Comprehensive Planning

Plan Inclusions - Maps, Text & Strategies

The Bay County Comprehensive Plan, updated in 2009, includes a Future Land Use Map that assigns land use designations (e.g., "Residential," "Commercial," etc.) to all parcels of land in unincorporated Bay County. A series of maps also identifies Service Areas, Special Treatment Zones, Military Influence Areas, and the West Bay Detailed Specific Area Plan. A complete list of maps is contained in the Plan. The text of the Plan contains the goals, objectives, and polices representing the adopted growth management strategies to guide future development in Bay County. The text also contains strategies to promote economic development, provide open space and recreational opportunities, conserve and protect environmental resources, and insure the adequate provision of utilities and infrastructure.

Land Development Regulations

The Land Development Regulations (LDRs), implement the Comprehensive Plan by the establishment of zoning categories consistent with Future Land Use Map (e.g., “R-1" Single Family residential, “C-1” Neighborhood Commercial, etc.).

Each zoning category in the LDRs is assigned the following:

  • A Density (Number of Dwelling Units Per Acre)
  • Intensity (Floor-Area and Impervious Surface Ratios)
  • Maximum Building Heights
  • Minimum Building Setbacks
  • Other Bulk Standards

Meeting with the Planning and Zoning Division staff prior to purchasing property or starting a plan of development is advised to ensure receiving accurate and complete land use and zoning information on property in unincorporated Bay County.

Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment & Other Steps

The Planning and Zoning Division accepts Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment applications in April and December of each year. These amendments consist of any Future Land Use Map change over 10 acres or any Plan text amendment. This process can take approximately three to five months. Small Scale Plan Amendments (land use changes of 10 acres or less) and zone change applications are processed concurrently on a year-round basis. Public hearings are scheduled before the Planning Commission acting as an advisory body to the Board of County Commissioners to consider these applications. The Bay County Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Regulations can be viewed online. Inquires may be directed to Planning and Zoning staff at 850-248-8250.