1500 Monroe St.
, Room 218,
August 27, 2003
Order Planned Development/DRI NOPC Case number DRI2001-00004 & DCI
of the Responsible Growth Management Coalition, we ask you to deny the
request to amend the Miromar Lakes DRI Development order and the
mixed-use planned development (MPD) zoning.
Additionally we ask that you acknowledge the request for the
proposed changes to the Miromar Lakes DRI Development order constitute a
substantial deviation from the original development, and
therefore warrants further DRI review.
We believe that this rezoning request is remarkably inconsistent
with the Lee Plan and incompatible
with the University Community designation.
These proposed changes further degrade habitat, rather than
provide protection for environmental resources for a variety of endangered and protected
species. These proposals
further impair attempts of
to meets its Environmental
Studies mission and commitment to the residents of southwest
Furthermore, intense development of this area will set a
precedent in allowing development to progress eastward into the DR/GR.
We believe that this request must be denied to allow
to meet its obligation to the University and
residents of southwest
proposal would create urban sprawl according to Rule
9J-5.006(5)(g), because: it will be low density”.
is inconsistent with the following, from the Lee Plan:
18, Policy 18.1.1,
and Policy 18.2.2 because it fails to “protects and
enhance” or to “support and synergize with” the basic function of
the university, and it fails to “focus on scientific research and high
DRI petition also request deviations that
may lead to more impervious surface and further compress the residential
areas beyond limits set forth in the LDC.
These include deviations that reduce width for roads (Section
10-4163), and other deviations (#24) that will allow them to provide
alternative means of separation than may include no buffers, fencing or
walls between commercial structures.
requested deviation would also allow construction of buildings without
conforming to the stringent setbacks from bodies of water than current
law (LDC Section 34-919(c)1(a). requires.
development fails to meet the
needs of “adequate protection of environmental resources”
in this region. The
proposed design intrudes into lands and waterways necessary for the
sustainability and economic stability of the region without providing
adequate benefit to the University and community of southwest
. Portions of all the tributaries of the
are already listed as impaired
on the Verified List of Impaired Waters prepared by the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection.
Additional construction in this region will certainly
further impede on the Estero Bay Watershed’s ability to support the
a heliport commercial buildings and residences surrounding another
18-hole golf course in the manner proposed by
further degrades this habitat
for protected native species. While
the suggestion that putting up six-foot fences and providing a wildlife
underpass in the center of a gated residential community will provide
adequate protection for endangered species may adequately address the
law, it does a disservice to the citizens of southwest Florida.
A residential golf course community is not a suitable replacement
habitat for the protected black bear and panther that inhabit those
and surrounding Watershed area is a resource that provides hundreds of
jobs and millions of tourist dollars annually.
It must be carefully managed to support the long-term economic
health of our community.
loss of the opportunity for generations of University students to
closely study the unique habitat and the plants and animals that share
our ecosystem is priceless.
has a mission and commitment to
serving the residents of southwest
through an environmental studies program of national prestige.
They are working toward that path with the Campus Ecosystem
Model, which scientifically examines the lands within and surrounding
the University. Completely
encircling Florida Gulf Coast University with gated residential
communities essentially removes some of the last remaining environmental
resources in south Florida that provide haven for the Florida panther,
black bear, gopher tortoise, snail kite and a long list of other rare
and endangered species. Approving
a proposal that suggests that developing this habitat into residential
lands and simply requiring that “the developers will employ every
effort to market the mix of residential housing types proposed
for development in Miromar Lakes to accommodate the varying lifestyles
of students, faculty, administration other university personnel and
employers of the associated support development” will make them affordable
to the University community is an attempt to skirt the law.
It violates the spirit of its meaning and does a disservice to
the residents of
We believe that physical impediments along the roadways that
would prevent access to the university are a more realistic
demonstration of the level of support and interaction that
intends to provide to the
University community. For
example, the proposed roadway near the entrance to the university that
is supposed to offer a southerly access route to the University is
located beyond (inside) a proposed gateway.
The residents of
are entitled to expect that
approved proposals will meet not only the letter of the law, but also
recommending approval of this proposal implies consent of
constructing CR951 far to the east of Interstate –75.
If this proposal is approved, the implied consent for CR951 would
occur long before the results of the commissioned study designed to
provide citizen input for recommendations on whether to even
construct that major roadway is ever completed and released.
understand the importance of the rights of individual property owners.
We remind you of your responsibility to all
Miromar Lakes DRI will “increase
the current allowable density or intensity of land use” that is
supposed to be “discouraged by the county”.
We find that this requests violates the concept of “
” as specified in the Lee County Comprehensive Plan.
Furthermore we also find no substantive reason for the current
proposed modifications to the Lee Plan, other than to set a precedent
for changing even more lands east of
to urban lands.
recommend that the BOCC deny this rezoning and implore them to work
quickly and diligently with the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation
to acquire these lands and put them under conservation in the public
Demers, Secretary for RGMC
Responsible Growth Management Coalition