As a result of City Commission direction, and changes implemented by the City Manager and Planning & Development Department, Dunedin is now one of the most user-friendly places to do business. The prior development process in Dunedin was viewed as onerous and difficult. A new path was needed, and to do this, a “Customer Service Task Force” was created. The group made the following suggestions and all are in place today:
• Form a Development Review Committee (DRC)
• Create a Project Coordinator position
• Review and revise the land development regulations
• Streamline the review process
Along with the overall development process being improved, the City adopted a new Land Development Code (LDC) on December 16, 2010. The positive economic development impact of the LDC cannot be overstated as it enables developers of proposed projects to minimize soft costs before seeking final City Commission approval. In the past, full site engineering was required, and a developer often took risks in the tens of thousands of dollars before receiving approval.
The process in place is simple and inexpensive. Utilizing 11” x 17” paper, the developer’s representative submits a preliminary site plan, architectural renderings and a preliminary landscape plan.
With these tools in place, the project receives staff input and is scheduled to go before the Development Review Committee for comments, the Local Planning Agency for recommendation and then to the City Commission for final approval. With a strong first submittal, the process can be completed in 90 days. The new process is cutting edge, saves time and money, and provides a positive experience for everyone involved.
*The Design Review Process is required when a development project meets any one of the following criteria:
•Any commercial or institutional project greater than or equal to six thousand (6,000) square feet located in the following zoning districts:
1. Tourist Facility “TF”
2. Downtown Core “DC”
3. Form-based Medium “FX-M”
4. Form-based High “FX-H”
•Any residential construction project consisting of five (5) or more units.