Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lee County proposes revised parking requirements

At the May 7th Management and Planning meeting of the County Commissioners, staff presented the proposed new parking requirements, consistent with sustainability goals.  Below is the announcement on Lee County's website:

 Lee County is proposing a comprehensive review of commercial parking requirements.  In general,  the update results in fewer required paved parking spaces for new development.  The new codes will also be streamlined and more reader friendly.
Parking regulations for unincorporated Lee County were codified in 1986 as part of the Zoning Regulations.  Other than occasional minor amendments, this is the first comprehensive review of these regulations.  In addition to a review of nationwide parking trends and studies, this update was prompted by:
  •   Growing national and local interest in sustainable, compact communities
  •   Environmental benefits of requiring less impervious pavement
  •   Inclusion of new trends, such as mixed-use development
  •   Importance of streamlined regulations
  •   Implementation of the Lee Plan update
What would change?
The proposed changes to the parking regulations will, in many cases, result in a decreased number of required parking and in others, it will remain the same.  One major change is to provide incentives for mixed-use type developments where the minimum required spaces for each use will, in most cases, decrease. 

Some specific highlights include:
  •  A new "multiple-use" category
    • Would replace current, cumbersome shared parking provisions
    • Would reduce required spaces based on the theory that parking demand varies with different uses, so spaces can be shared
  • Options to further reduce the amount of required parking administratively – including proximity to  transit, boat parking, connection to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, golf cart parking, availability and proximity of parking facilities, and parking demand studies
  • A maximum parking rate for commercial, industrial and mixed-use parking lots of 80 or more spaces
  • Streamlining the codes so they are more user-friendly

How will changes be considered?
After reviewing the proposed changes for Lee County Commissioners during a Management and Planning meeting, zoning staff will outline the proposed update to the County’s review committees:
  • Land Development Code Advisory Committee
  • Executive Regulatory Oversight Committee
  • Local Planning Agency
Commissioners will hold public hearings at a later date on proposed changes before they are adopted into the Land Development Code.
For additional information, contact Mikki Rozdolski by e-mail at or by phone at (239) 533-8317.

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