PORT CHARLOTTE — The future of chickens, affordable housing and storage lots in Charlotte County are up for debate today.

Commissioners will hear county staff presentations at a 9 a.m. workshop, 18500 Murdock Circle, and discuss how the county could proceed.

The public can attend, but can’t comment, as they could if it were a regular board meeting. In October, a local citizen group called CLUCK (Citizens Lobbying for Urban Chicken Keeping) asked commissioners to hold a workshop to explore the idea of allowing chickens in residential zones.

For chicken policies, county staff state in online materials that residents have been asking for permission to keep chickens. These animals are currently not allowed outside of agricultural zones or for special programs such as 4H.

Commissioners will review what neighboring communities are doing. For example, Lee County bars chickens, but the city of Fort Myers allows them.

For housing, there are two presentations on the agenda. The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee will present their report on ways to encourage developers to build housing for lower income people.

The county’s planners will talk about using another kind of zoning category called mixed use to encourage new kinds of neighborhoods. Current zoning here does not allow mixed use development in multi-level buildings, the presentation states.

Mixed use zoning encourages commercial and residential in the same structures. Other options in the staff presentation include allowing accessory apartments.

For storage lots, staff presentations suggest that these sites are proliferating in the county.

Options for more county control include requiring a structure on site, storm water management and more required landscaping.

Presentations from county staff can be read online at www.charlottecountyfl.gov/Pages/BCC-meeting-agendas.aspx

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