Brownfield Redevelopment

About the Program
The Florida Brownfields Program (FBP) is used as a mechanism to voluntarily clean and redevelop brownfields sites and areas which by definition are abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion, reuse, or redevelopment may be complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

Early Beginnings
The FBP was originally established in 1997 and the city has participated and adopted the Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Act into the Code of Ordinances to guide and promote brownfields redevelopment in the State of Florida. In 2002, the city was awarded a Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Community Grant by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and received the amount of $169,000 to formulate and administer a Brownfields Redevelopment Program and conduct environmental site assessments on selected sites. The overall goal of the FBP is to return as many brownfields properties into active use as possible.

Inactivity & Re-Establishment of the Program

The FBP in the city remained active until about 2007 when the existing grant funds were expended. During this time period, some 56 sites within the city were identified as potential brownfields sites or areas, and multiple assessments and/or remediation were completed including the Imaginarium.

In the spring of 2009 the city re-established the brownfield program and actively pursued grant funding, expansion of brownfield areas, and continued economic and environmental redevelopment throughout Fort Myers.

What Are Brownfields?
Brownfield Sites are generally abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. (376.79(3), FS)

Brownfield Area is a contiguous area of 1 or more brownfield sites, some of which may not be contaminated, and which have been designated by a local government by resolution. Such areas may include all or portions of community redevelopment areas, enterprise zones, or other such designated economically deprived communities and areas, and Environmental Protection Agency designated brownfield pilot projects. (376.79(4), FS)

Brownfield Redevelopment is the process of rehabilitating and revitalizing abandoned, idled, or underused industrial sites or areas though public and private action.

Community Benefits
Eventual redevelopment of brownfields results in unsightly buildings being removed or renovated. These physical improvements will add to the beauty of our neighborhoods and our city as a whole. More importantly, health risks to those living and/or working near these sites will diminish as potentially harmful contaminants are removed. Finally, redevelopment of unproductive parcels of land will result in creation of new jobs in the community in addition to improving the city's tax base. In general, brownfield redevelopment contributes to a better community in which to live and work.

Brownfield Advisory Board