The Nassau County Planning + Economic Opportunity works collaboratively with the Nassau County School District to implement school concurrency requirements as outlined by Florida state law. The County addresses school planning in the Public School Facilities Element of the Comprehensive Plan.
School concurrency is governed through an Interlocal Agreement adopted by the School Board, Nassau County, the City of Fernandina Beach, and the towns of Callahan and Hilliard. Goals of the interlocal agreement are to work together to coordinate comprehensive land use and school facilities planning programs through:
- better coordination of new schools in time and place with land development,
- greater efficiency for the School Board and local governments by placing schools to take advantage of existing and planned roads, water, sewer, and parks,
- improved student access and safety by coordinating the construction of new and expanded schools with the road and sidewalk construction programs of the local governments,
- better defined urban form by locating and designing schools to serve as community focal points,
- greater efficiency and convenience by locating schools with parks, ballfields, libraries, and other community facilities to take advantage of joint use opportunities, and
- reduction of pressures contributing to urban sprawl and support of existing neighborhoods by appropriately locating new schools and expanding and renovating existing schools.
Any developer submitting a development permit application (such as a rezoning, site plan or preliminary plat) with a residential component that is not exempt per the Interlocal Agreement is subject to school concurrency.
As part of the development application process, the School Impact Analysis form must be completed. The County will forward the School Impact Analysis form to the Nassau County School Board to validate school capacity.
Finding of Capacity: If there is capacity, the School Board will issue a Reservation Letter to Nassau County. The Planning Department will subsequently issue a Certificate of Concurrency for the project. A Certificate guarantees a finding of school capacity for two (2) years following the issuance of the certificate. If the applicant obtains construction plan approval or a building permit for horizontal or vertical construction during the two (2) year period, the certificate shall remain in effect until the expiration of the construction plan or building permit to which it applies. Expiration, extension or modification of a Certificate of Concurrency shall require a new review for adequate school capacity to be performed by the School Board.
Finding of No Capacity: If the School Board finds there is not capacity, they will issue a Deficiency Letter to the applicant. Per the interlocal agreement, this begins a 90 day period in which the School Board and applicant can enter into negotiations to mitigate capacity impacts. Upon agreement, the School Board will then issue a Reservation Letter, after which the County can issue a Certificate of Concurrency.
In 2019, the Board of County Commissioners and School Board jointly funded a study to evaluate school concurrency and capacity in Nassau County. View the study here.