Key Principles and Benefits:

Housing, Transportation and Economic Opportunity

Transportation Mobility Element

The Plan promotes more mobility options and responds to changing demographics and emerging markets by linking long-range multimodal transportation plans with standards and incentives for higher density, mixed-use development along planned transit corridors within the existing urban area.


This approach provides for non-residential employment-based land uses proximate to residential areas, reduces trip lengths, and can also reduce the transportation component of housing costs. (See chart)


Economic Element


The Plan’s Economic Element addresses workforce training opportunities, promotion of local businesses and targeted industries, tourism and other strategies and incentives to diversify the local economy and provide a range of employment opportunities, including in the emerging ‘Green Jobs’ sector.

Housing Element

Home Office

The Plan promotes affordable housing throughout the County through flexible lot sizes, unit types and provision for accessory dwelling units. The Housing Element supports programs for homeownership and rehabilition of existing housing stock.

Compact Mixed Use Development

Future Land Use Element

Subdivision The Future Land Use Element focuses urban development within a defined urban growth boundary (Urban Cluster) to maximize efficient use of land, separate urban and rural areas, and protect agricultural areas and natural resources.

The Plan promotes the continued concentration of growth in the Urban Cluster by providing incentives for new development located within urban residential land use categories to be designed as Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) or Transit Oriented Development (TOD) with higher transit-supportive densities and mixed uses. Cottage Neighborhoods, groups of smaller homes built around a common green space, offer opportunities for creative, diverse and high quality infill development within the Urban Cluster, and more efficient use of land through density bonuses.

Subdivision About 90% of new residential development in unincorporated Alachua County has occurred within the Urban Cluster, which comprises only 8% of the unincorporated area, over the past 10 years. Agricultural activities are promoted in the rural area, and there are policies and incentives for clustered development in the rural area; larger new developments are required to cluster to protect open space for continued agricultural or conservation uses and provide for more efficient use of land.


Promote Local Agriculture and Resource Protection

Conservation and Open Space Element

Map of Strategic Ecosystems, one of six primary 
                     conservation resource areas protected by policies in the Conservation and Open Space Element of the Comprehensive Plan. The Plan promotes local food production and establishment of community infrastructure to support a local food system, such as processing facilities and local farmers markets.

Subdivision Policies promote urban agricultural uses such as residential chicken keeping, community gardens and edible landscapes, as part of the effort to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by shortening distances to bring food to local markets. The Plan protects the diverse range of natural resources and agricultural and silvicultural lands with policies promoting agritourism and ecotourism as well as policies promoting more sustainable practices including reduced use of synthetic fertilizers. Policies protect air and water quality, species diversity, and identify six primary conservation areas and methods for protection, including wetlands, surface waters, 100-year floodplains, listed species habitat, significant geologic features and strategic ecosystems.

The Plan promotes the use of Low Impact Design (LID) storm- water management techniques to protect water quality and for efficient stormwater management. The Plan identifies and prioritizes maintenance of ecologically functional linkages between ecological corridor core areas through various programs and activities.

Foster a Healthy Community

Community Health Element


Subdivision The Community Health Element focuses on public/private partnerships, including local government, Alachua County Health Department, higher education institutions, and the Alachua County School Board, to preserve the health of County residents by facilitating health care delivery, improved equity and livability of the community, and opportunities for active living.

Energy Conservation and Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Energy Element

Subdivision Subdivision

The Energy 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. The Alachua County Courthouse (right) was built to LEED Silver Certification standards.