Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Comprehensive Plan and why do we have one?

The State of Florida adopted the "Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act" in 1985 which became sections 163.3161-163.450 of the Florida Statutes and requires counties to "prepare a comprehensive plan of the type and in the manner set out in this act". The plan is designed to require local governments to plan for their future development and growth and adopt administrative instruments with which to implement that plan.

The Plan is the senior policy document providing guidelines for growth management within that jurisdiction and all other regulations may not supersede the policy set forth in the Comprehensive Plan. Land development regulations are to be implementing instruments for the policies set out in the Comprehensive Plan. In the absence of land development regulations, the Comprehensive Plan policy prevails.

How is my property zoned?

Jackson County does not utilize traditional zoning. The County relies on the policies stated in the Future Land Use Element (FLUE) of the adopted Comprehensive Plan and the land use categories defined therein.

The FLUE includes a Future Land Use Map which depicts the location and distribution of the land use categories. These land use categories and associated policies are the controlling factors in what development is appropriate for a specific parcel of land.

Can I change the land use category applied to my property?

Land owners may be able to change the land use category applied to their property through the Comprehensive Plan amendment process. There are two types of plan amendments, major and small scale map amendments. Major amendments involve parcels greater than 10 acres or policy revisions.

Small scale amendments are for map amendments only and are used to change the land use category applied to parcels 10 acres or less in size. The small scale amendment process cannot be used to change a policy in the plan. Small scale amendments must be supported by the applicant and are reviewed for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan policies by the Planning Department and the Planning Commission before a recommendation on it is presented to the Board of County Commissioners for action. Small scale amendments normally require 8-10 weeks to process. 

Where do I start if I want to permit a new home?

It is recommended that you visit the Community Development Department prior to purchasing or developing a parcel of land for residential or other type of development. The planning staff can review the parcel to determine the existing land use category and residential density available. The actual permit process begins with the submission of a Residential Development Order application to the planning section.

The completed application will then be reviewed by a planner. The department has five business days to review and take action on the application. if there are concerns with the application you will be contacted via the information you listed on the application. Once the development order has been approved, it is forwarded to the Environmental Health and Building departments. the applicant must also complete and submit applications with these two departments. Once a septic system permit has been issued the initial building permit can be issued. All of these permitting offices are located with the Jackson County Administration Annex building located at 4487 Lafayette Street Marianna, Florida 32448.

How often do the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners meetings occur?

The First and third Mondays of every month at 7:00 pm Central Time are reserved for the Planning Commission when there are agenda items. The Board of County Commissioners meet every second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

The Board's first meeting of the month is at 9:00 am Central Time and the second meeting occurs at 6:00 pm Central Time. All meetings are held in the County Commission Board room of the Jackson County Administration building located at 2864 Madison Street Marianna, Florida 32448.

How do I find out if my property is in a Flood Zone?

Call the Community Development office at (850) 482-9637 in order to schedule a meeting or visit the FEMA website at

What are the Department of Community Development's working hours?

Monday through Friday
7:30 am to 4:30 pm Central Time (Jackson County observes daylight savings time.) 

 end faq

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