Do You Want to be on The LPA?

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Big decisions are being made about rebuilding Fort Myers Beach. All of those decisions go through the Local Planning Agency before landing in front of the Town Council. As of this week, the LPA is short one person after the resignation of Patrick Vanasse.

Losing Vanasse on the LPA is a big blow to the town. He has a deep understanding of zoning and planning regulations and has been trying to find ways to help residents and businesses get to a yes faster with their rebuild. It was his idea to push through a development agreement that may help developers get their projects moved through the town’s process faster.

On the other hand, Vanasse’s company has been picking up a lot of business on the island since Hurricane Ian. As a resident of Fort Myers Beach he understands what residents want in a new build and that comes across in the projects his company is working on. The Neighborhood Company is designing all the new 7-11 locations, The Neptune Resort and Myerside. The Neighborhood Company is also working with the Times Square committee on designs for that property.

For the second time in 4 months the Fort Myers Beach Town Council is faced with filling an open seat on the LPA. When Scott Safford was voted onto the Council in February there were 4 candidates to fill his seat. The Town Council appointed John McLean to fill Safford’s seat.

The town has set a May 15th deadline for applications which means in all likelihood someone would not be appointed until June. The Town Council also meets on May 20th. They could use that meeting as an opportunity for applicants to come before them and speak about why they’d like to serve. You can apply for the seat HERE.

The next regular Town Council meeting is Monday, May 6th at 9AM. The LPA meets again this coming Tuesday. We will carry all of those meetings live.

Vanasse’s resignation is effective after the Tuesday meeting. He’s been on the LPA for 5 years. Here is his full resignation letter:

Dear Mayor and Council Members:

It is with regret that I write to inform you of my decision to resign from the Local Planning Agency (LPA) following the April 30, 2024 meeting.

I have thoroughly contemplated this decision and after much reflection, I believe this is the right time for me to vacate my seat. Family, business, client and community obligations have become too great for me to effectively fulfill the requirements of this position.

It has been an honor to serve on the LPA. I am thankful that I was able to share my land use planning and zoning experience and assist the town and its residents, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. I believe the LPA has initiated beneficial changes to the Land Development Code and is diligent in its review of needed updates to the Comprehensive Plan.

As always, I will be readily available to you, fellow LPA members and staff to discuss planning issues on our island. I thank you for letting me serve and greatly appreciate your dedication to this Town.

While I believe much work still remains, I am hopeful and enthusiastic about our town’s future and the resiliency of my fellow residents.

Sincerely

5 COMMENTS

  1. I wholeheartedly Agree with Lee , the conflicts of interest are staggering –
    all these officials should wear sponsorship decals like NASCAR -Along with disclosing all the marital and family connections – Fla sunshine laws seem as effective as E-verify laws, not at all .

    • Marty Bartow
      Laws can’t force public officials to consider ethics or concepts such as conflicts of interests.
      Obviously this council didn’t consider such concepts when it put Vanasse on the very panel that makes recommendations on his clients.
      I’m guessing he thinks he has a better chance of getting what his client’s want thru those private chats one-on-one with each council member.

  2. It’s called lobbying.
    And he had no business on the LPA to begin with as the planner for several of the developments wanting changes.
    And what’s this LPA review of “needed changes to the comp plan?” Could have sworn that agency agreed with this full council not to change the comp plan.
    Beware of this idea of “needed changes.”

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