FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 19, 2002) – Lee County is one
of five test sites across the state selected to establish a collaborative
planning process that coordinates school planning with land use planning.
Governor Jeb Bush directed the Florida Department of
Community Affairs to select five pilot communities for this effort.
The process could lead to more collocation and shared use of schools and
civic facilities, and the identification of the best locations for future
schools sites that take advantage of shared use opportunities.
The county will receive a $20,000 grant from the state to
begin the process. The Board of Lee
County Commissioners will formally accept the grant at its regular meeting
Tuesday. This planning process also
will involve the municipalities, and input from other agencies such as the
Metropolitan Planning Organization, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council,
and local public service organizations.
“Instead of duplicating efforts, we need to work
together more,” said Paul O’Connor, the county’s Planning Director.
“This is a perfect example of being smarter about the way we grow.”
Using the grant money, the county will:
Execute an interlocal agreement between the School Board and all
local governments in the county to establish a collaborative planning process to
coordinate school planning with land use planning.
Develop criteria to guide decisions regarding collocation and
shared use of schools and civic facilities, particularly parks and community
Develop a draft interlocal agreement for shared use of school and
civic facilities addressing relevant issues including liability, maintenance and
operation responsibility, security and shared capital costs.
Develop a job description for someone to accomplish the following:
Evaluate existing and future
opportunities for collocation and shared use of school and civic facilities as
well as future areas for acquisition of public school sites and public parks
and/or community facilities. Develop
GIS-based maps showing existing and future overlays of master plans for schools,
parks, utilities, roads and libraries. The maps will also include an environmental overlay showing
the most significant environmental features within the county, including
wetlands, uplands, habitat, and floodplains.
These overlays will be used to identify the best locations for future
potential school sites so as to take advantage of collocation and shared-use
opportunities with parks and/or community facilities, to coordinate the sites
with planned roads and utilities, and to focus interest on sites that are most