Section 163.3245, Florida Statutes, authorizes local governments to adopt sector plans into their comprehensive plans. Section 163.3164(42), F.S., defines a sector plan as follows:

"Sector plan" means the process authorized by s. 163.3245 in which one or more local governments engage in long-term planning for a large area and address regional issues through adoption of detailed specific area plans within the planning area as a means of fostering innovative planning and development strategies, furthering the purposes of this part and part I of chapter 380, reducing overlapping data and analysis requirements, protecting regionally significant resources and facilities, and addressing extrajurisdictional impacts. The term includes an optional sector plan that was adopted before June 2, 2011.

Sector plans are intended for substantial geographic areas of at least 15,000 acres and must emphasize urban form and protection of regionally significant resources and public facilities. A sector plan may not be adopted in an area of critical state concern.

Approval of Sector Plans

Approval of a sector plan is accomplished in two stages, which may be adopted concurrently:

  1. Adoption of a comprehensive plan amendment that establishes a long-term master plan for the entire planning area (state coordinated review process).
  2. Adoption of development orders approving one or more detailed specific area plans that implement the long-term master plan.

Approval of a long-term master plan or detailed specific area plan does not limit the right to continue existing agriculture or silviculture uses or other natural resource-based operations.

Landowner Consent - Withdrawal

Landowners must consent to having their land included in a sector plan.

  • A landowner may withdraw consent to a proposed long-term master plan at any time prior to local government adoption, and the local government must exclude such land from any approved sector plan.
  • A landowner may withdraw consent to a long-term master plan after it is adopted only with the approval of the local government by a comprehensive plan amendment adopted under the state coordinated review process.

Long Term Master Plan

In addition to complying with other requirements under the Community Planning Act, a long-term master plan must include:

  • A framework map including uses, densities, and intensities.
  • Policies guiding development form, intergovernmental coordination to address extra-jurisdictional impacts, and protection of natural resources, 
  • The general identification of the water supplies, transportation facilities, and regionally significant public facilities that will be needed to support development in the sector plan.
  • Identification of regionally significant natural resources.
  • A planning timeframe, which can exceed the general planning timeframe in the local government comprehensive plan.
  • Identification of population (but is not required to be based on need).
  • General principles and guidelines addressing urban form and the interrelationships of future land uses; permanent preservation of natural resources; achieving a more clean, healthy environment; limiting urban sprawl; providing a range of housing types; protecting wildlife and natural areas; advancing the efficient use of land and resources; creating quality communities through design that promotes travel by multiple transportation modes; and enhancing prospects for the creation of jobs.

Once the long-term master plan becomes legally effective, any long-range transportation plan of the metropolitan planning organization must be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with the projected population and the approved uses of the master plan. Also, the water needs, sources, and water supply development projects identified in the master plan and detailed area specific plans approved by the local government must be incorporated into the applicable water management district or regional water supply plan (section 163.3245(4), Florida Statutes).

Detailed Specific Area Plans

Long-term master plans are implemented by the adoption of detailed specific area plans - not pursuant to existing zoning regulations - that must:

  • Be adopted by development order that must be rendered (sent) to FloridaCommerce in the same manner as prescribed for development of regional impact development orders (see Rule 73C-40.025, Florida Administrative Code - Local Government Development Orders).
  • Contain at least 1,000 acres (a local government can approve less in certain circumstances).
  • Address the same issues as the long-term master plan, but in greater detail.
  • Establish a specific procedure for intergovernmental coordination to address extra-jurisdictional impacts.
  • Establish a buildout date (can be longer than the general timeframe in the local government comprehensive plan) until which the approved development is not subject to downzoning, or density or intensity reductions.

There are no development entitlements in the area subject to the approved master plan until a detailed area sector plan is adopted. It is the only means under the statute for implementing an approved master plan. Until a detailed area sector plan is adopted, the only uses to which a landowner is entitled are silviculture, agriculture, and other natural resource-based operations.

Conservation easements for areas identified for permanent preservation must be recorded and in effect before or concurrent with the effective date of the detailed specific area plan (see section 163.3245(3)(b), Florida Statutes).

Development within the geographic boundaries of a detailed specific area plan is not subject to Development of Regional Impact review.

Conversions - Plan Amendments Approved on or before July 1, 2011

Section 163.3245(10), Florida Statutes, provides for the conversion of a large-scale comprehensive plan amendment to a sector plan if the amendment was adopted on or before July 1, 2011, contained at least 15,000 acres, and met the requirements for a long-term master plan in section 163.3245(3)(a), Florida Statutes. The conversion is effected through an agreement between DEO and the local government. 

Approved Sector Plans

As of July 1, 2014, there are seven approved sector plans in Florida:

  1. Bay County (West Bay Area Vision) Sector Plan – updated and expanded to become the Bay-Walton Sector Plan
  2. Orange County (Horizon West) Sector Plan
  3. City of Bartow (Clear Springs) Sector Plan
  4. Escambia County Sector Plan
  5. Nassau County (East Nassau County) Sector Plan
  6. Hendry County (Rodina) Sector Plan (approved by conversion)
    • Rodina Sector Plan Map (link coming soon)
    • Hendry County Comprehensive Plan Sector Plan Policies (link coming soon)
  7. Osceola County (Northeast District) Sector Plan (approved by conversion)


For questions about statutory requirements or the projects identified above, please contact the following:

Bay County West Bay Area Vision, Escambia County Sector Planning Area, and Nassau County (East Nassau County) Sector Plan

City of Bartow (Clear Springs) and Hendry County (Rodina) Sector Plans

  • Scott Rogers
    • Regional Planning Administrator, Southwest and Areas of Critical State Concern Regions
    • 850-717-8510
    • Regional Planning Council: East Central Florida

Orange County Horizon West and Osceola (Northeast District) Sector Plans

  • James D. Stansbury, Chief


  • James Stansbury

    Bureau Chief
    (850) 717-8512
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