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CRA to tackle zoning, development regulations

By Staff | Apr 23, 2011

Cape Coral’s downtown is mired in the zoning doldrums of a bygone era, back when the vision for the district included large tracts of land assembled for large projects that were never built.
Now those very same zoning issues — which were supposed to pave the way for high end condominiums and boutique shopping — are holding the district back from developing into a successful, cultural beacon for the city.
“We were fully aware of the problem, but the depth of the problem was demonstrated completely,” said Community Redevelopment Chair Don Heisler.
The demonstration was made by Trent Baughn, a member of planner Bernard Zyscovich’s team, which is working on the CRA’s vision plan, who called the zoning “deeply flawed.”
Baughn also said the the Land Development Regulations were confusing and contradictory, and was working against any development from ever taking place.
“The code is set up for the big development, it’s not set up for the small stuff we’re detailing in the vision plan,” Baughn said.
Baughn said it would take about eight months worth of work to straighten out the zoning and usage issues.
He also said the district should get away from the PDP process entirely and move solely toward zoning.
“The PDP process undermines the zoning,” said Bernard Zyscovich.
CRA Board members were in favor of moving forward.
Chairman Don Heisler said he has faith in the Zyscovich team, and they will put the city’s downtown into position to be successful.
“The doctor is in. They know the illness and they know the cure,” Heisler said of Zyscovich.