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Planning eyes downtown codes

By Staff | May 5, 2011

Cape Coral restaurants might be welcoming some four-legged friends to their outdoor dining areas, as the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved allowing dogs in food service establishments on Wednesday.
P and Z liason and Cape Coral City Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said a permit fee of $75 has been discussed.
Reaching out to local restaurants, Chulakes-Leetz said he didn’t find anyone who opposed the permit fee.
“It was the lowest permit fee that was reasonable, according to staff,” Chulakes-Leetz said. “By getting this passed it would pay for itself repeatedly by allowing canine owners to frequent their restaurants.”
Commissioner Steve Cristaldi said he felt the ordinance should be more inclusive to allow dogs inside restaurants, too, especially if they were a seeing-eye dog or an animal that assisted with disabilities.
“I thought it was the craziest ordinance I’d seen … this needs to be updated,” Cristaldi said.
In other news, Chulakes-Leetz said he would be bringing back the boat canopy ordinance with an increase in dimensions “down the road.”
Commissioner Gene Wolfe said the ordinance regulating boat canopies is in need of change, as the planning and zoning board is constantly hearing cases related to the ordinance.
“Every meeting we have some coming back … this is the most abused ordinance we have,” Wolfe said.
Chairwoman Patti Martin said she has no problem with boats getting bigger in Cape waterways.
“I see it as getting boats in the channel and increasing property values,” Martin said.