From the City of Destin: Community Development Implements New Processes

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By Catherine Card, Public Information Manager, City of Destin

Catherine CardConsistent with the City Council directive to clarify, simplify and streamline the Development Review Processes, the Community Development Department implemented new processes which went into effect January 1, 2020.

The first process is the Change of Use Process. The City of Destin recognizes the changing nature of business in its jurisdiction. To that end, in order to efficiently manage an orderly transition of one use to another, the city implemented a Change of Use process effective January 1, 2020. A Change of Use application is required under the following instances:
– A property or structure (including portions of a property or structure) is, or is proposed to be, a different land use than the approved use or existing use.
– Properties and/or structures where the intensity of a use is increased.
– The addition of a use to a site with a number of different uses current in operation.
– Establishment of new or expanded home occupations (including off-site businesses)

In addition, the city will be implementing new timelines to its Development Order Review Process. As a result of changes in the Florida State statutes, the city is now required to amend its current Technical Review Committee process for projects to be in line with the changes outlined in House Bill (HB) 7103 and approved by the Governor. The change requires all development order applications to be processed under a specific timeline which includes the following:
• 30 days for staff to perform a completeness review
• 120 days for the city to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the project, or 180 days if the project requires a quasi-judicial hearing.

This timeline eliminates the constant back and forth of submittals and resubmittals and provides a predictable review framework between the applicant and city staff. This new process went into effect January 1, 2020.

Anyone who is interested in learning how to navigate the new processes is invited to visit the Planning Division in Community Development and staff will be available to answer questions and offer assistance.

Please contact the Planning Division at 850-654-1119 with any questions related to this change, and check the city’s website for updates: www.cityofdestin.com/91/Planning.