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Lee County Community Development


November 2014


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Elevation certificate, foundation vent classes

A day-long class on Elevation Certificate Basics and Understanding Foundation Flood Openings – aimed at surveyors and construction contractors as well as Certified Floodplain Managers – will be offered Dec. 5 in the Lee County Community Development/Public Works Center, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers.

Instructors Del Schwalls, PE, CFM and Bruce Sherlock will review completing a FEMA Elevation Certificate, including common errors and omissions, and proper foundation flood openings and the applicable codes of FEMA Technical Bulletin 1, Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures.

Through discussion of real-world examples, this course will additionally offer practical suggestions for property owners affected by the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 and Homeowner’s Flood Insurance Affordability of 2014.  Mandatory requirements of the Community Rating System, which provides discounts for flood insurance policies to participating communities, will also be discussed.

The course, which will be presented from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is approved for 6 continuing education credits for Certified Floodplain Managers.  It is being evaluated for credit for Florida insurance agents, surveyors and building officials.  It is presented by the Florida Floodplain Managers Association (FFMA).

Cost is $50 for FFMA members and $150 for Non-FFMA members.  The membership fee for FFMA is $60; attendees may join the organization prior to the course.

To join FFMA and/or register for the course go to

Deadline is Dec. 19 for preservation grants

Owners of older buildings in unincorporated Lee County may apply for funds to fix historic structures under the Lee County Historic Preservation Grant Assistance Program.

This year, the program makes $100,000 available in rehabilitation grant funds.  The average grant award is $5,000.  However, grants have been awarded for as much as $25,000 and as little as $800.

To qualify, a building must be about 50 years old and qualify for designation under the Lee County Land Development Code Chapter 22, Historic Preservation.  The structure must be located in unincorporated Lee County.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Dec. 19, 2014. Download an application at  For details, contact the Lee County Planning Division, P.O. Box 398, Fort Myers, FL 33902-0398, (239) 533-8311 or e-mail The Planning Division office is at 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers.

Learn more about historic preservation at

South Branch Estero River floodway changes

Minor changes have been made to FEMA’s designation of the regulatory floodway along the South Branch of the Estero River to accommodate development of Estero Place at the southwest intersection of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks Parkway.

For details about FEMA’s Conditional Letter of Map Amendment Case 13-04-5537R, go to

Contractors may still renew expired licenses

Renewals of Certificates of Competency for contractors doing business in unincorporated Lee County were due Sept. 30, but may still be renewed through March 2015 with late fees that increase monthly.

The fee for renewal in November is $110 for all trades and $120 for general, building and residential contractors.  Journeyman renewal fees are $37.   

Renew easily online at  Those who must renew in person may do so at the Community Development/Public Works Center, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers, in the Permitting Lobby.

Certificates for Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance must be active and current in our database.  Verify the status of your certificates online at  Updated insurance certificates can be e-mailed to or faxed to (239) 485-8577.

If your certificate of competency is not renewed or placed on voluntary inactive status by March 31, 2015, it will expire.  The fee for voluntary inactive status is now $31, and you must complete the Application for Inactive Status Form.  Download it at

Renewal of expired certificates requires a new application and approval by the Construction Licensing Board.

Make checks payable to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.

Planners to hold annual meeting and social

The Promised Lands Section of the American Planning Association/Florida Chapter and the Florida Planning and Zoning Association – Calusa Chapter will hold an annual meeting and holiday social on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at Bahama Breeze, 14701 S. Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers.

Please bring cash donations for the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

RSVP with by Monday, Dec. 1.

October 2014 permit report

During October, contractors pulled 75 permits to build single-family houses collectively valued at more than $20.1 million in unincorporated Lee County.  That compares to 88 permits issued in September and 70 issued in October 2013, according to the Lee County Department of Community Development.

Also during October, 8 multi-family units were permitted, compared to 15 in September and 44 in October 2013.

General commercial activity was valued at nearly $52.7 million for 28 permits, compared to more than $6.3 million in September and nearly $7.7 million in October 2013.

Lee County Community Development issued 3,907 permits of all kinds during October.

For additional permit reports, go to

Local Planning Agency meetings rescheduled

Local Planning Agency meetings regularly scheduled for November and December have been rescheduled as a single meeting to be held Monday, Dec. 8 at 8:30 a.m. in Commission Chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers.

County offices closed for holidays

Lee County government offices, including the Department of Community Development offices at 1500 Monroe St. and 1825 Hendry St. in Fort Myers, will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 11, for Veteran’s Day and Thursday and Friday, Nov. 27 and 28 for Thanksgiving.

Upcoming meetings and public hearings

Executive Regulatory Oversight Committee – Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2 p.m., Community Development/Public Works Center, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers.

Local Planning Agency – Monday, Dec. 8, 8:30 a.m., Commission Chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers

For the detailed calendar, go to


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