Lee County Hearing Examiners, APA/FPZA Program

APA Florida Chapter, Promised Lands Section


Friday, January 23, 2015
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST

Fort Myers, FL, United States

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

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Join us for this interactive and informal luncheon with Lee County’s Chief Hearing Examiner and Deputy Hearing Examiner. Discussion will serve as a “refresher” for hearing conduct and the HEX’s expectations for Staff and Applicants in planning, zoning and code cases. This is a joint program with the Florida Planning and Zoning Association and the Promised Lands Section of APA Florida Chapter. The Lee County Hearing Examiners Office is an independent reviewer of Lee County’s regulation of land development and land use. The Hearing Examiner holds public hearings on land related applications -- rezonings and other land use requests. The Hearing Examiner provides a recommendation to Board of County Commissioners, which holds a second hearing and makes the final decision on whether to approve the request. The Hearing Examiner makes final decisions on applications for special exceptions, variances and administrative appeals. The Hearing Examiner also acts in the place of a code enforcement board, conducting the code enforcement hearings and making the decisions on whether a violation exists, how the violation should be corrected, and the fine if the violation is not corrected. All of the hearings before the Hearing Examiner are quasi-judicial. This means the hearings are court-like. The Hearing Examiner is prohibited by ordinance from discussing cases outside the public hearing setting. The Chief Hearing Examiner is a contract employee who reports directly to the Lee County Commission and serves as administrative head of the office. Lee County Hearing Examiners are attorneys with substantial backgrounds and expertise in land use and growth management law. This program will provide an in-depth look at the challenges facing the Hearing Examiners – including growth management, zoning, citizen participation, and comprehensive planning challenges unique to the State of Florida and the SW Florida region. This program will discuss the Hearing Examiner’s approach to zoning cases, public testimony, land use, technology, and other issues of interest to the audience. A majority of the content will be related to planning law, land use law, environmental law, and quasi-judicial hearings. There will be a formal presentation, discussion, and opportunities for questions, answers. The educational objective will be appropriate for AICP members as they learn new developments in land use law and planning. The speaker will draw on professional experience in land use planning and land use law in SW Florida. The content will not be basic in nature, but will be an in depth discussion about critical matters to planners and other professionals, including land use attorneys.