Saturday, November 5, 2011

Update on Lee County New Horizon 2035--moving from the EAR to comp plan amendments

Horizon 2035 is a comprehensive review and update of the Lee Plan through the year 2035. New Horizon 2035 include three components: the Evaluation and Appraisal Report, the Lee Plan Update, and the LDC Update. The EAR resulted in a sustainable vision for growth and development through the year 2035. Lee County is now using this vision as the basis to update the Lee Plan’s goals, objectives and policies.

The New Horizon 2035 vision is:
Lee County will be a highly desirable place to live, work, and visit – recognized for its commitment to a sustainable future characterized by a healthful economy, environment, and community. Because of its commitment, Lee County will be a community of choice – valued for its quality of life; varied natural environment; unique sense of history and place; distinct urban, suburban, and rural communities; diverse economy and workforce; and varied travel options.

The Lee Plan Update is being completed in two parts: policy issue discussions and draft elements. Before drafting goals and policies, the County's Planning Division will present a series of monthly issue papers to the Local Planning Agency and Sustainability Committee for input.

The first issue paper was presented in the fall of 2011 and will continue through winter 2012. Once the issue papers have been completed, staff will then present specific changes to the Lee Plan's goals, objectives, and policies.

These changes will be presented by element starting in spring 2012. The process for updating the Lee Plan will continue through the winter of 2012-2013. To date, two white papers have been prepared and each is going through the review and discussion process in two county committees--the Local Planning Agency (LPA) and the Community Sustainability Advisory Committee (CSAC). Both issue papers--Visioning & Health & Human Services, along with LPA's comments, are located on the Horizon 2035 website.

The Public Health & Safety issue paper, discussed by the LPA on October 24th, draws from BikeWalkLee's 2009 safety report and the MPO bike/ped master plan to make the case for the connection between health and urban design and the need to incorporate the alternative transportation impact on the health of Lee County residents in developing policies on urban design. To read this issue paper, click here. The next paper to be developed is of critical importance--transportation concurrency. That issue paper will be presented to the LPA in January and to the CSAC in February.

In order to ensure that the Horizon 2035 vision of integrating complete streets principles in the county's policies and practices, this vision has to be incorporated into detailed Comprehensive Plan amendments that will result from these issue papers. BikeWalkLee will be an active player in this dialogue through participating in the LPA and CSAC discussions and will keep you posted on these developments.

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