Thursday, January 20, 2011

Draft Lee Plan: New Horizon 2035 Evaluation & Appraisal Report

Hot off the presses! The draft Lee Plan New Horizon 2035 EAR report is now posted on the County's website.

Excerpt from Executive Summary: The purpose of the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR), as required by state law, is to evaluate how well the county’s comprehensive plan is performing. The EAR process provides the opportunity for the county to work with community stakeholders to identify Lee County’s needs for and concerns about the future, establish a new county vision, and identify planning strategies to achieve that vision in the future.
During development of the EAR, the county initiated an extensive community-based effort. This effort focused on allowing stakeholders to provide guidance on two key topics: 1) the issues and opportunities they see facing the county and 2) the future they would like to see for Lee County. In addition to this broad-based community effort, the planning staff conducted several interdepartmental workshops to allow the
operational departments within the county to participate in helping to shape a strategic planning response to the county’s issues and opportunities.

The County's Local Planning Agency (LPA) will be holding a workshop/public hearing to review this plan on Monday, January 31st at 8:30 a.m. in the County Commission Chambers in downtown Fort Myers. There is an opportunity for public comment at this hearing. The LPA will make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on this report and the Board will hold a workshop and vote on this report in February.

As BikeWalkLee stated in its Jan. 9th letter to the Board of County Commissioners, the Board's decision on the EAR and subsequent amendments is perhaps the most important action that they will take to determine the county's direction over the next decades. We have urged the county to develop an EAR that is visionary and bold. It must provide the blueprint for changes in land use that promote transit-oriented development, transit, livable communities, walkable/bikeable neighborhoods, and complete streets. BikeWalkLee will be reviewing this draft report and plans to present its comments at the Jan. 31st LPA meeting.

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