Sunday, September 26, 2010

Second opportunity for public input on Lee Plan update

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2010) – Through a second series of public meetings, Lee County planners are looking for input about how local communities in unincorporated Lee will develop and change through the year 2035.

The Lee Plan, the County’s blueprint for growth and development in unincorporated Lee County, is being updated through a visioning effort called New Horizon 2035. With input that began in March, county planners are envisioning traditional but sustainable development strategies that will, among other goals:

· Better define urban, suburban, and rural areas

· Encourage the redevelopment of vacant strip plazas into mixed-use centers

· Promote walkability, bikeability, and transit options in order to reduce congestion

· Foster a variety of park and public space resources

· Advance a high quality of life for visitors, residents, and business people.

Meetings to obtain citizen input have been scheduled through November and throughout unincorporated Lee County.

During the meetings, Lee County’s Planning Division will discuss planning strategies proposed to update the Lee Plan. The framework for this update aims to promote livability, strengthen connections, emphasize community character, and encourage sustainability among local communities.

This vision-based comprehensive plan update is the basis of an Evaluation and Appraisal Report, which is required by the state every seven years. However, with support from the Board of County Commissioners, Lee planners are going beyond the state’s minimum requirements to achieve County planning priorities. The ultimate goal is to develop a 21st-century document that supports unincorporated areas that are sustainable, self-sufficient and distinct in community character.

New Horizon 2035 kicked-off in March with interagency scoping meetings that included Lee County departments and state and local agencies. A series of public visioning workshops and a variety of staff policy workshops followed. Through these, planners identified the most important planning issues and began drafting a vision framework which will identify potential strategies for revising the Lee Plan based on the four planning issues: livability, connections, character and sustainability.

This second series of workshops will present the proposed strategies to citizens, business owners, and policy officials to ensure that the process so far has captured the comments made early in the process. Several of these meetings are being sponsored by neighborhood groups or other organizations during their regular meetings.

Groups interested in having an update presentation about New Horizon 2035 at any time may contact the Planning Division: 239-533-8583.

For details about New Horizon 2035, please visit:

schedule of meetings

Oct. 5
7 p.m.
Bayshore Community Planning Panel, New Hope Christian Church, 17181 Tarpon Way, North Fort Myers

Oct. 6
6 p.m.
Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, 1926 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers

Oct. 11
7 p.m.
Alva Community Association, Alva Community Center, 21471 N. River Road, Alva

Oct. 13
6:30 p.m.
Lehigh Acres Community Planning Panel, Veterans Community Park, 55 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres

Oct. 14
6 p.m.
North Olga Community Planning Panel, Bayshore Fire Department, 17350 Nalle Road, North Fort Myers

Oct. 15
1 p.m.
Estero Council of Community Leaders, Estero Community Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., Estero

Oct. 18
6 p.m.
Estero Community Planning Panel, Estero Community Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., Estero

Oct. 18
7 p.m.
Page Park Community Association, Page Park Community Services, Inc., 507 Center Road, Fort Myers

Oct. 19
9 a.m.
Captiva Planning Panel, Tween Waters Inn, 15951 Captiva Drive, Captiva

Oct. 20
10 a.m.
Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association, Boca Grande Community Center, 131 West First St., Boca Grande

Oct. 20
6 p.m.
Community Sustainability Advisory Committee, Lee County Administration Building, 2115 Second St., Fort Myers

Nov. 2
7 p.m.
Greater Pine Island Civic Association, Pine Island Elks Lodge, 5630 Pine Island Road, N.W., Bokeelia

Nov. 16
6:30 p.m.
East Lee County Council, Olga Recreation Center, 2325 S. Olga Drive, Fort Myers

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