TO: Town Council and Local Planning Agency

FROM: Bill Spikowski

DATE: September 4, 1996

SUBJECT: Land Development Trends in the Town of Fort Myers Beach


One of the projects we have undertaken for you this summer is an analysis of recent and future land development trends on Estero Island. This analysis has generated a number of documents that should prove useful to you while preparing your first comprehensive plan:

The approximately 472 additional dwelling units that have been built since the 1990 Census can be converted into additional population by assuming that their occupants will closely resemble existing residents of Census Tracts 601 and 602 (Estero and San Carlos Islands) as measured by the 1990 Census. The Census indicates that 40.7% of these dwelling units are "occupied" (by permanent residents) and that 2.02 people live in each "occupied" dwelling unit. Therefore, these dwelling units can be projected to increase the 1990 population of 5,815 permanent residents by about 388, with a resulting 1996 population of about 6,203. However, until we are able to delete the number of new dwelling units outside the new town even though they are inside the fire district, we should use the preliminary 1996 population estimate of 6,039 that has been provided by the state of Florida for revenue-sharing purposes.

From the analysis of additional development on land that is still vacant (see attached chart), we have projected that a total of 1,028 additional dwelling units can be built. Using the same assumptions as to the future occupants of these units, the 1,028 units are projected to increase the current population of the Town by another 845 residents, to a potential "build-out" population of about 6,884.

Of course the actual future population of Fort Myers Beach will depend on several other factors as well. The percentage of dwelling units that are occupied by permanent residents may go up or down; motels or cottages may be converted into permanent dwellings; and many sites will be redeveloped, with resulting densities that may be higher or lower than existing densities. The Town may adopt new policies or regulations that attempt to influence any of these factors. As such policies are proposed, they should be compared to existing Lee County regulations to assess their potential impact on the future population of Fort Myers Beach.