Lee County to hold comp plan workshops
Lee County is asking residents to attend one of several workshops planned in the coming weeks and share their opinion of and vision for their communities.
Lee County is updating its Comprehensive Plan, the Lee Plan, to create a 21st Century document that will help to create a sustainable, self-sufficient community. The update will be guided by an evaluation and appraisal report process. Nine workshops are scheduled to encourage public participation.
“Planning is a public process and public input is a very important part of that process,” said Paul O’Connor, director of the Lee County Division of Planning. “So we’re holding a number of workshops around the county to try and get as many members of the public involved as possible.”
The evaluation of the Lee Plan is a two-step process that is state mandated.
“The state requires that you do it every seven years,” he said.
The first step is the evaluation and appraisal report process, which last took place in 2004. That is followed by amendments to the plan, which occurred in 2005, according to O’Connor. The evaluation and report portion is due Feb. 1.
“But we’re trying to take this a step further than just meeting the statutory requirement,” he said.
The Lee Plan was adopted in 1984, and it is primarily a suburban plan.
“We’d like to identify specific areas in the county and go more toward an urban form,” O’Connor said. “The other main goal is to protect the various rural communities from sprawl and encroachment.”
The goal is to improve the Lee Plan through policy changes or additional research and to affirm that present policies are producing the expected results and addressing relevant issues. Locals can play a part by sharing their feelings about their neighborhood, their community and the county.
For example, O’Connor asked, is Lee growing too fast or too slow? What do they think about mixed use for development or do they prefer segregation?
“It’s an opportunity for them to express what their areas of concern are,” he said. “Our ultimate goal from these workshops is to develop a list of issues that we will base our evaluation of the current Lee Plan on.”
For more information on the workshops, call the Lee County Division of Planning at 533-8583 or visit online at: www3.leegov.com/dcd.