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Council to consider regulations for food cart vendors

By Staff | Oct 31, 2013

The Cape Coral City Council will have numerous items to consider Monday including one that would establish regulations for mobile food vendors and food stands.

As proposed, the measure would provide protection in terms of public health and welfare and mitigate impacts to the brick and mortar restaurants, its proponents say.

If approved, food vans, carts and stands would have to be at least 500 feet from an established restaurant, school, family-zoned property or church, with only 15 permits to be in effect at any time in the city. The permits, six months in length, would be handed out on a first-come-first-serve basis, with a maximum of two per vendor.

Sites would be able to operate only between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and would not be able to sell alcohol or play loud music.

An unrelated ordinance would establish a lease agreement between the city and the South Florida Canoe Kayak Club for city-owned property at 418 SW 3rd Place, on Lake Kennedy behind Sun Splash, for use as a training center, meetings, classes, housing for athletes, and storage facility.

Council members were whole-heartedly in approval of the proposal when it was first introduced two weeks ago, however some property owners are now in opposition to the proposal.

For $10 annually, the club would get to lease the residence and vacant three-acre site for five years, plus an additional five-year term.

The plan is to expand the training facility to include a boathouse, a 100-dorm room complex, a beach, stage, and a cross-training facility that would attract sailors training in the winter, and serve as a camp for other sports.

Economic Development Director Dana Brunett has said the economic impact of the athletes staying here is significant, especially if more come to the area to train during the winter months.

Brunett has said the daily impact of 400 attendees would be $58,460. Over 90 days, that would be $5,261,443.

The alternatives to a lease would be to sell the house, valued at $169,000 with a tax impact of $1,076, not comparable to its potential use as a sports tourism site, officials said.

Another ordinance would establish a High Intensity Commercial-Industrial zoning district, which would provide areas for intensive non-residential development.

It would be the first zoning district consistent with the Mixed-Use Preserve future land use map classification, which was adopted by the city in 2006.

Minimum development within this area, designated for areas north of Pine Island Road, with all of it requiring the PDP process, with 30 percent of it maintained as open space.

Also, Councilmember John Carioscia is expected to bring up the transcripts from the bond validation hearing from Oct. 7-9 to determine whether or not a form that may or may not have been signed during a city council meeting by Mayor John Sullivan was forged.

Carioscia said any claim that Mayor John Sullivan did not sign the document during an Aug. 26 city council meeting would constitute forgery as the document is signed with his name.

Carioscia sent a memo to councilmembers on Oct. 10, stating that Sullivan said in a Lee County Court proceeding on Oct. 9, that he “did not sign the document titled ‘Certificate as to Public Meetings’ and that the signature appearing on and signed by seven of eight current councilmembers and dated Aug. 26, may have been signed by someone else.”

Council agreed to followup on the issue.