Wednesday, March 7, 2012

County Commissioners approve Sustainability Assessment

 Thanks to the BoCC, the County now has a sustainability assessment--a baseline identifying the county's accomplishments and opportunities--which is a first step in the process of guiding the county towards a more sustainable future.  Kudos to Tessa LeSage, Ensite, and the Sustainability Committee for a great job. 
 On March 5th, Tessa LeSage, Lee County's Sustainability Director, presented the Sustainability Assessment to the County Commissioners in their Management & Planning meeting for discussion.  Then at the March 6th, the Board unanimously approved the Assessment during their regular weekly meeting.  There were several members of the public who spoke in support, including three members of BikeWalkLee--Margaret Banyan, Ann Pierce, and Steve Chupack.
 The following highlights some of BWL's points:
  • We anticipate that this assessment will help to bring a coordinated effort to transportation and land use planning in a way that saves money, enhances livability, and benefits all residents of Lee County.

  • We are especially interested in seeing that the board support upcoming policy decisions to enhance sustainability.  The most important next step is the Lee Plan changes that are coming out of the EAR process. 
  • These policy decisions must be a comprehensive effort to provide meaningful incentives for infill development, reducing sprawl, and changing the transportation planning paradigm. 
  • We applauded the board for encouraging all staff to be big thinkers and to continue to identify opportunities to save scare resources in transportation projects.  We agreed with Board direction that there should be more consideration for reducing travel lanes across the county.  [Board statements at Monday's M & P meeting]
  • We will be asking for Board support as we identify specific projects where lane reductions could be implemented in order to enhance economic and livability outcomes.
  • We applauded the excellent quality of this assessment, which is due to the hard work of the Sustainability Programs Manager Tessa LeSage and the Ensite, Inc.
  • We also applauded the innovative collaborative effort and broad public involvement that were used in developing this document.
  • Our Cape Coral rep talked about how this assessment will help Cape Coral reach its goal of creating sustainable neighborhoods, in a sustainable city, within a sustainable Lee County. 

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