The primary responsibility of the Growth Management Section is to create and implement Palm Beach County's Traffic Performance Standards (TPS), enacted by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) in 1990 on all roads that are not the responsibility of a municipality. These Standards are stated in Article 12 of the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) of the Palm Beach County. The TPS are enforced for all projects in Palm Beach County, including municipal projects. This Section ensures that all development proposals in Palm Beach County adhere to these Standards in the initial planning phase of the projects.
The Growth Management Section also reviews site plans of development proposals, as related to access on County roads, to ensure safe and efficient flow of traffic.
There are also various other supporting functions that are carried out by this Section, for example, assisting other County Departments with data analysis for the annual County Roadway Improvement Program, collection of annual traffic data on roadways and intersections, etc. This section also helps consultants, citizens, and policy makers by creating and maintaining a graphical database of all the approved projects in the County. The additional information of the major TPS related reviews handled by the Growth Management section:
Concurrency: BCC has adopted Level of Service Standards (LOS) for roadways and intersections in the County. A developer must obtain traffic concurrency as part of the development approval process through the Zoning Division. Growth Management Section reviews the traffic impact studies submitted as part of overall development application submittal. In general, a traffic impact study estimates trips generated from the proposed project, distributes those trips on the surrounding roadway network, adds background growth in traffic from already approved projects in the area or using a historical growth rate, and compares the total traffic volume with the BCC adopted LOS standards for roadways and intersections to verify whether the project meets those standards. If the roadways/intersections do not meet the standards, the developer is given conditions of approval to ensure standards are met, following State's Growth Management Statutes. The studies generally evaluate future roadway conditions during the buildout year and five years into the future.
Future Land Use Amendment: A developer seeking to amend the Future Land Use of a parcel has to prepare a traffic study demonstrating the proposed change will meet the Palm Beach County Comprehensive Plan Land Use Element Policy 3.5-d. This policy is comprised of two tests; a) A Long Range Test (using PBC Transportation Planning Agencies' Long Range Travel Demand Model horizon year growth projections), and b) Test 2 of the Concurrency analysis. This is purely a pass or fail test and there is no opportunity for making any roadway improvements to meet the policy.
Site Plan Review: The Growth Management Section also reviews the site plan submitted as part of development application to the Zoning Division. Site plans are reviewed in two phases – at the initial phase when a project is heard at the BCC for public hearings and if approved by the BCC, at a later stage when a final site plan submittal is made. Issues, such as site access, turning radius, driveway aisle width, safe sight distance at driveways, traffic circulation within the site, throat distance, guardhouse locations for residential projects, etc. are thoroughly reviewed and ensured that they meet various Engineering standards for health and safety of public. Please note that site plan reviews by the County are only done for unincorporated area projects.
Annual 5-Year Roadway Program Assistance: The Growth Management section also assists the County's Roadway Production Division in its effort to update the Annual County Roadway Improvement Program. Analysis of the roadways and intersections are done to identify deficiencies in the network, propose, and test the needed improvements. The analysis uses extensive data collected annually by the Traffic Division on roadways and intersections. Growth Management Section is also responsible for scheduling the locations of those counts every year.