Latest News and Events
- Walk This Way October 16, 2015
Over 400 planners, developers, citizens and even some elected officials enjoyed a full day of discussion of “Walkable Urban Communities – Making Sense of Mixed Use” on Thursday October 15 at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers.
It was a wildly successful day thanks to our APA Florida Promised Lands members, the City of Fort Myers, the SW Florida Community Foundation, and a whole host of sponsors and participants.
Walkable, mixed use, multi-modal and attractive developments were promoted and scrutinized in a full day featuring three nationally respected presenters – Chris Leinberger of George Washington University, Joe Minicozzi of Urban3 of Ashville, ND and Jeff Speck, AICP – author of Walkable City.
Four projects, College Parkway, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs got the “Shark Tank” treatment from Tessa LeSage of the SW Florida Community Foundation.
US Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fl. – who provided a welcome to SW Florida and Fort Myers – spoke movingly about the need for local, walkable and transit-friendly communities where people like his disabled brother can live independently without having to drive a car.
This event would not have been possible without the organization of Ann Pierce, and the leadership of Mayor Randy Henderson of Fort Myers – who championed the cause and hope it will inspire new types of communities in the near future.
6.5 AICP/CM credits available for participants.
- Hooray for Hollywood, FL September 14, 2015
The APA Florida conference in Hollywood, FL is now a pleasant memory. Thank you to our hosts from Broward and Miami-Dade counties. They put on a great show, incredible speakers, and we had a fantastic time. The conference attracted 640 registrants, at least, including a number of Promised Lands members. It is nice to be back in SW Florida again, where the pace is a little slower, quieter, and the buildings a lot shorter.
Tampa and their “Cards Against Urbanity” will be our host in 2016. Looking forward to that.
There are some local programs to look forward to also.
“Ethics for the Practicing Planning” will be a joint program of the Promised Lands Section of APA Florida and the Calusa Chapter of FPZA. Enjoy a working lunch (and get your ethics credits) Friday September 25.
“Making Dollars and Sense of Mixed” use is Thursday October 15. It’s a full day and an incredible line-up of national speakers is on the agenda.
The “5th annual 2015 SWFL GIS Symposium” is Thursday November 5. GIS fans should plan to attend this year’s SWFL GIS Symposium. We have a new location in Lee County. The new Minnesota Twins Player Development Academy is a larger venue and will accommodate 200 people, so we hope to see more GIS fans this year. Plus the price has dropped.
Details are on the APA Florida calendar. AICP/CM credits will be available for all three programs.
Lastly, plan on the Promised Lands Annual Holiday Party Thursday December 3. Details pending.
-Tony Palermo, AICP
Promised Lands, Chair
- Paul and Mary – Best Wishes from the Promised Lands May 15, 2015
There was much celebration (and sadness) as planners, zoners, friends, and family said good-bye to Mary Gibbs, AICP and Paul O’Connor, AICP, at the Spirits on Bacchus. Mary, the longest-serving Community Development Director in Lee County’s history, and Paul, the Lee County Planning Director since 1993, are both retiring after successful careers in public service. The Promised Lands saluted Paul with a Planning Excellence Award during a recent event. And the Promised Lands recognized Mary, the 2008 Roland Eastwood Planner of the Year, with “Planner of the Decade.” During their tenure – Lee County grew, protected its natural environment, and dealt with challenges familiar to all of SW Florida. During the Paul and Mary years, Lee County saw the development of both the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox spring training facilities, the site selection and continued growth of Florida Gulf Coast University, and the recent relocation of the Hertz World Headquarters from New Jersey to the new Village of Estero. There were scores of other accomplishments from overhauls of the Lee Plan, redevelopment plans for Lehigh Acres and North Fort Myers, plans for the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) areas, and implementation of a Hearing Examiner process for zoning and code enforcement. Both Paul and Mary would be the first to say all of these accomplishments were team efforts involving the hard work and dedication of staff, citizens, elected officials, and the development community. Lastly, Paul and Mary deserve thanks and praise for their career-long commitments to APA – and both always encouraged the professional and personal development of planners. The Promised Lands Section salutes Paul and Mary, wishing them the best in their new adventures.
- Symposium II – Port Charlotte May 11, 2015
Members of the Promised Lands Section – and guests from miles around – put on a good show and had a great time at the Land Use Symposium II in Port Charlotte May 8, 2015. Charlotte County Commissioner Stephen R. Deutsch was kind enough to start the day with a warm welcome to Charlotte County. Special thanks to our local hosts Julia Galofre, AICP, Lynda Lafferty and Diane Clim of Charlotte County Community Development who hosted us and provided the free space in the Murdock Administration Center. Thanks also go to Promised Lands Executive Board members Jason Green, AICP and Lindsay Rodriguez – who also helped us register everyone and take their $10.00 down and ($0 a month). Our team of presenters put on another stellar performance including former Charlotte County Commissioner Adam Cummings, Max Forgey, AICP of Zoning Technologies, Derek Rooney of Gray Robinson in Naples, Shaun Cullinan, Charlotte County’s Zoning Official, and Punta Gorda land use attorney Michael P. Haymans. The featured lunch presenter was Gene Boles, FAICP, a Senior Fellow for Resource Efficient Communities at U of F. Mike Haymans, Martin guitar in hand, gave us musical highlights in “Plannin’ and a Zonin’ – A Florida Cowboy’s Perspective” – and sang us an inspired version of Mac Martin and Victor Milt’s “Florida Cowboy”, plus his own works “Cracker’s Plight” (a poem) and “Extinction Zoo” (another fine song). Sincere thanks to all who came (and received 3 AICP/CM credits) – and helped. It was a team effort.
- Paul O’Connor, AICP Recognized April 23, 2015
Paul O’Connor, AICP, started with Lee County government in 1986. In 1993 he was named Planning Director – and has served the people of Lee County since that time. In May Paul will retire. He was recognized for a career in “Planning Excellence” by the Promised Lands Section of APA at a recent event at Florida Gulf Coast University. Best wishes and best of luck to Paul!