Lee County Hearing Examiner's Office
The Hearing Examiner’s Office was established in 1988 to replace the land use related hearing functions of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment. In 1990, the Hearing Examiner’s Office also replaced the Code Enforcement Board for code hearings.
The two Hearing Examiners are attorneys, with substantial backgrounds in land use and growth management law. The Chief Hearing Examiner and Deputy Hearing Examiner conduct the public hearings and renders decisions, orders or recommendations on those matters. The Chief is a contract employee, who is the administrative head of the Office and reports directly to the County Commission. The Deputy is a salaried employee, who reports to the Chief.
The Hearing Examiner’s Office is “independent” of oversight by the County Attorney and the County Manager to ensure the decisions and recommendations rendered by this Office are based on the ordinances and the records compiled in the public hearings, not on political considerations. The Hearing Examiners have final decision making authority on all land use and Code cases, but zoning matters are sent to the County Commission for a second hearing and a final decision.
These public hearings are “quasi-judicial” in nature; all participants must be under oath when testifying. The public is allowed to testify at the zoning and land use hearings, but can only testify in a Code Enforcement hearing if called as a witness by the Respondent or the County. The Hearing Examiners are prohibited, under the ordinance, from discussing their cases with anyone, except in a public hearing.
Members of the public may share their comments on zoning cases scheduled before the Hearing Examiner, by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the date and time of the hearing. Please include the case number in your email. The purpose of this provision is to allow those comments to be entered into the hearing record and addressed by Staff and the Applicant during the hearing. All timely emails will become a public record and the sender's name and contact information will be included in the Public Participation section of the Decision or Recommendation issued by the Hearing Examiner. Any comments received after the start of the hearing will not become part of the hearing record and will not be given to the Hearing Examiner for consideration in the case.
Chief Hearing Examiner: Diana M. Parker
Deputy Hearing Examiner: Laura B. Belflower
Phone: 239 533-8100
Fax: 239 485-8406
Hearing Examiner's Office email: email@example.com
Street Address: 1500 Monroe St., Room 218, Ft. Myers FL 33901
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 398, Ft. Myers, FL 33902-0298