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Sans Souci project gets P&Z approval

By Staff | Apr 8, 2010

Cape Coral’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved Sans Souci Bay, a condominium project in the far northwestern corner of the city.
The $384 million project was originally submitted to the city in 2006, and subsequently denied by city council in 2007.
Following a special magistrate hearing in 2008, the developer made concessions which were approved by the city in 2009.
The modified project was approved by P & Z during its meeting Wednesday, leaving final approval to city council.
Speaking on behalf of project’s developer, IAK Florida Builders Inc., Chris Spiro said Sans Souci Bay will provide an economic boost to the city.
“There’s a lot of public, and city benefit to this project,” Spiro said.
The project is expected to be built in five phases, the first breaking ground in 2011, the fifth by 2019.
Spiro said each phase is expected to create 600 jobs, and an additional 25 – 40 jobs before construction begins on the first phase.
Those jobs are estimated to create nearly 4 million hours of labor, 2,400 construction days, $192 million in construction payroll.
Spiro said they had a local bidder preference when it came to the project.
“We want to put people in Cape Coral and Lee County to work,” Spiro added.
The project has faced opposition from residents living in northwest Cape Coral who are worried that it will bring unwanted traffic to Burnt Store Road, and threaten protected land like the Charlotte Harbour Estuary, which will abut the project’s western edges.
Jennifer Maynard, who lives along Old Burnt Store Road, said construction traffic would strain the peaceful, rural-like setting of her neighborhood.
She said she’s not against development, but thinks the project’s 14-story towers would be out of place.
“I don’t have a problem with growth,” she said. “I think their plan looks nice but it’s too high … I think they could do something smaller.”
The Northwest Neighborhood Association has been opposed to the project since 2006.
Rich O’Donnell, chairman of the NWNA’s Development Review Committee, questioned whether the project would actually provide jobs to local companies.
He also said the area’s density is still too low to support a large influx of condominiums, and the city should stop approving high-density zoning projects
“What message is this giving to developers?” O’Donnell asked. “That there are no real boundaries for development in the city?”
The project received universal praise from Realtors, the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, and the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association.
The project was approved 4 – 3, with conditions including eliminating an on-site waste water treatment plan, a minimum 48 percent open space requirement and an interlocal sewage agreement with Charlotte County.