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Developer has plans for parcel on Lee Boulevard

November 22, 2012
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A developer with three possible plans for a 1 and 1/4- acre parcel on Lee Blvd. said he may return to the Lehigh Acres Community Planning Corp. in December or later with a new plan after members of the planning group rejected two of the three plans and reluctantly okayed one of the plans with suggestions for changes. The meeting was held Nov. 14.

Gary F. Muller, a spokesman for land owner, Barry Gionfriddo, offered three plans - A, B and C - with plans to construct or develop three different usages of the property located south of Sunshine Elementary School. It is the left side vacant lot bordered by a dead-end canal and Sarah Ave. Next to the lot is an occupied home, whose owner told the developers the house was not for sale when a purchase request was made.

Gionfriddo wants rezoning of four lots in that parcel on Lee Blvd., the north side, near Sarah Ave. It is across the street from 31 acres of commercial land that is for sale.

Article Photos

Development on Lee Boulevard is planned for the lot outlined by the red box. It is south of Sunshine Elementary School.

The three plans varied from the proposed building of a high-end car sales business, another with two buildings with one having a drive-through, and the other building for some type of business that would be allowed, according to zoning.

Plan A was accepted after a prolonged discussion, lasting nearly an hour, about the pros and cons of the land owner's plan for the parcel. A rendering shows two proposed buildings for business purposes in Plan A.

One of the plans that carried a drive-through was rejected by LACPC Chairman Edd Weiner and others. Weiner said Lehigh didn't need another drive-through quick food restaurant on busy Lee Blvd.

The board decided with a motion to include a resolution for Gionfriddo and Muller for their trip to the Hearing Examiner for a proposed rezoning from RS-1 to CPD on the land on Lee Blvd.

The LACPC suggested that the commercial building on the east side should be flipped toward the front. Accordingly, the parking on the east side should be flipped back against the Sunshine Elementary School side of the property.

The board wants a right turn deceleration lane, 75 feet stack and 50 feet taper, incorporated into the entry way even if it means bleeding into the owner's property, for safety on Lee Blvd., which was called a high-speed roadway by the board.

Serious consideration should be given to multiple-story buildings with at least one floor of retail space and consideration should be given to the new county parking ordinance that allows for fewer parking space, which could provide more square footage or more green space at the site.

The board also suggested that the owner discuss the possible purchase of canal property with the East County Water Control District (ECWCD) that is the width of the proposed project's property to fill in (a dead-end canal) for landscaping, other buffering and possibly improving future access.

In other business, Weiner announced a bus tour of mixed-use places of Naples and Ave Maria scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. top 4 p.m. The $25 cost includes bus and lunch and there is only room for 18 more people. If interested, call Kathie Ebaugh at 533-8313.

The board also unanimously voted to retain the present officers for 2012-2013. They include Edd Weiner, chairman, Thomas Pfuner, vice chairman; Tami Baker, treasurer, and Jacqui Chevalier Hill, secretary.

Weiner also said an opening exists on the board and if someone would like to serve, they should send a resume to him and appear at the next meeting which is Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Meeting Room of the Sheriff's substation on Lee Blvd.

Enter through the rear door. Send the resume to Edd Weiner, PO Box 157, Lehigh Acres FL, 33970-0157.



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