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Lee County Community Development


October 2014


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$100,000 available for preservation grants

Owners of older buildings in unincorporated Lee County may apply for funds to fix historic structures under the Lee County Historic Preservation Grant Assistance Program.

This year, the program makes $100,000 available in rehabilitation grant funds.  The average grant award is $5,000.  However, grants have been awarded for as much as $25,000 and as little as $800.

Lee County’s historic resources contribute to the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors.  This program helps preserve these valuable places, which contribute to neighborhood preservation and urban revitalization, preserve our area’s rural environment, and give our county its identity and special sense of place.

To qualify, a building must be about 50 years old and qualify for designation under the Lee County Land Development Code Chapter 22, Historic Preservation.  The structure must be located in unincorporated Lee County.  Buildings in the city limits of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel do not qualify.

Criteria used to evaluate an application includes:

·         Percentage of total project cost to be funded by the grant and percentage to be funded by the applicant;

·         Age and historical significance of the property;

·         Condition and degree of endangerment of the property (i.e., urgency of the project);

·         Project planning and plans for future preservation.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Dec. 19, 2014. Download an application at  For details, contact the Lee County Planning Division, P.O. Box 398, Fort Myers, FL 33902-0398, (239) 533-8311 or e-mail The Planning Division office is at 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers.

Learn more about historic preservation at

North Olga Land Development Code approved

Lee County Commissioners implemented the North Olga Community Plan by adopting a new North Olga section in Chapter 32 of the Lee County Land Development Code on Oct. 21.

The proposed Land Development Code for the North Olga Planning Community includes provisions for a community review process and design standards for parking, architectural elements, landscaping and signs.

Municode website updated

The Municode website for the Lee County Land Development Code will be updated effective Monday, Oct. 27. The new MunicodeNext offers a variety of new features, including:

·       A tablet-friendly application with all the services available to desk-top users with larger, touch-friendly buttons and icons;

·       Improved search functions;

·       Enhanced print, save and email options.

Bookmarks or shortcuts to the current site will still be effective. 

Learn more about MunicodeNext at

Access the Lee County Land Development Code through Municode at

Development Code, Lee Plan update available

Updates for both the Lee County Land Development Code and the Lee Plan are now available online.

The Land Development Code is now codified through Ordinance No. 14-19, adopted Sept. 16, 2014.  This is Supplement No. 16, Update 1. The complete code can be viewed online at

The Lee Plan is now updated through October 2014 and includes the amendments CPA2013-00008 – Estero Apartments and CPA2014-00003 – Estero Community Plan Update. Those who prefer a print version may download the replacement pages, including replacement maps, at

Action taken on Lee Plan amendments

Commissioners agreed Oct. 22 to transmit the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment CPA2012-00001 – River Hall, which amends the future land use category for 1,064 acres in the Rural category and 223 acres in the Wetlands category to 153 acres of Conservation Lands Wetlands, 264 acres of Conservation Lands Uplands and 870 acres of Sub-Outlying Suburban.

At their next Lee Plan amendment adoption hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 9:30 a.m., Commissioners will consider CPA2013-00004 – Corkscrew Ranch.  This is a request to amend Lee Plan Maps 6 and 7 – Lee County Utilities Future Water and Sewer Service Areas to include a 75-acre parcel on the north side of Corkscrew Road in Section 21, Township 46S known as Corkscrew Ranch.

BoCC adopts zoning changes

At the Zoning and Comprehensive Plan Hearing on Oct. 22, Commissioners approved the following zoning changes:

·       REZ2014-00003 – Sage Fort Myers, rezoned 2 acres from Agricultural (AG-2), Special Commercial Office (CS-1) and Community Commercial (CC) to General Commercial (CG)

·       DCI2014-00008 – Sunshine 23, rezoned 2 acres from Residential Single-Family (RS-1) to Commercial Planned Development for a maximum of 12,000 square feet of commercial uses.

·       DCI2012-00059 – Olga Square Rezone, rezoned 38 acres from Agricultural (AG-2) to Commercial Planned Development to permit a maximum of 371,240 square feet of commercial uses.

At the Zoning and Lee Plan Amendment Transmittal Hearing on Oct. 8, Commissioners approved DCI2013-00024 and REZ2013-00016 – Estero Apartments, which will allow development of up to 136 dwelling units on 9 acres at the northwest corner of I-75 and Corkscrew Road.

View case information at

Late renewal available for contractors

Renewals of Certificates of Competency for contractors doing business in unincorporated Lee County were due Sept. 30. County licenses that were not renewed are now expired, but may still be renewed through March 2015 with late fees that increase monthly.

The fee for renewal in October is $105 for all trades and $115 for general, building and residential contractors.  Journeyman renewal fees are $36.   

Renew easily online at  Those who must renew in person may do so at the Community Development/Public Works Center, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers, in the Permitting Lobby.

Certificates for Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance must be active and current in our database.  Verify the status of your certificates online at  Updated insurance certificates can be e-mailed to or faxed to (239) 485-8577.

If your certificate of competency is not renewed or placed on voluntary inactive status by March 31, 2015, it will expire.  The fee for voluntary inactive status is now $29, and you must complete the Application for Inactive Status Form.  Download it at

Renewal of expired certificates requires a new application and approval by the Construction Licensing Board.

Make checks payable to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.

Length of Service Awards

Please join us in congratulating the Community Development staff who received Length of Service Awards from Commissioners on Oct. 21:

  • 30 Years: Mary Gibbs, Department Director;
  • 15 Years: Billie Jacoby, Administration, and Rafiu Oyebanjo, Plan Review;
  • 10 Years: Jennifer Byrd and Charles Moorefield, Inspections; and
  • 5 Years: Ally Hall, Permitting.

Promised Lands Section of APA plans events

The Promised Lands Section of the American Planning Association/Florida Chapter is sponsoring the seminar “Health Equity & Planning Ethics on Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, 1926 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.

Cost is $5, and the event is approved for 1.5 CM ethics credits. RSVP to by Monday, Nov. 3.

The Promised Lands Section will hold its annual meeting and holiday social on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at Bahama Breeze, 14701 S. Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers.

RSVP with by Monday, Dec. 1.

Tony Pellicer retiring

Tony Pellicer, Manager, Public Works Operations is retiring after 35 years of service to Lee County government.

Lee County’s Natural Resources Division will host a reception for him Friday, Oct. 30 in the Community Development/Public Works Center, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers from 2 to 4 p.m.

September, FY’14 permit report

During September, contractors pulled 88 permits to build single-family houses collectively valued at more than 19.7 million in unincorporated Lee County.  That compares to 85 permits issued in August and 51 issued in September 2013, according to the Lee County Department of Community Development.

Also during September, 15 multi-family units were permitted, compared to 12 in August and 18 in September 2013.

General commercial activity was valued at more than $6.3 million for 18 permits, compared to more than $7.1 million in August and nearly $2 million in September 2013.

Lee County Community Development issued 3,324 permits of all kinds during September.

The pace of residential permitting continued to grow steadily during fiscal year 2014, which ended Tuesday, Sept. 29. For the fiscal year which began Oct. 1, 2013, permitting for single family residences was up 19% with 965 permits compared to 808 in fiscal year 2013. Multi-family permitting was up 128% with 708 units permitted over 310 in fiscal year 2013.

General commercial construction improved 241% in fiscal year 2014, with permitting valued at $105.6 million compared to $31 million in fiscal 2013.  This includes $19 million in stadium renovations and improvements for the Minnesota Twins facilities at the Lee County Sports Complex on Ben C. Pratt/Six Mile Cypress Parkway and a $12 million office building for Gartner at 12769 Gateway Blvd.

For additional permit reports, go to

Local Planning Agency meetings rescheduled

The regularly scheduled October meeting of the Local Planning Agency has been cancelled at the request of the sole applicant.

LPA meetings regularly scheduled for November and December have been rescheduled as a single meeting to be held Monday, Dec. 8 at 8:30 a.m. in Commission Chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers.

County offices closed for Veteran’s Day

Lee County government, including the Department of Community Development offices at 1500 Monroe St. and 1825 Hendry St. in Fort Myers, will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 11 for Veteran’s Day. 

Upcoming meetings and public hearings

Board of County Commissioners Comprehensive Plan Amendment Adoption Hearing – Wednesday, Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m., Commission Chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers – CPA2013-00004 – Corkscrew Ranch

Land Development Code Advisory Committee – Friday, Nov. 14, 8 a.m., Lee County Community Development/Public Works Center, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers

For the detailed calendar, go to

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