Lee County's ongoing effort to deal with wildly conflicting land uses in the southeast part of the county has drawn the attention of 1000 Friends of Florida.
The private not-for-profit planning group recognized the county effort with a Community Steward Award this morning.
Charles Pattison, president of 1000 Friends, said the effort first got the group's attention in 1990 when a compact with the state created the Density Reduction Groundwater Resource area on 83,000 acres there to help protect aquifers and cap the county's eventual population.
The deal left such diverse uses as rock mining and low-density residential in the area, however, and as more people moved in and demand for the valuable rock grew conflicts have been numerous. The county started a complete planning makeover for the area in 2007, sparking changes that continue to be fought both in commission hearings and in courtrooms.