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Public hearing date set for San Souci project

By Staff | Apr 19, 2010

Sans Souci, a high profile development eyed for Northwest Cape, still has to clear the Cape Coral City council before the $384 million project can move forward.
A public hearing date has been scheduled for May 24 which will help determine the future of the development, which has drawn the ire of northwest Cape residents who think the project will severely tax infrastructure in the area and disrupt their way of life.
Rich O’donnell, chairman of the Northwest Neighborhood Association’s Review Committee, said the group is simply opposed to the density Sans Souci would create.
He said the NWNA realizes that development will eventually reach that part of the city, but that Sans Souci is the wrong fit.
“The issue of the project is the increase in density they’re asking for,” O’donnell said. “It’s not the height, it’s the density we’re worried about.”
The project, consisting of two high-rise buildings, surrounded by smaller residential buildings, 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 the Planning and Zoning Commission April 8, 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.
He said the developer has made the concessions to insure the project will move forward, adding that the developer is committed to making the project happen in Cape Coral.
“We are not putting this together to flip it,” Spiro said. “We will not flip this property.”
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said he could support the project but has concerns, noting he thinks there might be a better location in the city.
He also asked that the developer make more concessions, saying the city had “under-negotiated” itself.
Among other things, he asked the developer to offer public access for meeting space to the city for free for 30 years, to provide $900,000 to the city’s fire department equipment fund and to obtain a performance bond within 45 days of approval.
“I’m not saying I’m for it, but I’m certainly not against it,” Chulakes-Leetz said.