16 Comprehensive Plan Elements

The Alachua County Comprehensive Plan includes 16 elements as outlined below:

Where will we live, work, shop, go to school and meet other needs?

Future Land Use Element

A major focus of the Comprehensive Plan is on providing for the orderly and efficient use of land for the things we need such as housing, civic, institutional, and commercial uses. This Element contains a Future Land Use Map for the unincorporated part of the County that directs most new development to occur in the Urban Cluster surrounding the City of Gainesville. Subdivision

This is the area where key facilities to serve urban development can best be provided, either by private development or through the County’s Capital Improvements Program.

The Plan promotes new development or redevelopment that makes efficient use of land in the Urban Cluster to maximize use of the existing facilities, protect natural areas, and promote agriculture in rural lands.

Compact, higher density development (more residential units per acre) with a mix of residential and nonresidential uses provide many quality of life benefits:

Within the Urban Cluster, areas designated as Activity Centers (eg. Jonesville, Eastside) provide for major commercial, office and other uses within a mixed use, pedestrian friendly setting. The plan promotes compact well designed residential and nonresidential uses within ‘Transit-Oriented’ or ‘Traditional Neighborhood’ Developments within the Urban Cluster for convenient access from home to work, shopping, and recreation, often without an automobile. Plan policies also provide for the location of various Industrial uses.

The Rural/Agriculture area outside the Urban Cluster promotes agricultural activities & provides for lower density residential areas; a combination of requirements & incentives encourage Clustered developments for new subdivisions.

There are also Rural Clusters (eg. Windsor, Melrose) that are historical settlement areas. Infill of these areas with residential development & limited commercial uses is encouraged.

Clustered Development


Clustered subdivisions provide more open space for conservation, recreation, or agricultural uses, while reducing development costs.

How will we travel to and from places where we live, work or meet other needs?

The Plan provides for a safe, convenient, and efficient multi-modal transportation system for all users, including automobile, transit, bicycle and pedestrian mobility. It seeks to reduce vehicle miles of travel and per capita greenhouse gas emissions, and discourage sprawl, through the provision of mobility within compact, mixed-use, interconnected developments that promote walking, bicycling, and densities and intensities needed to support transit.

How do we protect our natural & cultural resources & provide recreational facilities for future generations?

Conservation and Open Space Element

This Element helps to maintain the County’s ecological health and diversity by protecting wetlands, listed species habitats, and strategic ecosystems that serve important ecological functions; conserving energy; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and helping to maintain a clean water supply for County residents. There are also policies for well-field protection and aquifer recharge areas to protect water quality and quantity for the future.

Historic Element

This Element includes policies to protect Alachua County’s historical assets and calls for development of a Historic Preservation Master Plan to protect historic resources

Recreation Element

This Element provides for Activity-based facilities, which include ball fields, playgrounds, public pools; and Resource-based facilities, which include natural resource areas, such as hiking and horse trails and boat ramps. The County partners with municipalities to provide activity-based recreation programs. Resource-based facilities are provided by Alachua County Forever lands and the County owned Poe Springs park

How do we provide for the public facilities needed to support our everyday lives?

Capital Improvements Element

This Element sets a policy framework for meeting the public facility needs of the community. This includes priorities for funding investments in physical assets, such as transportation facilities, parks and solid waste disposal facilities. The element sets “level of service” standards for such facilities to be maintained through projects included in the Capital Improvements Program, which is updated annually.

Stormwater Element

This Element sets standards for stormwater management systems in order to prevent flooding and treat runoff from development by filtering the pollutants to protect surface waters and groundwater.

Potable Water & Sanitary Sewer Element

This Element ensures a safe, clean supply of drinking water and the sanitary disposal of wastewater by setting standards for facilities providing these services. In order to make efficient use of centralized municipal water and sewer facilities line and plant capacity and to protect groundwater, policies require that new development in the urban cluster connect to those facilities, and to control sprawl, policies limit extensions of water and sewer lines beyond the Urban Cluster.

Solid Waste Element

This Element addresses how household garbage, hazardous waste, and recyclable items are disposed of, and promotes the recycling of solid waste and the overall reduction of the solid waste stream.

How will we meet our housing and economic needs?

Housing Element

This Element addresses the needs of all residents, including those at or near the poverty level and those with special needs. It also addresses financial strategies and other incentives to provide safe, affordable, quality homes for County residents

Economic Element

This Element addresses workforce training opportunities, retention of local talent and expertise, promotion of local businesses, tourism and other strategies and incentives to diversify the local economy and provide a range of employment opportunities, including the emerging ‘green jobs’ sector. The policies include strategies to achieve the elimination of racial and economic disparities identified in the 2018 report “Understanding Racial Inequity in Alachua County” by the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Policies supporting a robust local food system are also included.

How do we coordinate with other government agencies?

Intergovernmental Coordination Element

This Element focuses on relationships between Alachua County, the State, the water management districts, the nine municipalities, and other agencies within the County and in the surrounding region.

Public School Facilities Element

This Element provides for coordination of land use and development with the capital planning activities of the School Board of Alachua County.

How will we promote healthy living and encourage energy conservation?

Energy Element

This Element sets a long term goal for reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions, through strategies related to conservation, improved efficiency, and promotion of alternative and renewable energy. Objectives and policies in eight areas include: reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions; the built environment; energy efficient land use; energy efficient transportation systems; initiatives by and within County Government; renewable energy; solid waste strategies both to reduce solid waste disposal and to promote products made from recycled materials; and public outreach and education.

Community Health Element

This Element includes policies linked with other elements of the plan to facilitate health care delivery, promote health, prevent chronic illness, improve the equity and livability of the community and provide residents opportunity for active living. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier, and requires removing obstacles such and poverty discrimination and their consequences. Policies include improving food access including at healthy corner stores, increasing access to affordable mental and dental health services, and promoting maternal and children's health.

How will we protect private property rights?

Property Rights

The Property Rights Element provides that Alachua County will consider Constitutionally-protected and Judicially-acknowledged private property rights as part of the local decision-making process. The Property Rights Element was adopted into the Comprehensive Plan in 2022 in accordance with Florida House Bill 59, which became law on June 29, 2021.

  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Ben Chumley , Principal Planner
  • County Annex Building, 3rd Floor
  • 10 SW 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, Fl 32601
  • Phone: 352-374-5249
  • Fax: 352-338-3224
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs: 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Friday 8:30 am-2:00 pm