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Bayshore community shows up for open house
March 20, 2019

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Lee County staff last week hosted an open house at the Davidson House at the Lee Civic Center regarding the Bayshore Community Plan, which has been nearly a year in the making.

And while it seemed to address the community's issues on paper, there was still some skepticism about whether the county would listen to residents' desire to keep Bayshore as rural as possible.

Mikki Rozdolski, Lee County community development planning manager, said the idea was to share the draft of the Lee Plan amendment with the community, derived from the visioning meeting held last year.

"Residents want to preserve what's here and our amendments will help accomplish that and address future commercial and residential development with special attention to flooding," Rozdolski said.

Lee County staff hosted a community visioning workshop last year at the Bayshore Fire Station on Nalle Road, where residents gave their input on what they wanted to see in the community.

Among the issues identified was flooding. The Lee Plan amendments included the use of stilts or stem wall construction, which would reduce the amount of fill needed, and to design new developments so as to not interrupt natural flowway corridors or the sheet flow that comes from Charlotte County.

Land development code amendments include developments under two acres must include 40 percent open space, and 60 percent for developments of two or more acres. Residential development should happen on large lots that limit density.

Also, that commercial development should be limited to the I-75 interchange, since commercial development is very limited to begin with.

People also said they wanted parks and recreation to encourage equestrian facilities. The area has many parks and preserves and the plan requested the continued preservation of those facilities.

County Commissioner Frank Mann was among the attendees. He said he's been concerned about the process, how it works and that residents will get to provide input.

"I'm pleased to see the crowd. We've been working on a community plan, but in the last two years we've been undoing a lot of the previous work and that has people upset," Mann said. "Folks are feeling they are being ignored."

Joy Daggett said she came with concerns regarding a new transfer station on Bayshore Road (which has been suspended).

"We spend all this money on 20/20. We have people walking their dogs and they won't be able to walk their dogs with the smell," Daggett said.

David Veiths said he wants to keep the area rural, which is why he moved there.

"We want to keep it rural. It's why we came here. We're concerned about flooding with more development and the sheet flow from the north," Veiths said. "With development comes problems."

Attendees were able to provide further input. Rozdolski said the county has provided a website for additional information and feedback. Those comments will be evaluated to see if the plan needs to change.

Once that is done, it will go through the public hearing process, which should happen by the fall.

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