TO: Local Planning Agency

FROM: Carol Cunningham

DATE: April 14, 1997

SUBJECT: Review of Proposed Core Area Improvements


The Core Area Master Plan was prepared for the Estero Island CRA in December 1995 by Wallace, Roberts and Todd. It was derived from the Estero Island CRA Plan and contains the vision, policy, and implementation recommendations for the Town's downtown "core area." The purpose of this memorandum is to provide a summary and review of those recommendations which could be initiated or implemented by the public sector, as well as related Lee Plan policies which supplement those recommendations, for the purpose of formulating policy for the new comprehensive plan.

The Core Area Master Plan consists of a Vision Statement, a Vision Plan, the Regulating Plan, and Design Guidelines. The Vision Plan provides goals and objectives derived from the Vision Statement (copy attached), provides an illustrative master plan, describes the urban design principles which are the foundation for the master plan, and detail the measures which should be implemented over time to accomplish the vision. Implementation of many of these measures has already been initiated through the recent adoption of the "Regulating Plan" portion as a redevelopment overlay zone and the recently completed first phase of the Times Square streetscape improvements. Implementation will continue incrementally as improvements are made to private property consistent with the Regulating Plan and as additional public improvements are made.

The Regulating Plan portion of the Core Area Master Plan serves as an "overlay" to the Lee County LDRs and Zoning and provides changes to the underlying development regulations for the purpose of encouraging redevelopment which furthers the vision, goals, and objectives of the Core Area Master Plan.

The Regulating Plan includes:

The Core Area Master Plan also contains a section of illustrated Design Guidelines. These Design Guidelines are applicable to both public and private sector improvements and provide for design consistency and appropriate integration of the public and private environment of the downtown area. The text of the Master Plan proposes these guidelines as "voluntary." The Town has adopted the guidelines by administrative code. Particularly important to the development of comprehensive plan policy is to encourage implementation of the design program related to public areas and the interface between public and private property in order to promote consistency of design, location, and materials in those areas over the long term.

The Design Guidelines address:

In addition to the Regulating Plan and the Design Guidelines, the Core Area Master Plan provides numerous recommendations for improvements or other actions which should be initiated or implemented by the public sector in order to fully implement the Vision Plan. These recommendations of the Core Area Master Plan are summarized below.

The new comprehensive plan should incorporate policy related to those measures that are determined to be appropriate and feasible and identify the timing, mechanism, and potential funding source for implementation. To facilitate the process of sorting out the priorities and identifying those items which may still be controversial, we have developed an informal "sorting out matrix" (attached) which will help guide our discussion at your meeting of April 22, 1997.



Creating the Public Environment

Adopt a consistent approach to the design and implementation of sidewalk improvements

Implement the Pedestrian Circulation Plan


Vehicular Circulation Plan

Implement traffic circulation improvements

Implement Trolley/Transit Improvements

Implement Parking Management Plan

Implement the Stormwater Management Plan recommended by the Core Area Master Plan (an exfiltration system that integrates the existing storm sewer pipe system and inlets with exfiltration trenches under Estero Blvd.). (This has been implemented in connection with the Phase 1 improvements and is designed for the next phase when implemented.) The system is intended to be constructed partly with public funds but can also be built incrementally, property by property. Similar systems to those installed in the Core Area need to be installed for private development under parking lots or open space and then connected to pipes which carry the water to outfall points.

Facilitate the implementation of the Core Area Master Plan's recommended Districts and Typologies. The adoption of the Regulating Plan as an overlay district provides the regulatory framework for encouraging the patterns and type of development desired in each district. Additional measures recommended by the Master Plan include:



A Policy Analysis, dated August 16, 1996 as prepared by Spikowski Planning Associates, compiled all relevant policies from the Lee Plan and the 1991 Estero Island CRA Plan. Review of this document indicates that most of those policies related to the Core Area have been taken up and moved forward in the Core Area Master Plan. Three policies from the Lee Plan remain, however, that need to be added to our list to review.

ORIGINAL POLICY 18.3.8 (showing language added in the newly adopted Lee Plan as policy 16.3.7)

Prior to the expenditure of public funds for the construction of new parking facilities within the Ft Myers Beach Study Area, an analysis of the relationship of the facility to the level-of-service on constrained and backlogged roads shall be undertaken, in order to determine if the location, size and function of the facility is appropriate and consistent with the adopted CRA plan and the Traffic Circulation element of the Lee Plan.



By 1992, the county shall develop a strategy limiting commercial (greater than 10,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight) deliveries to non peak traffic hours on Estero Island. Specific problem areas shall be studied, with service delivery plans made a part of any redevelopment activities.

Replaced in the newly adopted Lee Plan by policy 16.3.3:

The Fort Myers Beach CRA Plan will be amended by 1995 to include service delivery plans.



The county shall consider regulations requiring the location of major electric lines underground for all new and existing improvements, public and private, after studying the subject.

Replaced in the newly adopted Lee Plan by policy 16.3.1:

The Fort Myers Beach CRA Plan shall include plans for the undergrounding of utilities, where financially feasible.

In addition to those policies summarized above, LPA members may be aware of other issues in the Core Area that have emerged since the above policies were adopted, that should be addressed in our meeting on April 22, 1997, and as a part of the body of policy related to the Core Area.