TO: Fort Myers Beach Town Council

FROM: Bill Spikowski

DATE: May 14, 1998

SUBJECT: Supplemental Material for Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing (May 18, 1998, at 6:30 P.M.)



At the LPA's public hearing on April 21, there was considerable discussion over a proposal from several property owners on Santos Lane to change their lots from "Mixed Residential" to "Pedestrian Commercial" on the future land use map. Since the same issue may come up at your public hearing, I have tried to find a way to accommodate the conflicting positions: the Santos owners don't want the new plan to preclude them from making Santos part of the Estero Boulevard pedestrian environment; and the LPA didn't want to accept this concept without strong assurances that the next row of lots behind Santos wouldn't suffer the same fate as the houses on Santos (backing up onto commercial parking lots and garbage cans). If you decide to change the residential lots facing Santos from "Mixed Residential" to "Pedestrian Commercial" as requested by the Santos owners, that change should be accompanied by the following addition to Policy 4-C-2:

POLICY 4-C-2 COMMERCIAL INTENSITY: The maximum intensity of allowable commercial development in any category is governed by height regulations (see Policy 4-C-4) and other provisions of this plan and the Land Development Code. Standards in the Land Development Code will encourage more intense commercial activities only in the "Pedestrian Commercial" category, and for marina uses in the "Marina" category. Lots on the northeast side of Santos Road are shown in the "Pedestrian Commercial" category in anticipation of changes to the redevelopment overlay district which may allow limited retail uses on the ground floor there; until such changes are made in the Land Development Code, land uses along Santos Road must comply with the "Mixed Residential" category.

At the same meeting, the LPA also discussed ways to implement a "pre-approved redevelopment plan" for the Red Coconut-Gulfview area. My memo of May 8 contains an interim approach that was approved by the LPA that evening. Since then, the owners of the Red Coconut and Gulf View Shops have prepared an alternate redevelopment plan that they prefer over the plan prepared by Victor Dover. The new plan shares many of the positive characteristics of the previous plan, but uses the site more intensely (the 10-acre site would now accommodate 150 dwelling units plus commercial space on both sides of Estero Boulevard). If you wish to accept this new plan, you could do so by inserting a reduced copy of the plan into the narrative of the Community Design Element, becoming Page 3-9; the existing small reproduction of Victor Dover's plan would remain on Page 3-8. The following policy changes have been drafted to match the new site plan and to clarify the redevelopment options for this area:

POLICY 4-E-1 PRE-DISASTER BUILDBACK POLICY: Owners of existing buildings developments that exceed the current density or height limits may also be permitted to replace the building at up to the existing lawful density and intensity prior to a natural disaster. Landowners may request this option through the planned development rezoning process, which requires a public hearing and notification of adjacent property owners. The town will approve, modify, or deny such a request based on the conformance of the specific proposal with this comprehensive plan, including its land-use and design policies, pedestrian orientation, and natural resource criteria.

POLICY 4-F-2 SPECIFIC REDEVELOPMENT PLANS: This comprehensive plan anticipates substantial redevelopment over the coming years. Specific concepts have been developed for three specific areas:

Times Square - The Estero Island CRA's plan for the Times Square area is incorporated into this plan, bounded by the "Pedestrian Commercial" category at Times Square. Implementation of that plan will be on-going as discussed through this comprehensive plan and in accordance with the specific regulations provided in the Land Development Code. The Times Square redevelopment plan is described in Community Design Policies 3-D-1 through 3-D-13.

Villa Santini Plaza - This area is shown as "Pedestrian Commercial" on the Future Land Use Map. Existing land uses may continue. If landowners wish to redevelop part or all of this property, the following concepts shall apply:

  1. buildings are brought closer to the street;
  2. drainage has been placed underground to make room for wide sidewalks, street trees, and some on-street parking (once passive traffic calming activities have reduced speeding on Estero Boulevard);
  3. the shopping center is reconfigured with a central green plaza and better ties to the marina to the rear; and
  4. off-street loading areas are provided for delivery vehicles;

This redevelopment plan can only be accomplished through a public-private partnership as described in Community Design Policies 3-C-1 and 3-C-2.

Gulf View/Red Coconut - This area is shown as "Mixed Residential" and "Boulevard" on the Future Land Use Map. If landowners wish to redevelop part or all of this property, the following concepts shall apply are encouraged, and shall form the basis for a pre-approved redevelopment option in the Land Development Code:

  1. traditional neighborhood design emphasizing porches on the front; primary entrances visible from the street; and driveway access from cars to the rear (except for on-street parking);
  2. detached houses or cottages near (with optional accessory apartments) abutting existing single-family homes;
  3. low-rise townhouses or apartments allowed toward the center;
  4. walkable narrow streets with shade trees that double as view corridors to the Preserve and Gulf;
  5. substantial open space with a few residential units on the Gulf side views to be maintained from Estero Boulevard to the Gulf;
  6. mixed commercial and residential uses along the Bay side of Estero Boulevard;
  7. quiet internal street connections to the north and south.; and
  8. significantly reduced density from the existing level of 25 RV/mobile homes per acre.

This redevelopment plan is described in Community Design Policies 3-A-5 and 3-A-6.

Different redevelopment concepts that are consistent with this comprehensive plan may also be proposed for any of these areas through the planned development rezoning process.

POLICY 3-A-5 Provide in the new land development regulations a pre-approved option for the future redevelopment of the Gulf View/Red Coconut properties consistent with the town's vision of traditional neighborhoods -- neighborhoods that recreate a small-town feel; which are pedestrian and bicycle friendly with an internal circulation system that makes it possible to walk or bicycle to schools and services without always using Estero Boulevard; which retain the psychological connection and views to both the Bay and the beach; and which offer a variety of housing type and opportunity for mixed uses.

POLICY 3-A-6 In accordance with Policyies 4-E-1 and 4-F-2 of the Future Land Use Element, evaluate any alternative redevelopment concepts for any portion of the Gulf View/ Red Coconut properties as to the following design principles criteria:

  1. retains and/or creates water views through street layout, site design, and architectural design;
  2. provides a variety of housing types rather than uniformity;
  3. locates the more durable housing types and mix of uses along the Bay side of Estero Boulevard;
  4. new streets create a highly connected network which includes mid-block paths and or alleys;
  5. streets have sidewalks and street trees;
  6. local streets are interconnected from Donora and Shell Mound through to the north.


cc: Local Planning Agency