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In 1989, at the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, Delray Beach faced many of the problems common to aging cities.  Infrastructure such as water and sewer lines were deteriorating.  Storm drainage problems were evident in several areas, and streets and sidewalks were in need of repair.  The historic downtown was tending toward decay as business moved to the suburbs. These problems, and others related to housing, the parks system, transportation, and public involvement  were identified in the 1989 Plan, along with strategies to solve the problems.  The Plan proposed a renaissance for the City, a revival in both economic and social terms, based on its unique history and culture.

Revival in the City went far beyond Comprehensive Plan language.  A "Decade of Excellence" bond was issued to repair and upgrade infrastructure, including water and sewer systems, streets and drainage, parks and fire stations. Significant public investment was made in the downtown, including a complete reconstruction of the streetscape; the preservation and reuse of Old School Square (the original Delray school) into a museum, community center and theater; and the renovation of the Municipal Tennis Center and addition of a tennis stadium.  Private investment has followed, resulting in a vibrant city center of shops, restaurants and theaters, with development incentives, such as increased densities and an exception to traffic concurrency, in place to continue revitalization into the future.

The Comprehensive Plan is the primary growth management planning tool for the City.  It describes how the community looks today and how it is expected to look in the future.  It contains the policy guidelines for the control of growth and quality of life in the City and its Planning Area. The Plan is made up of 10 specific elements and supporting materials:

The Plan elements are compatible and complementary.  Together, they provide a comprehensive look at the issues facing the City, and plan for future growth. 

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