By Jane Smith
    
    Delray Beach is starting an ambitious review of its comprehensive plan, Planning and Zoning Director Tim Stillings told commissioners at their second December meeting. The revision will take nearly two years to complete, he said.
    The plan, required by Florida law, must be evaluated every seven years, he said. The last evaluation was finished in 2008.
    Since then, in 2011 the state Legislature repealed part of the law that required new development to be able to handle the impacts it made on various public services, such as roads and schools. But the city wants to consider these potential impacts as it reviews a revised plan.
    “The main emphasis is on the community plans and to make sure the comp plan reflects them,” Stillings said.
    Since 2011, the economy and real estate market have picked up, he said. The city also has completed the Federal Highway improvements and is assessing the Congress Avenue corridor.
    The state requires nine elements in comp plans: future land use, transportation, housing, public facilities, coastal management, conservation, open space and recreation, intergovernmental coordination, and capital improvement.
    Delray Beach wants to add five others: economic development, historic preservation, healthy communities, sustainability and public education.
    The city planning staff has identified other influencing factors that also will be addressed, including sea level rise and climate change, beach protection and access, workforce housing, rehab and sober homes, parking management, and service levels.
    Early this year, Stillings  expects to hire a consultant to help his staff work on the plan.
    “The goal is to have a community-generated plan that looks out 10-plus years,” he told commissioners. The plan would be integrated with the city’s operating and capital improvement budgets and the redevelopment plans that Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council staffers are updating for the city.
    Mayor Cary Glickstein said he’d prefer to see the plan finished in 18 months. “Two years represents 20 percent of the plan’s life — theoretically,” he noted.

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