Concurrency FAQ

What Is Concurrency?

"Concurrency" is a shorthand expression for a set of land use regulations that local governments are required (by the Florida Legislature) to adopt to ensure that new development does not outstrip local government's ability to handle it. For a development to "be concurrent" or "meet concurrency" the local government must have enough infrastructure capacity to serve each proposed development. Specifically, concurrency regulations require that local government has the capacity in stormwater, parks, solid waste, water, sewer and mass transit facilities to serve each proposed development. Together, these seven public services are known as "concurrency facilities".

Local governments are required to maintain a "concurrency management system" to keep track of the impacts of new development on concurrency facilities. A major component of the concurrency management system is a database that allows the City to reserve available capacity in concurrency facilities for specific development projects. This assignment of capacity is called "capacity reservation". The process through which a person goes to determine if a development is concurrent and to reserve capacity in public services is called a "concurrency review".

How Are Concurrency Determination Reviews Conducted In The City Of Tallahassee?

The City of Tallahassee has written a Concurrency Management System Policy and Procedures Manual (CMSPPM) that spells out in detail the procedures that will be used by the City to review projects for concurrency, and reserve capacity in concurrency facilities. The latest version of the CMSPPM is available here (PDF).

Who Performs The Concurrency Reviews?

The Concurrency Management Section performs the City's concurrency reviews with assistance from various City and County Departments. All concurrency reviews are supervised by the City's Land Use and Environmental Services Administrator. The Concurrency Management Section also employs a staff assistant and two transportation specialists. The specialists can provide assistance with most routine questions about concurrency.

What Is Defined As "Development" that Must Have A Concurrency Determination Review?

"Development" is defined by state law to include: 1) any building activity; 2) the change in the use or appearance of a site; or 3) the subdivision of land. Except for the exclusions listed below, all new development, additional development on an existing project site or building use changes (i.e. changing to a more intensive land use) are required to undergo a concurrency determination review.

What Is The Relationship Between "Consistency", "Concurrency", "Land Use Regulations" (Such As Site Plan and Plat Approval) and "Environmental and Permitting Regulations"?

A proposed development in the City of Tallahassee is required to go through four (4) levels of development approval before construction can begin. These levels are (1) Consistency; (2) Concurrency; (3) Land Use Approval; and (4) Permitting.

To determine if the proposed development is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, all proposed development activity except for the construction of a single family home, is required to obtain a "Certificate of Land Use Compliance" from the Land Use and Environmental Services Division of the Growth Management Department, phone 850-891-7100. The construction of a single family home is allowable on any legal lot in the city. Therefore, a consistency determination is not required for this type of development.

For most developments, a concurrency determination review is required after a Certificate of Land Use Compliance has been obtained for the proposed project. This review determines if there is adequate concurrency capacity to serve the proposed project. The information on the type of development shall be the same in the concurrency application and the Certificate of Land Use Compliance. The size of the proposed development in the concurrency application may be equal to or less than that specified in the Certificate of Land Use Compliance.

Land Use Approvals
The Certificate of Land Use Compliance will indicate which land use approval(s) must be obtained for a project. These land use approvals may include an approval of a site plan, a plat and/or subdivision approval. For all type reviews (site plan and plats) a "Preliminary" Certificate of Concurrency is issued to allow the applicant to enter the land use approval process. Upon receiving a land use approval a "Final" Certificate of Concurrency is issued.

After a development has been determined to be consistent and concurrent and has received land use approval, it can then be "permitted". A permit is the document that allows actual site disturbance and construction. Both the Land Use and Environmental Services Division and Building Inspection Division issue permits for specific types of development and construction activities. Other city departments and state agencies also issue authorization and permits for specific activities (driveway cuts, dredge and fill, etc.). After all necessary permits have been obtained and the construction of a structure is complete, a "Certificate of Occupancy" is issued which allows the building to be occupied.

Is There A Cost For A Concurrency Review?

There is an application fee for a concurrency review. The application fee is based on several factors, including the size of the project and whether an off-site stormwater review is required. The latest version of the fee schedule is available online. In addition, staff in the concurrency division will be glad to assist you in calculating the appropriate concurrency fee for a project.

What Other Costs Are Associated With A Concurrency Review?

Other cost items associated with a concurrency review may include costs associated with obtaining an off-site stormwater analysis and/or a "large project" traffic analysis. An off-site stormwater study, if required, must be completed by a professional engineer. A "large project" traffic analysis, if required, must be completed by a qualified professional. The cost of these studies can vary widely depending on the type and size of the proposed development. Note that City personnel cannot recommend any private consultants. There are several local firms that are familiar with the City of Tallahassee's Concurrency Requirements.

What Information Is Required In the Concurrency Review Application?

A concurrency application includes general information about a development and specific information needed to assess the impacts of a project on concurrency facilities. For most projects an application can be completed with the help of a concurrency analyst in less than fifteen minutes. However, the applicant will have to get an ownership affidavit signed and notarized, and, if required, obtain a Certificate of Land Use Compliance before the application can be submitted. Note that larger size projects may require traffic or stormwater studies that may take a considerable amount of time to complete and review.

What Happens If Something Is Left Out Of The Application?

When an applicant turns in an application for concurrency it will be checked in to ensure that everything is included that is needed to begin the review process.

If a concurrency application is not complete it will be returned to the applicant and no concurrency review will be conducted until a complete application is provided. Once an application is accepted as complete, concurrency staff will begin the concurrency review. During the course of a concurrency review the applicant may also be asked to provide additional "sufficiency" information regarding the proposed project, the traffic analysis or the stormwater analysis. Under these circumstances, concurrency management staff will contact the applicant and specify what information is needed for a sufficient application.

How Long Does It Take To Get An Answer On A Concurrency Determination Review Application?

A preliminary assessment based on the submitted application will be made on concurrency within eight (8) calendar days from the submission date of a complete and sufficient application. If the preliminary review indicates that the project meets the concurrency requirements a "Preliminary" Certificate of Concurrency will be issued on the project. This "Preliminary" Certificate of Concurrency is good for twenty-eight (28) calendar days and will enable the applicant to proceed with making application for land use approval. A final concurrency review will be conducted after final land use approval is received. If a project has been determined to meet the concurrency requirements, a "Final" Certificate of Concurrency will be issued to the applicant and capacity will be reserved for the project. The "Final" Certificate of Concurrency allows an environmental permit application to be accepted and a building permit application to be accepted.

What Happens If A Project Is Not Concurrent?

If the initial review indicates that a project is not concurrent, the applicant has the option to either withdraw the project, scale back the project or agree to implement conditions or mitigation options that will make the project concurrent. Under certain circumstances it will be necessary for the applicant and the city will enter into a Development Agreement (requiring City Commission approval) in order to ensure that mitigation requirements are met.

Is There An Appeals Procedure For Denials Of Certificates of Concurrency?

An appeal can be filed with the Director of the Growth Management Department within fifteen (15) calendar days after denial of a Certificate of Concurrency.

How Long Is A "Final" Certificate Of Concurrency Valid?

A "Final" Certificate of Concurrency is valid for the term of the Development Order (site plan, plat or permit) associated with the Certificate, or two (2) years from date of issuance if no term is specified.

Do Developments In The County Go Through The Same Concurrency Determination Review Procedure As Developments In The City?

Leon County has a similar concurrency determination review process in many ways, but there are some differences. Projects located outside of the city limits should contact the Leon County Growth Management Department at 488-9300 for information on the county's concurrency requirements.

When and to Whom Should a Concurrency Application be Submitted?

It depends on the type of site plan or subdivision process, if any, to which the project will be subjected. (The LUCC will indicate which process is required.) The following chart describes the various submittal processes.


No Site Plan Review and No Subdivision Review

Growth Management Applicant Services

Before applying for permits

Type "A" Site Plan or Limited Partition

Growth Management Applicant Services

At the same time as the submittal of the site plan application or limited partition

Type "B", or "D" Site Plan or Minor Subdivision or Preliminary Plat

Growth Management Applicant Services

After the Pre-application conference, and no later than the submittal of the site plan or subdivision application .

When a concurrency application is submitted, a staff member will use a checklist to determine if an application is complete. If the application is complete, the review process will commence. If the application is not complete, it will be returned to the applicant for completion.

How long does Concurrency Review Take?

A concurrency review takes a maximum of 14 calendar days when there is no site plan approval or subdivision approval required. For all other projects, a preliminary concurrency review that allows a project to enter the site plan or subdivision review process takes no more than 12 calendar days. Please note that the "clock stops" for the review while the Concurrency Management Unit is waiting for a response to any questions about the application.

How Long is a Certificate of Concurrency Valid?

After a certificate of concurrency has been issued, the applicant has three years to receive a permit for the construction of the project.