Planning & Development

About The Department:

Vero Beach, an elegant community located along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, is a haven for outdoor sports, unique shopping experiences, and arts and culture. The Planning and Development Department’s mission is to ensure development remains consistent with the Community’s vision as the “crown jewel of the Treasure Coast” by providing professional land development and planning advice to the City Council, city administration, and the public.

 

Announcements & Notices:

 

Downtown Master Plan

 

The City has initiated the development of a new Downtown Master Plan for the urban core of Vero Beach, lead by world-renowned architect and urban designer, Andres Duany, Founding Partner for DPZ CoDesign.  Visit www.ideasfordowntown.com, take the survey, register for regular updates, to share your ideas with the DPZ CoDESIGN team as they work alongside the community to shape the future and design of Downtown Vero Beach.


Letter from Mayor John E. Cotugno:


Upcoming dates:

  • February 5th– 9th, 2024 : Community Charrette, a weeklong charrette located in the Florida Room at the Community Center, where the community will be invited to participate in the design process.


 
More information is on the Downtown page.   


Neighborhood Protection Policies

 

Planning staff is researching and preparing text amendments to the Land Use Element, Objective 13, General Neighborhood Principles to add, strengthen or expand neighborhood protection policies. The Planning Department thanks the community members that attended the public meetings on January 24. The City is still gathering public input for the preparation of potential neighborhood protection and preservation policies for mainland and beachside neighborhoods.  Residents are invited to comment about neighborhood issues on the following online map:  https://arcg.is/Dvu4z

January 24, 2024 Neighborhood Public Meeting Presentation (PDF)

Upcoming dates:

  • February 11, 2024: Deadline for online comment submissions. 
  • March 2024: Presentation of initial findings to Planning & Zoning Board

Local Business Tax

 

If you have any questions about your City of Vero Beach local business tax receipt, please contact the Planning Department at 772-978-4550.

Payment Options:

  • Pay in person – at the Planning Office located at 1036 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960, during business hours.  We accept cash, check, credit/debit or money orders (American Express Not Accepted).
  • Pay by telephone using a credit/debit card – Call 772-978-4550 (American Express Not Accepted).
  • Pay by mail – Mail your payment with renewal notice to:

City of Vero Beach
 Planning Department

   PO Box 1389
   Vero Beach, FL 32961

 

Land Development Regulation (LDR) Updates

 

On September 26, 2023, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted revisions to the following sections of the LDR:

  • Amended Parks, Office and Institutional, and Commercial Zoning Districts Standards in Chapter 62, Article I - III, the permitted principal, accessory, and temporary uses and development standards for the park, conservation, office, institutional, and commercial zoning districts were revised. The ordinance also creates a new Chapter 60, Article IV, Definitions to add or amend use definitions. 
  • Use Specific Standards in a new Chapter 67 to consolidate use specific standards into one Chapter of the LDR. The ordinance deletes Chapter 31, Boats and waterways, Chapter 38, Article II, Satellite dish antennas, Section 64.13, Home occupations, Section 64.14, Community gardens, Chapter 78, Dog-friendly friendly dining, and portions of 64.10, Site plan review standards to consolidate these principal or accessory use or structure standards into the amended Chapter 67, Use Specific Standards.
  • General LDR Provisions in a revised Chapter 60, Article I, General provisions, to clarify the general provisions, such as code purpose, authority, and intent of the LDR and create a new Article III, Interpretation, to add rules for interpreting the LDR. 
  • Revised Parking Ratios in an updated Section 63.04, Parking ratios, to revise the parking ratios for allowed uses in the LDR. 
  • Revised Conditional Use Review Procedures in a new Sec. 64.13, Conditional use review, to consolidate review procedures for conditional uses in the City.

 

The following are links to the adopted Ordinances. The ordinances were effective upon adoption by City Council and any site plan or code compliance permit submitted after September 26, 2023 shall comply with the standards.  

 

ORD 23-14, Chapter 62, Article I – III (PDF)

ORD 23-17, Chapter 67 Use Standards (PDF)

ORD 23-18 Chapter 60 General Requirements (PDF)

ORD 23-15. Parking Ratios (PDF)

ORD 23-16, Conditional Use Review Procedures (PDF)

 

On April 18, 2023, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted a revisions to the following environmental regulations in the LDR: 

 

  • New Tree and Palm Protection Ordinance. Any permit to remove a tree or development permit (code compliance certification or site plan) submitted after April 18, 2023 shall comply with the new Tree and Palm Protection Code.  
  • New Landscaping Ordinance. Any site plan submitted after April 18, 2023 shall comply with the new Landscaping Code.
  • New Lagoon and Beach Protection Ordinance. Any site plan submitted after April 18, 2023 shall comply with the new Lagoon and Beach Protection Ordinance.

 

The following are links to the adopted Ordinances that were effective upon adoption by City Council:

 

ORD #2023-06 Tree and Palm Protection (PDF) 

ORD #2023-07 Landscaping (PDF) 

ORD #2023-08 Lagoon and Beach (PDF)

 

For more information see the Zoning and Land Development Regulations (LDR) Page.  


Project Updates:

3 Corners Final ReportThree Corners Concept Plan: The City of Vero Beach City Council adopted the Master Concept Plan on February 1, 2022 for the future use of the 38-acre waterfront parcel known as Three Corners located at the base of the 17th Street (Alma Lee Loy) bridge. The master concept plan was prepared after an extensive community participation in the planning process for the site. On the November 8, 2022, a citizen referendum passed by 79% to authorize the redevelopment of the site consistent with the Master Concept Plan. The City is in the process of developing the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations (LDR) to implement the Three Corners Master Concept Plan. More information is on the Three Corners Master Concept page. 

Downtown Master Plan Front Page

Downtown Master Plan: The City is currently working on updates to the master plan and Comprehensive Plan policies for the urban core of Vero Beach.  

 

In January 2024, the City initiated the development of a new Downtown Master Plan for the urban core of Vero Beach. World-renowned architect and urban designer, Andres Duany, Founding Partner for DPZ CoDesign, is leading the charrette and planning process for the Downtown Master Plan.   DPZ CoDesign will provide a facilitated planning and design charrette process that involves the engagement and participation of the community in the development of the plan for the City's urban core. The plan will analyze design options and recommend possible changes to the density and intensity criteria for infill development or redevelopment.

 

Project Timeline: 

  • September 14, 2023: Presentation of Urban retail market study. Bob Gibbs, Gibbs Planning Group, an expert retail economist, conducted an urban retail market study for Downtown. 
  • October 31,2023: Presentation of Review of previous Downtown plans. Stantec consulting firm reviewed the goals and objectives of the past Downtown plan and reports; and provided a report on the implementation of these goals, with primary focus on the 1992 Downtown Redevelopment Plan and 2008 Downtown Action Plan.
  • January 17 – 18: Kick-off Presentations to start the extensive community outreach for the planning project. 
    1. Wednesday, January 17: Meetings with stakeholders (Main Street Vero / Downtown Property Owners) 
    2. Thursday, January 18 at 1:30PM: Presentation at Joint Meeting with City Council and Planning & Zoning Board

Upcoming dates:

  • February 5 – 9: Community Charrette, a weeklong charrette located in the Florida Room at the Community Center, where the community will be invited to participate in the design process.

Additional data and information for the Downtown Master Plan process: 


 
More information is on the Downtown page.   

 

Neighborhood Protection: Planning staff is researching and preparing text amendments to the Land Use Element, Objective 13, General Neighborhood Principles to add, strengthen or expand neighborhood protection policies. 

Pages from Cultural Arts Village Report

Cultural Arts Village: In 2016, the City of Vero Beach accepted the Cultural Arts Village Report for the Edgewood Neighborhood located west of Downtown.  The 2018 Comprehensive Plan adopted objectives and policies regarding the implementation of the Cultural Arts Village. The Planning staff have prepared draft Land Development Code amendments to implement the Arts Village through zoning.

Department Services:

Planning Department Forms

Code Compliance Certification Reviews: Ensure that building permits and other development approvals are consistent with applicable zoning regulations. Prior to changes of use, installation of fences, sheds, docks, external equipment, pools, or other minor exterior modifications to property, complete a code compliance certification application and submit to planning staff.

Site Development Review Coordination: Site plan review and approval process is intended to ensure that the development of structures and sites is compliant with the Vero Beach Land Development Code. Contact Planning Staff for pre-application assistance.

Business Tax administration: Local Business Tax Receipts (BTR) are issued by the Planning Department. Any business in the City of Vero Beach selling merchandise or services is required to obtain a Business Tax Receipt.  This includes one-person companies and home-based businesses.  Business Tax Receipts are payable annually July 1 through September 30.

Historic Preservation: Supports the Historic Preservation Commission to protect significant historic landmarks, resources, and districts in the City of Vero Beach through designation of historic properties and reviewing Certificate of Appropriateness applications for exterior modification to designated sites.  Contact Planning staff for historic designation and COA applications.

Tree Protection: As a Tree City USA, any specimen or protected tree or palm proposed for removal requires a tree removal permit. 

Flood Zone and Construction Determinations: City of Vero Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program to provide affordable flood insurance to City of Vero Beach property owners. To determine if your property is in a flood hazard area or proposing development in a flood hazard areas, contact planning staff.  

Voluntary Annexation Coordination: Vero Beach actively pursues annexations that add to the economic stability of the city, protects and enhances quality of life of its residents, and enhances the ability of the City to provide services in an efficient and effective manner. Property owners with property adjacent to the existing City Boundaries are encouraged to contact planning staff about annexation. 

Comprehensive Planning:  Planning Department maintains and coordinates the review of amendments to the Vero Beach Comprehensive Plans to ensure compliance with Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes. Any property owner proposing a policy amendment or Future Land Use Map amendment should contact the planning staff.

Official Zoning Map Maintenance:  Planning Department maintains the Office Zoning Map for the City of Vero Beach. Any property owner proposing a zoning map amendment should contact the planning staff.

FY24 Goals and Objectives

The Department provides efficient and effective services within its current staffing levels of 5.5 FTE.  "Essential" services will be given the highest priority, which include development review and permitting,  business tax administration, Community Rating System maintenance (FEMA/NFIP) and implementation of policies and actions in the adopted Comprehensive Plan update.

FY24 Major Work Program Goals

  1. Implement policies and directives of the Comprehensive Plan including amendments to the Future Land Use Map, Official Zoning Map, and Land Development Regulations.
  2. Continue the multi-year work program identified in the adopted Comprehensive Plan to  update the Land Development Regulations to clarify land use definitions, allowable uses by zoning district, inconsistency in development standards, lack of clarity in the text, and out-of-date land development regulations.
  3. Complete adoption of appropriate amendments to the Future Land Use Map and Official Zoning Map to the former power plant site for an adapted reuse of the site. 
  4. Prepare appropriate policy amendments to the City's Comprehensive Plan for enhanced neighborhood protection.  
  5. Facilitate community engagement through a planning process to prepare master plan for   Downtown Vero Beach. 
  6. Review affordable housing recommendations to update the CIty's Land Development Regulations to incentivize workforce or attainable housing in the City of Vero Beach