The Rural Tier generally lies in the central and northern part of the County. This Tier includes large tracts supporting citrus groves, sod farms, and nurseries. It also supports 5 -10 acre homesteads, smaller agricultural operations and equestrian uses. The countryside is characterized by mature tree canopies, abundant open space, and unpaved roads. This Tier's primary objective is to protect and maintain this rural way of life.
To accomplish this, the Tier System calls for continuing agricultural and equestrian uses and improving the rural zoning and development regulations. To protect natural resources and open space, the density may be transferred off environmentally sensitive lands. Depending upon the area, new lots must contain a minimum of 5, 10, or 20 acres. To discourage suburban sprawl and related major capital investments, this Tier restricts the intensity of non-residential uses to serve the local neighborhoods and limits the type and amount of public services.
To enhance the rural lifestyle, future development must protect water and ecological resources, and link communities with riding trails and greenways. To create community centers, this Tier promotes the co-location of commercial and civic uses, and encourages traditional marketplaces on public squares. Additionally, the Tier System requires neighborhood plan recommendations to be considered when making land use decisions.
Objectives and Policies
These links connect to the primary policies for the tier, related policies are found throughout the Comprehensive Plan.