonstrating that the specific character, design, and investment commitment is a significant and balanced overall public benefit.
The City of Sanford Comprehensive Plan
Received accolades from Florida’s Department of Community Affairs based on the inclusion of a Future Land Use Map (FLUM) for the “Unincorporated Urbanized Area,” contiguous to the City of Sanford. The area was delineated based on a proposed interlocal agreement between the City of Sanford and the Seminole County. The FLUM was supplemented with a “Future Land Use Equivalency Chart” which recorded County FLUM designations and equivalent City FLUM designations. The Plan was successful in attracting public and private investment in the development of strategic areas of the City and beyond leading to the following:
- ▪ High Intensity Commercial Center at the I-4 and SR 46 intersection located west of the City limits;
- ▪ Airport, Industry and Commerce;
- ▪ Transitional Agricultural Land Designated Suburban Estates; and
- ▪ Future activity centers, residential areas, and outer fringe estates serving as a transition between urban and rural areas.
Attraction of private investors in the above noted development is largely attributed to the City’s commitment to a plan for financing needed urban service delivery systems. SAI assisted the City by developing needed performance based regulatory incentives and other initiatives designed to reduce uncertainty and promote implementation of planned development consistent with the Plan.
The City of Altamonte Springs Comprehensive Plan
The 2002 Altamonte Springs Plan received a 2003 Award of Merit from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association for “effectively integrating land use and transportation,” establishing major Gateway Corridor initiatives, and fostering development of a new Town Center. The Altamonte Springs Plan included one of the state’s first “Multi Modal Transportation Elements.” SAIC and Transcore were transportation consultants that also assisted the City. Less than 10 years following adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, the public and private sector partnership in financing the proposed mixed use developments to implement the Plan’s redevelopment strategies culminated in a mixed use transformation of the Town Center and development of a vibrant urban Mixed Use Gateway Corridor in SW Altamonte Springs.
The Winter Park Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) and Comprehensive Plan.
The planning process included development of 12 small area plans that addressed major issues identified by citizens in each sub-area. The Comprehensive Plan focused on developing a new hierarchy of planning and design policies. Many of the policies are designed to encourage town center private investment and compatible mixed use redevelopment in appropriate areas, including “edge areas”—-places where traditional living and working areas have begun to converge and often generates instability in the market place.
The Winter Park planning process included major public economic incentives to attract public/private partnerships needed to fund upgraded infrastructure. Upgraded infrastructure was needed to attract new opportunities for mixed use redevelopment while retaining the City’s historic character, viable shopping along the Park Avenue corridor with generous canopies that create an ambiance attracting a pedestrian destination for many Central Florida residents and a worldwide tourist market.