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LAAPZRB approves digital signs for two churches hit by Hurricane Irma

November 20, 2017
By ERIC DeVAUX ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Organizations in Lehigh Acres are still rebuilding after Hurricane Irma's heavy winds and rains destroyed parts of their property.

Two churches brought proposals before the Lehigh Acres Architectural, Planning and Zoning Review Board at the Nov. 16 regular meeting to rebuild their damaged signs following the recent storm.

Associate Pastor Paul Schwab, of the First Baptist Church of Lehigh, sought approval to rebuild the church's message board on its sign and change it to an LED one. The church is at 200 Lee Blvd.

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Rich Batewell, with Quattrone & Associates, hands out a layout of the new storage building that McShea Contracting wants to construct on a lot at 508 Owen Ave. N. at the Nov. 16 zoning review board meeting.

"We're just replacing it with the same size that was there," he said.

The board voiced concern about LED lights being too bright and an eyesore for nearby residents.

"As long as it is not flashy," Board Member Claude Spellman said.

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Board member Inke Schirrmacher noted its placement.

"Because the way the sign is pointed, because there are residential on the other side of the road, it points really to the sides, so nothing is shining directly into the (residential homes)," she said.

Some on the board viewed LED signs as the future in Lehigh.

"I believe we should try to get caught up digitally," Board Member Thomas Pfuner said. "Otherwise, they have to go outside and manually change the lettering."

Pastor Mitch Bradshaw spoke on behalf of Lee Boulevard Baptist Church, at 3107 Lee Blvd. The church proposed replacing its damaged sign with a digital one that would be Wi-Fi-connected.

"You can do it at home," Bradshaw said.

He described partnering with the Lee County Sheriff's Office to broadcast AMBER Alerts.

"We're now doing so much for the community," Bradshaw said.

Both proposed projects were approved by the board in a 5-0 vote.

The board approved the construction of a new storage building for McShea Contracting on a lot at 508 Owen Ave. N.

The company wants to expand by building a warehouse and gated entrance to store its templates, worker vests and cones, according to the presenter Quattrone & Associates.

"Lee County itself - it's exploding," Rich Batewell, with Quattrone & Associates, said. "They want to get their fingers in that."

The Lehigh Acres Architectural, Planning and Zoning Review Board will hold its next meeting on Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the district office, at 601 East County Lane.

For more information, visit call 239-980-9981 or visit online



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