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Forum Notes

May 4, 2010

Lakes Regional Library

South Fort Myers



Community Vision
Land Use/
Transportation Public


Future Community Vision:

  • Quality of Life
    • Great until recently
    • Create live-work-play areas
    • Need to get younger people to want to stay
    • Lifestyle is too dependent upon seasonal residents
  • Community Character
    • Economic Development
      • Need industry, new economy
      • Need to diversify current industries
      • Need to diversify industries, though it may not help to address current problems
      • Improve educational resources to increase influx of young people
    • Cultural/Social Development and Resources
      • Create social stake in communities
      • Lack of diversity in local communities
      • Need more buy-in of planning efforts by local communities
      • High proportion of seasonal residents creates a lack of community
      • Need to attract young people to expand culture
      • Increased cultural resources improve:
        • Arts and social composition
    • Environmental
      • Need to be better stewards of environment
    • Land/Community Development
      • Lee Plan created suburbia, need a complete rethink of plan
      • Fort Myers ignored the Duaney Plan
      • Population tripled
      • Normal in five years maybe, but will have big problems
      • Need to increase density caps so that there will be more people in the urban areas
      • Establish pyramid zoning practices
    • Transportation
      • Need all roads to go over capacity – concurrency does not work
      • More non-automobile travel opportunities
      • Shorten transportation routes (mixed-use development areas) to decrease travel time

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Land Use/Development:

  • Development Pattern/Style
    • Lee Plan provides incentives for under development
    • Need to be more urban and less suburban
      • Discourage driving and encourage infill development
  • Prominent features
    • Need neighborhood schools
  • Design characteristics
    • Need to foster a unique community identity and character
      • Particularly in Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres
  • Development practices
    • Need to promote infill development
    • Establish TDR program
    • Banks are not helping communities
    • Foreclosures are a major problem and significant impact
    • Need to create incentives for people to buy vacant homes
    • Taller buildings
    • More compact design
    • Too much parking
      • Grass parking lots with smaller lots and fewer parking spots
      • Allow parking in the right-of-way
  • Urban form / Rural character
    • Utilize reverse impact fees to encourage urban development and discourage rural/suburban development
    • The close availability of farms (fruit, vegetables, meats) and water (seafood)  makes this a good area for self-sufficiency
    • Keep rural areas (ALVA/Olga/ DR/GR) rural

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  • Parks and public spaces
    • Parks are essential
    • Need plan to keep homeless out of parks
    • Need more dog parks
  • Conservation areas
    • Prairie Pines will be impacted by the DelPrado extension
    • Riverfront preservation and access
    • Expand definition of “recreational uses” so as to allow some passive use of 20/20 lands
    • Preserve rural areas
  • Access and location
    • Need more neighborhood parks
    • Need better disability accessibility

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  • Roadways
    • Better road connectivity
    • Use “complete streets” standards
    • No more car-oriented developments
    • Need HOV lanes
    • Expressways encourage development of rural areas
    • Delay building roads until the development needs them
    • DOT assumptions are faulty
    • Overpasses are “monuments to cars and roads”
      • Still using car centric thinking
  • Multimodal
    • Create urban nodes that do not follow concurrency regulations
    • Transportation planning should be on regional/multi-county level
      • Independent planning is too expensive, inaccurate, and does not consider full development scenarios
    • Use circulators to transport seniors
  • Sidewalks/trails
    • Need to increase number of sidewalks
    • Lee County roads are unsafe for pedestrians
  • Bikeways
  • Transit
    • Light rail needed
    • Transit on road, buses rather than rail works best in most places
    • Buses could serve FGCU 

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 Public Services:

  • No Sacred Cows!
  • Schools
    • No neighborhood schools
    • Need schools to tie communities together
    • School choice and busing is not a good idea
      • Expensive and unnecessary
    • The school district is too big
    • Need sidewalks for schools
    • Lee Tran for busing
  • Emergency services
    • EMS services are very good
    • Need to consolidate fire districts
    • Triage centers are needed

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