When Lee County leaders approved the current comprehensive plan (Lee Plan) nearly 25 years ago, the greatest visionaries among them would have been hard-pressed to predict either the astronomical growth that occurred in the early 2000s or the recent equally dramatic halt to new construction and decline in the global economy.
The original Lee Plan envisioned a diverse metropolitan community with clearly defined areas for urban and suburban living. Yet the growth pattern that emerged has been mainly disconnected suburban patterns, resulting in long commutes to jobs, shopping, and entertainment. With the projected population growth in the years ahead, Lee County will encounter serious cost and quality-of-life problems that couldn’t have been imagined 25 years ago. Our metropolitan area is not alone in facing these kinds of change; many rapid-growth cities and counties are facing similar problems.
Few want Lee County to replicate planning mistakes made by other high-growth Florida counties. Today’s sluggish economy makes this an opportune moment to rethink and perhaps reinvent Lee County’s planning model. Early in 2009, some of those involved in drafting the original Lee Plan and others with related planning interests began to discuss how to shift Lee County toward a paradigm where there are multiple opportunities–walkable urban communities, suburban communities with more transportation options, and communities where a rural lifestyle is preserved. Reconnecting Lee County was born out of these discussions.
Reconnecting Lee County is inspired by the national non-profit organization, Reconnecting America. This organization seeks to reinvent the planning and delivery system for building regions and communities around transit and walking rather than solely around the automobile. It offers a practical fact-based perspective on diverse transit modes and on transit-oriented development. We encourage you to visit the Reconnecting America website for more details.
Reconnecting Lee County is an informal association of private and public sector individuals focused on connecting communities through a range of transportation and transit-oriented development options to accommodate future growth through a strong and sustainable economy and a well-protected natural environment.
How to Use this Website
The Reconnecting Lee County website is intended as a resource for developers, builders, bankers, realtors, planners, government officials and others interested in diverse transportation modes and transit-oriented development and redevelopment ideas for Lee County. Reconnectinglee.com is committed to providing:
- Resources for those interested in how this mission might fit their professional agenda.
- A focal point for individuals to share their ideas on shifting Lee County’s planning paradigm.
- A forum for an exchange of ideas and information on related topics.