Pre-platted land is the gift that keeps on giving, so to speak, as much of Lee County is still trying to find a solution to growing communities that are not only residential but also viable centers for commercial activity.
Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres are the two communities in Lee County facing this hurdle and in the Cape, the city has to find a way to diversify its tax base, which is almost entirely residential.
Navigating the problem will be the focus of "Plat-a-palooza: Platted Lands Legacy in SW Florida." an event that will bring together county and city leaders from Lee and Charlotte to explore the problem and potential solutions.
State Rep. Gary Aubuchon, Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann, Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan and former Charlotte County Commissioner Adam Cummings are a few of the participants scheduled to attend, as are a host of planners.
Tony Palermo from Lee County Community Development said the event is really aimed and education, and asking what's next.
"We hope to be working toward a legislative agenda was the point here ... coming up with a real strategy," Palermo said.
The issue, Palermo said, is assembling enough land to be attractive to commercial development options, a move that has eluded the city of Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres.
And although the two communities are separated by more than just distance, Palermo said the two have much in common.
"The common threads are the hundreds and hundreds of platted lots," Palermo said. "It's not a healthy situation right now and the economy has exposed a lot of stuff people were predicting in the 70s and 80s."
The event is Oct. 14 at Palmetto Pines Country Club, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
It is open to the public. A $10 fee includes lunch and Florida Gulf Coast University Students are free. To attend RSVP by calling Alexis Crespo at Waldrop Engineering in Bonita Springs, 405-7777.