A community visioning workshop was hosted by Lee County Department of Community Development staff in March 2018.  This workshop was the first step in defining and updating the community planning goals within the Lee Plan for the Bayshore Community Plan area.  The public input received from the workshop was analyzed by staff and grouped by topic.  The four topic areas identified by the Bayshore community through this process are:  flooding; commercial and residential development; parks and recreation; and, public input.  These topics are addressed in the proposed Lee Plan and, for some topics, Land Development Code amendments. Lee County Department of Community Development staff also hosted an open house to discuss, collect input, and answer questions regarding the proposed amendments in March 2019. 

Click here for all information collected at the open house and relating to the community plan update.

Following the open house staff continued to answer questions; collect and analyze community input; and where appropriate, revise the proposed Lee Plan and Land Development Code amendments.

The revised amendments are intended to further address community input concerning protection of rural character, minimum lot size, clarification of where commercial uses are allowed, and creation of a Transferable Development Rights (TDR) Program. 

The most current drafts of the proposed Lee Plan and LDC amendments concerning the Bayshore Community Plan can be accessed with the following links:

Bayshore Lee Plan Draft Language (last revised May 1, 2019)
Northeast Lee County Lee Plan Draft Language (last revised May 1, 2019)
Land Development Code Draft Language Chapter 2 (last revised May 1, 2019)
Land Development Code Draft Language Chapter 33 - General (last revised May 1, 2019)
Land Development Code Draft Language Chapter 33 - Bayshore (last revised May 1, 2019)

Click here for all information collected at the open house and relating to the community plan update. 


How do the proposed community plan and land development regulations protect the rural character of Bayshore?

The purpose of a community plan is to address specific conditions unique to a defined area of the county.  The unique conditions of the Bayshore community plan area are addressed by the proposed provisions which support low-density residential development, limited commercial development, agricultural and equestrian activities, and open spaces, all of which are inherent of a rural community.

In order to further address the concern that rural character is protected, the Bayshore community plan area will become subject to the proposed provisions for the Northeast Lee County Community Plan area.  These provisions specifically address protection of rural character.  

Why can’t residential lot sizes be required to be a minimum of 2.5 acres?

The draft community plan dated February 15, 2019 did not address minimum lot sizes; however, subsequent to the open house, a new provision is proposed, Policy 18.1.2, which will require all lots within the DR/GR and Open Lands future land use categories be a minimum of 2.5 acres in size.

In the Rural, Sub-Outlying Suburban and General Interchange future land use categories, the minimum lot sizes will be smaller in order to accommodate permitted densities.  The County cannot risk the legal liability of reducing existing allowable densities (Burt Harris legislation).

How is height being addressed in the proposed regulations?

Height is addressed by existing zoning provisions and is not being changed by the proposed regulations. 

Why do the proposed regulations require clustering of development?

Clustering of development on a property allows for a site to be designed to provide large open space areas for water management, protection of environmentally sensitive areas, and preservation of flowways and wetlands which can help minimize flood hazards.

Where will commercial uses be allowed?
The proposed Policy 18.1.4 limits where commercial development can be located and requires all zoning requests for commercial development utilize the planned development rezoning process.  Locations where commercial development is allowed will not change with these amendments. An informational map of where commercial development may be permitted can be found here.
Can commercial uses in the General Interchange future land use category be limited to those uses that serve the local community and be less than 30,000 square feet in size?
The General Interchange future land use category is intended to be developed with commercial uses which serve the traveling public.  A limitation of types of uses to only those that serve the local community and to less than 30,000 square feet in size would be inconsistent with the future land use category.
What will be required to change the zoning of a property from agriculture to commercial?
The proposed regulations specify where commercial may be developed and require that all zoning requests for commercial development utilize the planned development rezoning process.  The planned development rezoning application requires the applicant provide a Master Concept Plan showing how the property will be developed, a Schedule of Uses of what uses will be allowed, and exhibits which demonstrate how the design of the development will not interrupt natural flowway corridors, exacerbate flooding, or reduce water basin storage or water quality within the watershed.  Once all the required application materials are provided, two public hearings are conducted, one in front of the Hearing Examiner and one in front of the Board of County Commissioners, before a decision regarding the planned development rezoning is rendered.
Will industrial uses be allowed in Bayshore?
Light industrial uses are allowed in the General Interchange future land use category.  Properties located at the intersection of Bayshore Road and I-75 are appropriately designated General Interchange.  Development for light industrial purposes is subject to consistency with Policy 7.1.6 which requires adequate services and facilities are available, the use will not adversely impact surrounding land uses, natural resources are protected, and its zoned as a planned development.
Will mining be allowed in Bayshore?
Aggregate limestone mining could only be considered in the DR/GR future land use category.  Mine-related requirements are in effect to protect water quality, habitat and quality of life. Chapter 12 of the Land Development Code provides a comprehensive and stringent set of regulations for mining that address compatibility of mines and the potential negative environmental impacts that could arrive from mining operations.  A mining application would be evaluated for Lee Plan consistency and compliance with the provisions of Chapter 12.  It would be difficult to locate a mine in the Bayshore Community Plan area based on the limited area designated DR/GR and existing land use and ownership patterns.

Dirt fill mining is only allowed in areas designated as Rural, Open Lands, and DR/GR on the future land use map and, to be approved, must have adequate fire protection, transportation facilities, wastewater treatment and water supply, and no significant adverse effects, such as dust and noise, on surrounding land uses and natural resources.
How do the proposed regulations address the proliferation of septic systems and the potential for polluting?

The proposed Policy 18.2.5 requires that all new development connect to a sanitary sewer system or advanced septic systems.  The policy has been revised to correct a typo.

Can deviations be requested from the Land Development Code?
Yes, deviations can be requested through the planned development rezoning process; however, proposed language in Land Development Code section 33-1745 will require deviation requests meet the variance criteria to be approved.   The following is the criteria which must be satisfied for a variance to be approved:

a.  The property has inherent exceptional conditions that cause the application of the regulation to create a hardship (as defined in section 34-2) on the property owner.

b.  The exceptional conditions are not the result of actions of the property owner taken subsequent to the adoption of the ordinance.

c.  The variance granted is the minimum variance that will relieve the unreasonable burden caused by the application of the regulation to the property.

d.  The granting of the variance will not be injurious to the neighborhood or detrimental to the public welfare.

e.  The variance is consistent with the Lee Plan.
How do the proposed regulations address flooding?

The proposed Policy 18.2.3 provides that new developments cannot interrupt the natural flowway corridors.  This will be able to accomplished by clustering new development.   In addition, new development will need to comply with proposed LDC 33-1748 that provides additional regulations to preserve the historic flow patterns, prohibit impediments to surface water flow, and incorporate natural features into the surface water management system.

Also proposed are Policy 18.1.5 and LDC Section 33-1750 which require new developments to utilize construction techniques to reduce the displacement of surface water during flood events.

What agency is responsible for issuing and enforcing Environmental Resource Permits?

The South Florida Water Management District and Florida Department of Environmental Protection are the State agencies with authority to issue and enforce Environmental Resource Permits.  Information can be found by visiting the SFWMD website.

Can the amount of impervious area be limited within developments? 

Developments of less than two acres will be required to provide a minimum of 40% open space and developments of two or more acres will be required to provide a minimum of 60% open space.   These increased open space requirements reduce the amount of impervious surfaces that may be developed on a property. 

Can language be added to prohibit construction of berms?   

Berms may be required by South Florida Water Management District or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through issuance of an Environmental Resource Permit and therefore cannot be outright prohibited. 

However, language is proposed to require berms to be designed, constructed and located so as not to obstruct off-site surface water and for developments be designed so as not to interrupt natural flowway corridors, exacerbate flooding, or reduce water basin storage or water quality within the watershed.

What is meant by Lee Plan Policy 18.2.4.?

Policy 18.2.4 is meant to encourage the preservation of land through acquisition. This includes programs such as Conservation 20/20. Acquired lands could be used for conservation, preservation, and flood mitigation.

Why was the transportation section of the existing Goal 18 removed?

The Transportation Element in the Lee Plan and the LDC already address many of the items in the existing Goal 18.

Existing Policy 18.2.1 addresses the expansion of state arterials.  This is not appropriate in the Lee Plan.

Existing Policy 18.2.2 seeks to assure that road capacity improvements are compatible with surrounding areas.  This is addressed county-wide within the Lee Plan where roadways are identified as Urban, Suburban or Non-Urban based on the adjacent future land use categories.  In addition, design standards, based on the roadway types and location (urban, suburban, and non-urban) is provided in LDC Sec. 10-296. 

Existing Policy 18.2.3 addresses the potential future extension of Del Prado Boulevard east of I-75; however, this is not currently in any short or long range plans so it is not necessary at this time.  If, in the future the extension of Del Prado Boulevard is added to long range transportation plans there will be opportunities to review alternative alignments.

Please also note that transportation needs are analyzed on a regional basis and improvements are based on serving Lee County residents as a whole.

How are transportation, and other public service and infrastructure impacts addressed by new developments?

Impacts of new developments are reviewed on a case by case basis at time of rezoning or development order applications.

What is the basis for the proposed amendments?

The proposed Lee Plan and Land Development Code provisions are based on the input received at the Visioning Workshop held on March 6, 2018.  The key issues were flooding, commercial development, residential development, parks & recreational opportunities, and public notice for plan amendments and zoning actions.

What is the boundary of the Bayshore Community Plan area?

The boundary is shown on Lee Plan Map 1, Page 2 of 7.

Will public input be required for zoning applications?

Yes, in addition to the required public hearings, a public informational meeting will be required prior to an applicant submitting an application to rezone a property, as proposed in amendments proposed to Chapter 33 of the Land Development Code.

Will a strike-through and underlined version of the proposed amendments be provided? 

The proposed amendments are a complete rewrite of Goal 18 regarding the Bayshore community.  The existing Goal 18 and vision statement will be shown in strikethrough and the new language will be shown in underline in Attachment 1 of the staff report prior to being heard by the Local Planning Agency.

The Bayshore community does not currently have specific LDC regulations.  All LDCs specific to the Bayshore Community Plan area are new.

What is the status of the Lee County Waste Transfer Station?

The County is on hold in regards to the site off Bayshore Road, in that we are reviewing other properties that are currently on the market.  We are evaluating at least 10 properties, of which two are located within Cape Coral.  These options with be discussed with our Board members along with concept plans and schedules for development. 

What is the status of the Leetana RPD? 

The Leetana RPD is currently under the Hearing Examiner’s review.  Once the Hearing Examiner completes her review and issues a recommendation, the case will be scheduled for a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners. 

What is happening with the land clearing on Nalle Grade Road near Williams Drive?

Nalle Grade Road in North Fort Myers was closed between Welborn Road and Bowen Road, from Monday, March 18, through Wednesday, March 20, to allow a contractor to replace a culvert just west of Welborn Road. The culvert replacement is part of a surface water management/restoration project underway by the Lee County Department of Natural Resources. The work, within the Nalle Grade Park, is intended to improve the Bayshore Creek system through water quality treatment and flood protection.

What is status of the Brightwater (fka Northbrook) project?

The Development Order (DOS2015-00083) has been issued.

What is status of the Crystal Lagoon project?

The Development Order (DOS2018-00034) is currently being reviewed.

Please click on the following link to provide your comments: PODPlanning@leegov.com.