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Zoning board considers offer for own space

August 30, 2017
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The local zoning review board discussed setting up a permanent headquarters at the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District at its meeting, along with two projects.

The Lehigh Acres Architectural, Planning and Zoning Review Board reviewed a development order resubmitted for an auto parts store and a deviation for an existing application for a tire dealer and auto repair shop at its Aug. 24 meeting. The board also considered an offer for a location to work out of.

Inke Schirrmacher, the board's president, explained that LA-MSID officials had approached the board about sharing the district's facilities, at 601 East County Lane. They would remain separate entities.

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Inke Schirrmacher

"We recently had a very informal meeting to discuss the idea," she said.

"We basically just looked at ways we can work together in the future," Schirrmacher added. "They like the way our board functions and want to help us out by offering us a permanent place to conduct business."

Board Member Mohamed Yasin voiced concern about the move.

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"When did we decide to leave the (Lehigh Acres Community) council and go under the umbrella of another group?" he asked.

Other approved of separating from the council and working with the LA-MSID.

"I think it's for the betterment of LAAPZRB," said Board Member Enrique DeAndres.

Yasin asked to move the topic to next month's agenda to give the board time to consider the idea.

The board unanimously voted to do so.

At the meeting, the first project up for review was a development order resubmitted for an O'Reilly Auto Parts on Lee Boulevard. The board had already unanimously approved the plan after it was submitted electronically. Up for discussion was whether the light poles met the county's compliance.

The second project was an amendment to revise existing plans for a Rick Johnson Auto and Tire, at 3502-3508 Lee Blvd. Jeff Davidson, the president of Davidson Engineering, presented on behalf of the applicant. He asked for a deviation request on a turn lane and the reduction of a 660-foot driveway.

Yasin said he was concerned about the project affecting the surrounding traffic.

"We have spoken to the county and are making the changes according to their recommendations," Davidson said.

According to Davidson, a traffic impact study was already done to make sure the project would not cause unnecessary delays in the area.

An unanimous vote was made in favor of the deviations and the plans for the project.

The board also discussed how to make its meeting agendas more accessible to the public.

"In the past, we have not advertised what type of projects will be presented, but they are on our calendar," Schirrmacher said. "According to the county, all projects should be made known to the public."

"Should we present the board's project list in the paper prior to the meeting?" she asked.

The board voiced support for the move.

All voted in favor of submitting the agenda to the media prior to each meeting.

The zoning board meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the LA-MSID, at 601 East County Lane.

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