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Planners ponder amending plats for Periwinkle Preserve

By Staff | Apr 15, 2009

During Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, a lengthy discussion involving the amendment for a pair of subdivision plats – collectively known as Periwinkle Preserve – was eased when commissioners decided to combine both requests and consider extending the validity of the plats simultaneously.

The first request – submitted by Ron and Spring Rosen, owners of a 7.9-acre parcel which had previously been granted a six lot unified residential (cluster) development at 1881 Periwinkle Way – sought the approval of the commission to amend the plat and show roadway configuration between their parcel and an adjoining parcel, owned by Landbel, Inc.

In addition, the Rosens sought to clarify that the amended plat is Phase I of a two-phase development called Periwinkle Preserve, although Planning Commissioner Dr. Philip Marks noted that there was a conflict over what the development should be called.

A second request – submitted by Mark Anderson, president of Landbel, Inc., which owns the 2.7-acre parcel directly west of the Rosen property, also previously approved for a six lot single-family development at 1905 Periwinkle Way – sought a two-year extension to their preliminary plat approval for Phase II of the development, which was granted in July 2007.

“Obviously, Phase II is contingent upon Phase I, and Phase I is contingent upon Phase II, so they are basically tied together,” said Jimmy Jordan, Acting Director of Planning.

The commissioners, seeking to move forward both requests, agreed to consider the items simultaneously.

One of the issues, brought up by Commissioner Tom Krekel, was why it had taken so long for the Rosens to take any action on their portion of the development, which has been in the planning process since 2004. Ron Rosen responded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been slow to respond to their request for approval, since the parcel borders a wetland conservation area deeded to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“In essence, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers neglected your application for three years?” Krekel asked.

“It’s been quite interesting,” Rosen said. “We have been surprised by their lack of response and by their responses when we’ve received the. Every time it happens, we have to contact various agencies and resubmit our application for one reason or another.”

Marks also inquired why the commission would extend the Rosen’s plat approval for another two years after being told by former Director of Planning Robert Duffy that the previously-granted extension would be “the final one.”

“We truly wanted to build something that would be a legacy for the future of our children,” said Rosen. “But here we are again, six years later, fighting for our lives.”

Sanibel resident John Wilson spoke during the public portion of the hearing, explaining, “This is a very unfortunate thing that we have to rely on the Army Corps to correct a situation that should be handled here.”

After some debate, commissioner Patty Sprankle made a motion, which was seconded by Paul Reynolds, to approve both plat amendments. The motions passed unanimously.

Also during Tuesday’s session, planners adjusted their summer meeting schedule. They cancelled meetings previously scheduled for June 23, July 28 and August 25 in will gather once monthly during the summer, on June 9, July 14 and August 11.