Oppose High Density Development on Palomino/Appaloosa/Daniels
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SUMMARY OF THE ISSUE: Your quality of life and the value of your real estate investment are once again at risk because of a modified request to the Lee County Comprehensive Plan Amendment 2015-00010 that will be considered by the Local Planning Agency (LPA) next Monday, March 27. This request proposes to change the Lee County Comprehensive Plan to allow increased density use of 57+ acres between Skyport Avenue and Appaloosa Road, just north of Daniels Parkway.
If approved, the change would permit a broad range of land uses that include tourist commercial, general commercial, light industrial/commercial, and multi-family dwelling units. That classification would allow dwelling density up to 22 units per acre allowing up to 1,254 residential units to be built on what would now be only 57+/- acres (not the 137 acres in the original proposal). The result will be a greater demand on the already over-stressed infrastructure and roadways.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: The time to voice your opinion is now. Time is of the essence.
1. Read the detailed background information below and if you oppose this re-designation of land-use, sign the electronic petition.
MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS WHEN YOU SIGN THE PETITION.
A copy of your signed petition will be electronically delivered to the Principal Planner for the property and copies will also be sent to all five Lee County Commissioners.
2. E-mail your concerns directly to the county commissioners using the following text: “Please DO NOT recommend or vote for the land-use re-designation requested in CPA2015-00010.” Send this e-mail to SJenkins-Owen@leegov.com You must give your name and address in the email, and request your opinion on the issue be sent to all five of the county commissioners as well as the LCA.
3. Attend the March 27th Local Planning Agency meeting, which will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Administration East Building, 2201 Second Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Room 118 (First Floor). VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO THE REQUEST TO CHANGE THE LAND-USE CLASSIFICATION.
BACKGROUND: Last September a request was initiated to change the Lee County Comprehensive Plan to allow increased density use of 137 acres between Palomino and Appaloosa Roads, just north of Daniels Parkway. That request was tabled, and today an amended request was posted for a hearing by the LPA on March 27. Here is a link to the request posted on the County website.
The new proposal has redefined the boundaries of the area as bounded by Daniels Parkway on the south, Skyport Avenue on the east, Appaloosa Lane on the west and the southern boundary of the St Johns XXIII church property on the north. (See the map above.) The total area has decreased from 137 acres to 57+/- acres and requests a re-designation of the land-use from the current “Outlying Suburban” classification to a new land-use classification of “General Interchange.” A “General Interchange” land-use classification would permit the building of up to 22 units per acre or a total of up to 1254 units on the redefined 57+ acres, even more density than the original request.
Last week the leaders of the School District of Lee County, in conjunction with two commercial developers, formally unveiled a plan to build 400 residential units on 20 of the 57 acres which are owned by the School District. The units are proposed to be used as part of their schoolteacher “recruitment and retention program.” The School Board presentation can be viewed by clicking on the “Attainable Housing” link on the following link:
County taxpayers would fund the development through a 30-year mortgage. The completed development would be managed by a real estate management company, and the units would be offered to school teachers at “attainable housing” rental rates. The land would need to be re-designated for use and then rezoned for the project to proceed. What would be proposed for the remaining 37 acres in the newly proposed area boundary is unknown at this time.
Currently, ALL the homeowners, businesses and communities (such as Fiddlesticks, Renaissance, Paseo, Danforth Lakes, Reflection Isles, Cross Creek just to name a few) along Daniels Parkway between I-75 and Six Mile Cypress must use Daniels Parkway to traverse the area… there is no alternative east-west route. This section of Daniels Parkway is an LOS (Level of Service) D road rapidly approaching LOS F (failed) road, estimated to occur within two years. Additionally, Palomino Road is over capacity with little room for expansion. Under the proposed changes, the increased density will only worsen infrastructure shortfalls.
Last year the Lee County Planning staff produced an in-depth report in on the original request and recommended to the LPA the request be denied. That report can be viewed in its entirety at:
Now, six months later WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAVING BEEN CHANGED, the same Planning Staff accomplished a new in-depth report which now recommends the request be approved WITH EVEN HIGHER DENSITY DEVELOPMENT. Here is a link to the new report:
Here are some highlights from the 93-page report:
- Several roadway segments in the study area are shown to operate at LOS “F” before the project trips are added to the network and therefore considered as pre-existing deficiencies not caused by the change in land use. These roadway segments include Daniels Parkway from Gateway Boulevard to Six Mile Cypress Parkway and Palomino Lane north of Daniels Parkway.
- The General Interchange future land use map category would increase the population accommodation from 94 units to 700 (rounded from 693) units. This is a total projected increase of 606 dwelling units. Based on 2.2 persons per household (2010 U.S Census Planning Community population), the build-out population projection would increase from 207 to 1540 persons.
- The analysis shows that developing the subject property under the General Interchange future land use will increase the traffic generated. As proposed, 347AM and 403 PM peak hour trips and4,366 daily trips would be generated by developing 700 multi-family units on the subject property. Under the current future land use designation, development on the subject property would generate121 AM and 169 PM peak hour trips and 1,578 daily trips.
- The area has pre- existing transportation infrastructure issues. Portions of Daniels Parkway will fail with or without the proposed increase. Daniels Parkway is a constrained arterial roadway with little connectivity west of I-75.
- The Lee County Capital Improvement Program includes projects on Three Oaks Parkway and Palomino Lane. Three Oaks Parkway Extension North from Alico Road to Daniels Parkway is currently in the design and right-of-way acquisition phases and is programmed for construction in fiscal year 2019/20. Three Oaks Parkway improvements will include adding double left turn lanes at the existing intersection of Daniels Parkway with Fiddlesticks Boulevard/Palomino Lane and an additional southbound lane on Palomino Lane from Daniels Parkway to north of Kings Crossing/Jobe Road. The Palomino Lane Improvements project is under design, with construction funded for turn lanes at key locations and an 8-foot off-road bicycle and pedestrian path from Daniels Parkway to Penzance Boulevard.
Why would the county even consider changing the land-use designation when it will only exacerbate the infrastructure and transportation problems in this area? How will current residents contend with the issues this change will present with absolutely no potential solutions being offered by the County?
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