Unified Land Development Code (​​ULDC)

 Historical Ordinances



Palm Beach County has adopted 7 Zoning Codes over the past 47 years: 

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county
Four of those were major code re-writes 1957, 1973, 1992, 2003, while three (1984-85, 1988 and 1990) were consolidation of ordinances.  The first Zoning Code was adopted in 1957, it was 16 years later the 1973 code was adopted.  In 1984, 1988 and 1990 there were three consolidate codes adopted.  It wasn't until 1992 another major code re-write occurred  which was 19 years from the 1973 Code.  And in 2003 the Board will adopted a new code that will address Managed Growth Tier System (MGTS). 

1957 to 1973 Amendment

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county

Summary of 1957 Code

  • Authority Board of County Commission to adopted first Zoning Regulations
  •  Staff prepared special studies of existing land and development patterns in order to prepared various regulations
  • Series of Public Hearing were held to allow property owners and public opportunity to comment

Regulations Adopted in 1957


  • Establish  9 Zoning Districts (A-1 to M-1 Agriculture to Industrial)
  • Restrictions upon Land, Buildings and Use (Use, height, lot coverage, open space, occupancy,)
  • Substandard Lots/Non-conforming Uses
  • Permitted and Conditional Uses
  • Standards of Operation of Property (Building height, area, setbacks, parking, loading,
  • Location of accessory buildings
  • Location of Signs

Large Scale Shopping Center Regulations

  • Industrial Parks
  • Trailers
  • Removal of sand, rock, etc.
  • Mobile Homes
  • Applications
  • Interpretation
  • Administration
  • Validity of approvals

1973 Amendment List

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county 

Summary of 1973 Code

From the adoption of the first Zoning Code in 1957 to 1973 there were approximately 80 Zoning amendments to the code. The amendments include changes to existing regulations and adoption of new regulations to respond to changing development trends in the county and address the Comp Plan changes.

In 1973, the Zoning Code provisions were greatly expanded and land was rezoned to ensure consistency with the Code. Section 125.01 Florida Statutes , as amended by Chapter 71-4, authorized the Board of County Commissioners of PBC to establish, coordinate and enforce zoning and such business regulations as are necessary for the protection of the public. Also, Chapter 163.160, Part II, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 70-863, Laws of Florida of 1971, authorized the BCC and empowered the BCC to control the development of the County through planning, zoning, subdivision regulations, the reservation of mapped streets locations for future public acquisition and the regulation of building on the land reserved for such mapped streets. Also, the adoption of enforcement regulations for levying of fines and penalties for violations of ordinances.

Regulations Adopted in 1973

  • Providing for Rules of Construction
  • Language and Definitions
  • Providing for the Establishment, Designation, Application of Zoning
  • District Including an Agriculture of Zoning Districts
  • Providing of Rules for Interpretation of Adoption, Amendment and Replacement
  • Providing for Department of Planning, Zoning and Building Administrative and Enforcement of Code Regulations
  • Provisions providing for violations and penalties and administrative and legal remedies
  • Providing for Application Procedure for all Petitions including District Boundary Changes (Rezoning) Special Exemptions, Zoning Regulation Changes (Ordinance Amendment), Modification of Commission Requirements, Special Permits and Variance Requests
  • Providing for a Planning Commission Terms of Office, Removal from office, Vacancies, Conflict of interest standards, Officers, Rules of Procedure, employees, salaries, appropriations, fees, authority and fines.

1984-1985 Consolidated Code

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county 

1984-1985 Consolidated Code

  • Adopted 85-15 – Amended 402.7 - Site Plan Review changes to Plans approved by the BCC
  • Adopted 85-24 – Amended Time Extension provisions to Board approved petitions


1988 Consolidated Code

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county 

1988 Consolidated Code

  • Adopted 500.35 - Landscape Code, Ordinance 86-10, adopted on 4-21-86
  • Adopted 500.36 - Vegetation Protection and Preservation Code, Ordinance 86-20, adopted on 7-8-86
  • Adopted 500.37 - Congregate Living Facility-Ordinance 97-36, adopted on 12-8-87
  • Adopted 500.38 - Self Service Storage Facility-Ordinance 87-36, adopted on 12-22-87
  • Adopted 500-39 - Office-Warehouse Combination-Ordinance 87-36, adopted on 12-22-87
  • Adopted 500-40 - Security Quarters - Ordinance 97-36, adopted on 12-22-87
  • Adopted 85-24 – Amended Time Extension provisions to Board approved petitions

1990 Consolidated Code

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11   2017         
historical pictures of palm beach county 

1990 Consolidated Code

In order to meet the requirements of the State's Growth Management Act, the Code was revised in 1990 to be consistent with the newly adopted 1989 Comprehensive Plan.
  • Adopted 500-41 - Waste Water Treatment Facility
  • Adopted 500-42 - Electrical Power Facility
  • Adopted 500-43 - Outdoor Lighting Standards
  • Adopted 500-45 - Stands for Sales of Agricultural Products
  • Adopted 500-46 - Accessory Apartments for Elderly and Handicapped
  • Adopted 500-47 - Temp. Amusement rides, carnivals, circus, revival tents.

1992 Consolidated Code

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county 

1992 Consolidated Code

  • The Board of County Commission adopted the 1992 Code pursuant to the 1985 Growth Management Act requirements of the Florida Statutes. The state regulations directed local governments to adopt a Unified Land Development Code (ULDC).
  • Conform to the State mandate of consolidating land development regulations into a single volume; meet the Board of County Commissioners' goal of modernizing the Zoning Code and Sign Code, and streamlining the land development processes.


Summary of 2003 Code

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county 

Address Management Growth Tier System

The Board of County Commission  adopted the Managed Growth Tier System in 1999, to re-address the framework for managing growth in order to protect the future quality of life.  On December 4, 2003 the Board of County Commissions Adopted the Unified Land Development which became effective January 1, 2004.
The Tier System recognizes the County's diversity by delineating five distinct geographic regions. Established as Tiers, these areas have common characteristics such as development patterns, densities/intensities, and public service availability. The Tiers include: Urban/Suburban (which includes Redevelopment and Revitalization Areas), Exurban, Rural, Agricultural Reserve and the Glades.

Consolidation of Provisions in Land Development Regulations

There are 18 Articles in the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC).  Several Articles from the 1992 Code were renumbered and relocated in the document.  The use of hyperlinks and search engines was relied on to take the user to like provisions through out the code.

Interactive Code

The Interactive Code is a Web Designed document that provides many of the features one would find in a interactive Web Page such as: hyperlinks, videos, sound clips, bookmarks, search engines, illustrations, power point presentations. 


2004-2011 Code Amendments

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county 

During these years the Code was amended by several ordinances.  The following topics are the most outstanding:

  • Health Ordinance included in the Code as Article 15
  • Impact Fee Ordinance included in the Code as Article 13
  • Palm Beach County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance included in the Code as Article 18.
  • Palm Beach County Workforce Housing Program (WHP)
  • Traditional Marketplace Development (TMD)
  • Big Box Regulations 
  • Moratorium on Rezoning Sites Located in Loxahatchee Groves Area
  • Outdoor Lighting Ordinance
  • Westgate Community Redevelopment Area Overlay (WCRAO)
  • Several ordinances addressed Article 12, Traffic Performance Standards which generally introduced the Okeechobee Boulevard Constrained Road at a
  • Lower Level or Service (CRALLS) point system, Proportionate Fair-Share Program, and Adopted the Corridor Master Plan.
  • Alternative Landscape Plan (ALP)
  • Mass Transit Standards
  • Green Architecture and Unique Structure Standards
  • Renewable Energy – Solar and Renewable Energy Facility – Wind
  • Flex Space Regulations
  • Lifestyle Commercial Center (LCC) and Infill Redevelopment Overlay (IRO)
  • State Road 7 Economic Development Overlay (SR-7 EDO)
  • Agricultural Enclave Overlay (AEO)
  • Urban Redevelopment Area Overlay (URAO)


2017 Code Amendments

1957 1973 1984-85 ​​​​1988 ​​​1990 ​​​1992 ​​​​​2003 2004-11 2017        
historical pictures of palm beach county 

Use Regulations Project

The “Use Regulation Project” was a three-year project to simplify definitions, Use Matrices and Supplemental Standards for Uses contained in the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC), by eliminating redundancy or glitches, recognizing new industry trends, streamlining the approval process where feasible, and ensuring consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.  In general, the project included:

  • Addition of uses, deletion of outdated uses and consolidation of like uses.
  • Consolidate Use Matrix tables, improve ease of use, indicated the most restrictive approval process in matrices, streamline approval process where feasible and ensure consistent approval process is applied for uses located in similar zoning districts as relates to Future Land Use (FLU) designations.
  • Update Supplementary Use Standard, delete duplicated provisions already addressed in other articles of the Code, and organize standards consistent with typical review of site plans.

Amendments done through the Use Regulations Project are contained in Ordinance 2017-007.