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The City of Winter Haven Manages Growth through a Comprehensive, Transparent Process

Posted September 25th, 2023

The topic of growth in Winter Haven, Polk County, and Florida has been at the forefront of many discussions recently. We recognize and appreciate the deep connection many feel to Winter Haven, and watching our familiar landscapes evolve can elicit a range of emotions.

While growth and change can present challenges, they are a natural part of today’s evolving landscape locally, regionally, and statewide. We must also recognize that insulating Winter Haven from all future development is not a sustainable or realistic option. However, our dedication to responsible and thoughtful growth management remains steadfast.

Our approach to growth is not arbitrary. The City team diligently operates within the boundaries set by the Florida Growth Management Laws, the Winter Haven Comprehensive Plan, the Winter Haven Land Development Code, and all Concurrency Regulations. This structured approach ensures that every development project is consistent with local standards and can be supported by infrastructure and natural resources.

Every development proposal undergoes a comprehensive, transparent review process. This encompasses various evaluations, from assessing water and sewer availability to confirming alignment with zoning and land-use protocols. Our collaboration with partners, like the Polk County Public Schools, ensures a comprehensive, integrated approach to planning.

Importantly, a key aspect of our decision-making is the respect for private property rights – an essential component of the American economy and way of life. Every decision and step taken upholds these principles.

We want to reassure our community: as Winter Haven navigates its growth, our dedication to maintaining its “Exceptionally Local” character and prioritizing residents’ best interests is unwavering. We invite an ongoing dialogue and welcome your insights as we work together toward a bright and prosperous future for our beloved Chain of Lakes City.

Stay connected through updates on our website, social media channels, and attendance at public meetings.