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:
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.
- 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
PO Box 1389
Vero Beach, FL 32961
Proposed Revisions to Commercial Zoning Districts
Since the beginning of 2023, City Planning has worked with the Planning and Zoning Board through several workshops to improve the compatibility of commercial uses within the commercial zoning districts and to surrounding areas The revisions focus on the following objectives:
- Revise the permitted use definitions for consistency across the zoning districts and update the land use terminology.
- Add new special purpose districts for commercial districts with specific objectives and policies in the City's Comprehensive Plan.
- Revise the permitted uses in the existing commercial districts.
The purpose of the proposed ordinances is to improve and clarify the development standards for allowed uses in the park, conservation, office, institutional, and commercial zoning districts of the City. The ordinances also consolidate the principal, accessory, and temporary use specific standards into one chapter for clarity and ease of administration of the LDR. The following is a description of each ordinance:
- : Revises Chapter 62, Article I, Park Districts, Article II, Office and Institutional Districts, Article III, Commercial Districts, to amend the permitted principal, accessory, and temporary uses and development standards for the park, conservation, office, institutional, and commercial zoning districts in these articles; to create a new Chapter 60, Article IV, Definitions to add or amend use definitions.
- Amends Chapter 67 to create a new chapter with consolidate use specific standards into one chapter. 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.
- : Amends Chapter 60, Article I, General provisions, to clarify the general provisions, such as code purpose, authority, and intent of the Land Development Regulations (LDR) and create a new Article III, Interpretation, to add rules for interpreting the LDR.
- Amends Section 63.04, Parking ratios, to revise the parking ratios for allowed uses in the City.
- Creates a new 64.13, Conditional use review, to consolidate review procedures for conditional uses in the City.
City Council will conduct public hearings on the draft ordinances on September 12, 2023 and September 26, 2023 council agendas, both to be held after 5PM.
LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATION UPDATES
New Tree and Palm Protection Ordinance:
On April 18, 2023, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted a revised Tree and Palm Protection Ordinance to the City’s Land Development Regulations. The following are links to the adopted Code and Ordinance 2023-06. The ordinance was effective upon adoption by City Council and 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:
On April 18, 2023, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted a revised Landscaping Ordinance to the City’s Land Development Regulations. The following are links to the adopted Code and Ordinance 2023-07. The ordinance was effective upon adoption by City Council and any site plan submitted after April 18, 2023 shall comply with the new Landscaping Code.
New Lagoon and Beach Protection Ordinance:
On April 18, 2023, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted a new Lagoon and Beach Protection Ordinance to the City’s Land Development Regulations. The following is a link to Ordinance 2023-08. The ordinance was effective upon adoption by City Council and any site plan submitted after April 18, 2023 shall comply with the new Lagoon and Beach Protection Ordinance.
New Mobility and Access Code:
On April 5, 2022, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted new mobility and access regulations to the City’s Land Development Regulations. Ordinance 2022-09 with the new code is attached.
Revised City Sign Code:
On June 23, 2020, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted revisions to the City’s Sign Code. The new sign code is attached.
Revised Motor Vehicle Use Definitions:
On May 5, 2022, the City of Vero Beach City Council adopted revised motor vehicle use definitions and revised motor vehicle uses in the Commercial, Industrial, and Airport Light Industrial zoning districts. Ordinance 2022-13 with the new code is attached.
Three 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: The City is currently working on updates to the master plan and Comprehensive Plan policies for the urban core of Vero Beach. More information is on the Downtown page.
- Urban retail market study. Gibbs Planning Group, an expert retail economist, conducted an urban retail market study for Downtown. The report was presented September 2023.
- Review previous Downtown plans. With primary focus on the 1992 Downtown Redevelopment Plan and 2008 Downtown Action Plan, a planning consultant is currently reviewing each plans goals and objectives and report on the implementation of these goals. The report will be presented in October 2023.
- Downtown Master Plan. The City plans to engage a planning or redevelopment consulting firm to prepare a master plan for the urban core of Vero Beach. The planning process would involve an intensive community engagement, design charrette, and implementation strategies. The plan would analyze design options and recommend possible changes to the density and intensity criteria for infill development or redevelopment. FY 2024
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. Neighborhood meetings will be held in Fall 2023.
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.
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
- Implement policies and directives of the Comprehensive Plan including amendments to the Future Land Use Map, Official Zoning Map, and Land Development Regulations.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare appropriate policy amendments to the City's Comprehensive Plan for enhanced neighborhood protection.
- Facilitate community engagement through a planning process to prepare master plan for Downtown Vero Beach.
- Review affordable housing recommendations to update the CIty's Land Development Regulations to incentivize workforce or attainable housing in the City of Vero Beach.