The CRA advisory board unanimously voted on November 18, 2015, to seek relief from the prohibitive uses through the conditional use process rather than alter the existing MSOSD boundary. Relief through a conditional use would be provided for properties with frontage on N. First St., S. First St., and N. Ninth St. (Shaded Yellow areas in Figure 1). The conditional uses would not apply to properties with frontage on Main St. located in between First St. and Ninth St. The principal reason for this exception is to preserve these streets as a pedestrian-oriented district and to support public safety.
The approved amendment amends the conditional and prohibited uses within the Immokalee MSOSD. First, to apply the current prohibited commercial uses identified in the MSOSD to only properties with frontage on Main St. in between First St. and Ninth St. (Light Blue - Dotted area on Figure 1). Secondly, to allow the currently prohibited uses identified in the MSOSD to become conditional uses for properties with frontage on N. First St., South First St., and N. Ninth St. (Yellow-Highlighted areas on Figure 1).
The Immokalee MSOSD was originally codified through the adoption of Ordinance No. 2000-08. The purpose and intent of the overlay designation were to “encourage development and redevelopment by enhancing and beautifying the downtown Main Street area through flexible design and development standards” (Ordinance No. 2000-08, Section 188.8.131.52).
Since August of 2015, various buyers have sought to purchase properties for uses, such as a car dealership, gas station/convenience store, and a motel in areas where these uses are prohibited. Therefore, they did not enter into purchase agreements due to land use limitations.
The CRA advisory board supported providing a conditional use process because each application for a conditional use would be reviewed, vetted on a case-by-case basis, and assessed for compatibility with the surrounding area. In addition, the board would be able to provide public comments on conceptual site plans and development standards, such as lighting, noise, landscape buffers, parking, etc., during a public hearing process.
The Planning Commission reviewed the LDC Amendments on April 21, May 5, and May 25, 2016. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the LDC Amendments during a special nighttime hearing on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. On July 12, 2016, the Board of County Commissioner voted to adopt Ordinance #04-41.