Land Development Process
To develop property within the City of Tallahassee, you must determine that your project complies with all applicable development codes. The following page gives a brief description of the various steps in the review process. Review the Team Area Map to determine the Growth Management members with whom to work.
Land Use Compliance
The first step in the process is to determine if your project, at the location proposed, is an allowable use under the terms of the Zoning Code. To do this, you must apply for a Land Use Compliance Certificate. Your application must show where, what and how much you intend to build and what you intend to do with the finished project. The Growth Management Department will compare your proposed project with the land development standards for the property in question and determine if your project is allowable. The Land Use Compliance Certificate will specify what subsequent approvals your project must obtain.
There must be capacity in the public utilities and facilities to serve your project. Consequently, you must submit an application for a concurrency determination to the Growth Management Department. The application must show the impact your project will have on public facilities, such as streets, water, sewer, solid waste, transit, stormwater and parks. Your project's impact will be compared with the available capacity of these facilities. If there is adequate capacity, you will receive a "Concurrency Certificate," which is required prior to any subsequent approvals. For further details, please contact the Concurrency Management Division of the Growth Management Department at 891-7100.
Natural Features Inventory
In order to preserve our natural environment, the Comprehensive Plan mandates that significant environmental features be identified and preserved prior to land development. For all sites that contain regulated environmental features, an Natural Features Inventory (PDF) is required. This inventory, prepared by you and confirmed by the Growth Management Department, will identify and delineate all of the significant existing environmental features, such as wetlands, water courses, significant forests, endangered species, and sink holes. If your site does not contain environmental features, you may request an inspection and waiver (PDF).
If a project consists of the subdivision of property so that individual lots can be sold, then subdivision approval is required. The approval process, and time required, will vary based on the size of the subdivision and other factors.
The City's land development codes provide special incentives for redevelopment projects, in the form of exemptions from some concurrency, stormwater, landscape, parking and buffer requirements.
The City's land development codes also provide special incentives for redevelopment projects that are planned and built to be affordable for families and individuals with incomes below the median income for Leon County. For more information on these incentives, please contact the Housing Assistance Division in the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services at 891-6500.
Site Plan Approval
Site plan approval is required for all projects except single family houses, duplexes, triplexes, quadraplexes and commercial projects of less than 1,000 square feet. Depending on the size of your project, its proposed use, its location and other factors, the approving authority and process will vary. The site plan process for your project will be specified on your Land Use Compliance Certificate.
Environmental Management Permits
After receiving your land use approval, in the form of a subdivision or site plan, you are ready to secure approval of your final construction plans, in the form of Environmental Management and Building permits. To apply for an Environmental Management permit (PDF), which will allow you to begin site work, you must show details of your stormwater systems and landscape plans. Further, you must show how you plan to protect the trees on your site and prevent erosion during construction. For more details, please contact the Environmental Services Division of the Growth Management Department at 891-7100.
Final Plat Recording
If your project involves the subdivision of property, it will be necessary for you to complete all public facilities and to submit a final plat of the subdivision prior to applying for any building permits. The public facilities will include the streets, stormwater ponds, water and sanitary sewer mains. The final plat must be approved by the Growth Management Department, the City Engineer, City Water Utilities and the City Commission and be recorded in the public records of Leon County. For more information, please contact the Land Use and Environmental Services Division of the Growth Management Department at 891-7001 or the City Engineer at 891-8234.
To apply for your Building permit, you must submit detailed plans for the building, including plans for the structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems. Separate permits will be required for each system.
Save yourself a trip to the courthouse and e-record directly from the City Growth Management's Records Management section! For your convenience, optional e-recording services are available for only $7.50 (plus the regular County fees associated with recording services). This service includes e-recording of Notices of Commencement, Limited Partition Affidavits, Previously Established Land Use Conformities, Technical Amendments, easements, and other agreements. Notarized Affidavits of Originality can also be obtained for a fee of $2.00. For more details, please contact the Applicant Services Unit of the Growth Management Department at 891-7125.
Certificate of Occupancy
A "Certificate of Occupancy," which will allow you to occupy your building, will be issued after you have completed all construction required by your permits and have paid all applicable permit and impact fees.
How Much Does It Cost?
The fees for each of the various land development processes will vary, depending on the size and whether it is a residential or commercial project. You may download a copy of the fee schedule (PDF). For an estimate of the fees for your project, please contact a Development Coordinator in the Growth Management Department, at 891-7001.