TO: Local Planning Agency

FROM: Bill Spikowski

DATE: January 27, 1998

SUBJECT: Format and Terminology Issues



The Local Planning Agency needs to decide on the final format of the comprehensive plan. To this point, each element has been formulated as a separate document, complete with all data, analysis, goals, objectives, and policies.

Most communities formally adopt only the goals, objectives, and policies of each element. The adopted plans also include an introduction, schedule of capital improvements, evaluation procedures, and a future land use map. All of the remaining documents that were prepared as part of the planning process are termed as "supporting documentation" that is examined by DCA and made available by local governments in some form to interested parties.

There are several advantages to this approach:

On the other hand, some communities (such as Sanibel) have opted to adopt their entire plan, including background analyses and data summaries. Sanibel has done this since the adoption of their original plan in 1976 when the distinction between which parts were "adopted" and which were not had little legal significance.

The advantages of the Sanibel approach are primarily the educational potential of a good comprehensive plan, which allows citizens who were not involved in the plan's initial preparation to gain an appreciation for its basis and learn more about their community.

My initial recommendation to you had been to adopt only the goals, objectives, policies, and other mandatory provisions of your plan. However, as the individual elements have come together and been well-received by many in the community, I have become reluctant to consign this body of work to mere background reports filed away somewhere. Yet I still have my initial concerns about the difficulties in updating the background portions of each element if they are formally adopted.

At this time I would like members of the LPA to discuss their opinions about this matter. I would also like to suggest a third alternative, which would be to keep all of the elements intact in their current form, and publish them all as the Fort Myers Beach comprehensive plan. However, the introduction of the plan would contain a page that identifies exactly which portions are being "adopted" in the legal sense, and explains that the remainder of the document is being provided to educate the public about these important matters and to explain the reasons for the policy alternatives that have been selected.

The following chart shows the total number of pages in the current draft of each element, and the number of pages for just the goals, objectives, and policies:



Stormwater Management153
Community Design218
Coastal Management326
Historic Preservation303
Capital Improvements264
Intergovernmental Coordination243
Future Land Use??


384 +48 +


If we decide to publish the entire plan, I would recommend using slightly heavier paper (24-pound paper rather than standard 20-pound copy paper), which allows printing on both sides of each page without the back side bleeding through. A document of 450 pages printed this way would be about an inch thick.

In addition, there are several questions of terminology that we should discuss before finishing your comprehensive plan. The chart below shows several alternatives that we can discuss at your meeting of February 3, 1998.


Fort Myers Beach

Comprehensive Plan

Beach Plan

FMB Master Plan

FMB General Plan

Land Development Code (LDC)Land Development Regulations (LDRs)

Development Code

Zoning Code

Land-Use Code

Local Planning Agency (LPA)Planning Commission (Sanibel)

Planning Board (Fort Myers)

Planning & Zoning Commission (Cape Coral)

Local Planning Agency (Lee County)

Matanzas Pass BridgeSky Bridge
Long EstateMound House

William Case Home

San Castle CottageHistoric Cottage and Nature Center