You can expect to see one question on the end-of-course exam and one question on the state exam from this unit.

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this unit, you will be able to
• describe the composition and authority of the local planning agency,
• explain the purpose of land-use controls and the role of zoning ordinances,
• identify the provisions of Florida’s comprehensive plan and the Growth Management Act,
• distinguish among the five general zoning classifications,
• distinguish among zoning ordinances, building codes and health ordinances,
• explain the purpose of a variance, special exception and a nonconforming use,
• calculate the number of lots available for development, given the total number of acres contained in a parcel, the percentage of land reserved for streets and other facilities and the minimum number of square feet per lot,
• describe the characteristics of a planned unit development,
• understand the basic provisions of the national flood insurance program,
• describe the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and
• explain the various environmental hazards associated with real estate.

Key Terms

asbestoshealth ordinance
buffer zonenonconforming use
building codeplanned unit development
building inspectionspecial exception
building permitspecial flood hazard area
certificate of occupancyvariance
concurrencyzoning ordinance
environmental impact statement


The beauty and harmony of our surroundings are important to our enjoyment. We have all been in a town with such great qualities that made us want to live there. Those towns were likely well-planned and maintained. This unit will explain the importance of planning and zoning to our enjoyment of an area. We’ll learn about zoning ordinances, building codes, variances from zoning laws, and nonconforming uses.

In Florida, chronic flooding in many areas has made the need for the national flood insurance program obvious. We’ll learn about other laws that protect our environment, including CERCLA, radon, lead paint, and mold.