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Residents oppose Old Burnt Store Road rezoning plan

By Staff | Oct 17, 2011

The Cape Coral City Council listened to four people Monday night who said they did not want land they owned to be rezoned from agricultural to residential estate usage.

According to the council, rezoning of that area located north of Pine Island Road comes up before a public hearing on Oct. 31.

The plan for the ordinance is to rezone property located east of Old Burnt Store Road along Janis Road and Sand Road from Agricultural (AG) to Residential Estate (RE).

But for Doug Johnson and his wife, Jennifer, they said they didn’t want the area changed to become a community of gated homes.

Jennifer owns Guardian’s Way and she boards horses and has those of her own, and her husband has a landscape business there.

Planner Wyatt Daltry explained that those few people who were objecting to a zoning change would be grandfathered in. He said nothing would change for them, that they could continue as they are now.

But Jennifer said that she was unhappy because if the area is rezoned, then future buyers of property around her won’t be able to keep what she called the country atmosphere.

“It’s here in this area and that is all that is left,” she later said after the meeting.

Johnson and his wife told the council that when they purchased the property it was zoned multi-use and they had to have two businesses on it when they built their home.

Another resident of the area, Jeff Bunch, told council members that he owned land in the area and he had planned to use it for business but was unable to say when. He objected because if the zoning is changed later this month, he won’t be grandfathered in.

He said the land could go to his daughter one day and she will not be able to do certain things with the land in question.

The Johnsons said they were upset and didn’t know why the city wanted to touch the land anyway.

Councilmember Marty McClain said that of the two dozen or so parcel owners who own land proposed for rezoning, only a few people showed up to object. He said the other 23 or so didn’t come out to object to the proposal for rezoning by the city and suggested they “move forward.”

The Johnsons said they have talked to neighbors and many of them are upset about any rezoning of the area, but they said many of them are too busy to be able to come to the meeting to make their voices heard.

Councilmember Kevin McGrail, who represents District 6 which includes the land, said he would be glad to talk to those who came to the meeting further about the rezoning and also offered to any others who live in the area to call him and tell him how they feel.

Early in the evening, council approved appointments to boards, committees and commissions in the city that included the Financial Advisory Committee, the Health Facilities Authority and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

The council’s consent agenda was passed without any object from the members.

The items included a 700-square-foot building addition to the Emergency Operations Center, for a revised total project budget amount of $1,275,000.

Also included was an authorization to file suit against Embarq Florida for the

costs of relocating telecommunication cables and related equipment where such cables and equipment were in conflict with the city’s road improvement project for Del Prado Boulevard and the approval of the recommendations from the city’s benefits coordinator, Gehring Group, for insurance coverage for employees, retirees and dependents. Officials said this includes health vision and dental plans with a savings of $1.4 million.

Margaret Krym, city auditor, answered questions about the proposed Strategic Plan and Audit Plan for Fiscal Year 2012. She said that the ordinance requires the submission of an annual audit plan to the city council by Oct. 1 of each year. The plan had been presented to the Audit Committee on Sept. 15 and no suggestions of changes were made.

The council passed the Strategic Plan and Audit Plan for Fiscal Year 2012.

The council also passed an ordinance that will authorize the issuance of not to exceed $120,000 in aggregate principal amount of Water and Sewer Refunding Revenue Bonds to refinance certain outstanding commercial paper obligations of the city.

The council announced that a special meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 5:05 p.m. in council chambers and a council workshop meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 24, at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.