The Development Services department offers pre-application meetings to assist with information prior to formal application submittal, such as on the feasibility of a project and required steps to approval. A pre-application meeting may be scheduled with Planning staff only, or with the entire Development Review Committee (DRC). The Development Review Committee includes City staff (building, fire, water, wastewater, planning, engineering), Lake County Public Works if on a county road; Florida Department of Transportation if on a state road; SJRWD, DEP for water/sewer; Teco, Century Link, Duke Energy, Sumter Electric Co, Waste Management. Staff reviews the submittal to ensure compliance with local and state codes.
The DRC generally meets on Tuesday mornings at 9 am in City Hall, so pre-application meetings with the DRC are typically scheduled for this time when the DRC is already meeting and has the time blocked off on their calendars to discuss projects.
There is no fee for a pre-application meeting. Once a meeting is requested, staff will respond back regarding when the meeting can be scheduled, provide the information to the DRC if you wish to meet with all DRC review staff, and provide any preliminary comments that are received to the applicant/project team. Planning staff will often include general property and approval process information in their response email as well. Formal, written comments are not provided with pre-application meetings except for emails between staff and the applicant/project team.
If you wish to get concept plan approval from staff and or the City Commission before proceeding forward with a formal, full submittal, that can be requested with a Development Application (link to Development Applications info page on website) submittal and selecting “Concept Plan”. With this, a formal comment letter is provided to the applicant and the DRC will give a formal approval letter once they are satisfied. City Commission approval may also be requested for a Concept Plan. Please be advised, though, that concept plan approval does not grant any entitlements, but rather assists the applicant in knowing that the project is feasible and any comments that may be useful in moving forward with their submittals towards approval.