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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Below you shall find answers to questions the Urban Design and Planning Division frequently receives.

I want to find out information about a zoning district or code section.  

You may access the City's Municipal Code webpage to view the City’s Code of Ordinances and the Unified Land Development Regulations.

How do I find out what my property is zoned?

The City’s Zoning GIS application provides users with zoning information for properties located within the City of Fort Lauderdale. Simply access the Zoning GIS webpage and type your property address in the search bar.  

I have a question regarding the permitted uses and required setbacks for my property.  

You may view the list of permitted uses and table of dimensional requirements for any zoning district by visiting the City’s Unified Land Development Regulations webpage.  Type in the zoning district in the search field.  For general zoning information, you can also call the Urban Design and Planning Counter at 954-828-6163.

I need an application for the Development Review Committee (DRC), Planning & Zoning Board (PZB), Historic Preservation Board (HPB) or Board of Adjustment (BOA).

All development applications are available online as fillable Portable Document Files (PDF) on the Applications and Fee Schedule webpage. 

I want to meet with a City Planner to discuss my upcoming proposal.  How do I schedule an appointment?

Preliminary development appointments provide applicants with the opportunity to meet with staff face-to-face in order to discuss concept plans and address procedural questions and code criteria prior to formal project submission.  

To schedule a preliminary development meeting with Urban Design and Planning staff, please complete the “Preliminary Development Meeting Request Form” and, email Nadia Martin at NMartin@fortlauderdale.gov or call 954-828-6136 to set up this meeting.

Can I obtain Development Review Committee comments before the DRC meeting?

Comments are typically made available on the Friday before your scheduled Development Review Committee meeting. Staff will send the applicant a copy of the “Case Comment Report” via email. The comments are also available online once posted to the Development Review Committee webpage. 

It is strongly recommended that you review the comments before the DRC meeting. If for any reason you do not receive your comments please call the Urban Design and Planning Division at 954-828-6520, ext. 3 to verify the Case Comment Report is ready.  

How do I get Final-Development Review Committee (Final-DRC) sign-off?

Prior to applying for a building permit, follow applicable steps below (A or B) in order to receive final DRC sign-off:

A. For projects which DO NOT require either Planning and Zoning Board or City Commission review and approval (i.e. DRC level II only):

  1. Schedule an appointment with the Project Planner to go over DRC comments.  Provide responses to original DRC comments in electronic format. Responses should address the intent of each comment, for example:
    “Provide, in tabular format, all required versus provided landscape calculations.”
    RESPONSE: “Landscape calculations have been updated and can be found on Sheet X”


    If a comment cannot be addressed please provide reasoning.
    For example:
    “Consider consolidating the ingress/egress drives to reduce pedestrian/vehicular conflicts”
    RESPONSE: “Our analysis has shown that consolidating the drives increases vehicular stacking on the street and will have a negative impact on…”


    For standard comments an acknowledgment is sufficient.
    For example:
    “All projects must consider safeguards during the construction process. Florida Building Code Chapter 33 delineates various safeguards that may apply during the construction phase. A licensed professional must sign and seal the plans and specifications.”
    RESPONSE: “Understood”


    It is recommended that when addressing DRC member comments, you confirm changes via e-mail communications or schedule individual DRC member follow-up meetings as necessary to ensure all required changes have been met. DRC Member contact information can be found in the DRC Report.

  2. Once deemed complete, applicant will submit six (6) complete sets of revised signed and sealed site plan documents (including site plan, landscape plan, elevations, floor plan(s), and any other documents requested by the DRC) to the Urban Design and Planning counter. Include an electronic version of the plans with your documents. Planner will approve/assign the “DRC Sign-Off” stamp.

  3. It is the applicant’s responsibility to route the plans to the appropriate DRC members for review and sign-off (signatures are not required from those DRC members that do not provide comments).  The DRC members and their phone numbers are included in the DRC comments set.  If you must leave the plans with any DRC members, please leave a phone number where you can be reached when the review is completed.  

  4. The project planner (listed on the coversheet of the DRC comments set) is the last person to sign for final DRC approval. Once all appropriate sign-offs are received, one (1) set of plans shall be retained by the Urban Design and Planning Division, one (1) set shall be retained by Public Works Dept. (Engineering Permitting) and four (4) sets shall be used as part of the building permit submittal when application is made. If subsequent revisions are made to the plans, re-review by DRC members may be required.

  5. The Building Services Department will not accept building permit applications prior to final DRC sign-off.

B. For projects that DO require review and approval by the Planning and Zoning Board or City Commission:

  1. Follow Step A.1. above.

  2. Once deemed complete, applicant will submit one (1) set of revised signed and sealed site plan documents (including site plan, landscape plan, elevations, floor plan(s), and any other documents requested by the DRC) to the Urban Design and Planning counter to have the “Pre-PZ or Pre-CC Plan Approval Required” stamp affixed, as approved by the Project Planner.

  3. It is the APPLICANT'S RESPONSIBILITY to route the plans to those DRC members that had comments at the DRC meeting PRIOR to submittal of the application to the Planning and Zoning Board or being placed on a City Commission agenda. The DRC members and their phone numbers are included in the DRC comments set.  If you must leave the plans with any DRC members, please leave a phone number where you can be reached when the review is completed.  

  4. When all required sign-offs are received, applicant shall file an application to the Planning and Zoning Board including all required documentation.  For those projects requiring review and approval by both the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission, the case will proceed to the City Commission after the Planning and Zoning Board has acted upon it.  A separate application for the City Commission is not required, however, additional copies of reduced plans must be submitted.  Contact the DRC Project Planner for specific requirements. (Planning and Zoning Board requires 15 half-size copies of the site plan sets, City Commission requires 17 reduced copies the site plan sets)

  5. After the Planning and Zoning Board or City Commission (whichever has final review authority) has approved the plans, FINAL DRC approval is required.  In most cases where no significant changes have been made by either the Planning and Zoning Board or City Commission, an informal routing of six (6) sets of plans can be done, as per A, above.  In cases where significant modifications to the plans have been made, as determined by the DRC staff, a formal DRC submittal and review may be required.

How long will it take to complete the review and approval process?

Timeframes are based on a variety of factors and application types.  Please refer to the DRC process Flowchart Map. In most cases, the process commences with the technical review by the Development Review Committee.  After the Development Review Committee meeting, applicants will either continue to Final sign-off prior to submitting for Building Permit or depending on the application type they will continue to a review by the Planning & Zoning Board and or the City Commission.  The length of time to complete the process is determined by a number of factors including how quickly an applicant responds to DRC comments and agenda timeframes. For Development Review Committee, Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission submittal timeframes please refer to the applicable webpages.