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One zoning change approved, two others rejected

By Staff | Sep 1, 2015

City Council was asked to consider three land use or zoning changes to ordinances at Monday night’s meeting in City Hall.

Council members cautiously approached each based on its own merits and decided to approve one of the three requests. Approval was given to allow Artisan Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries located in the South Cape district to also serve beer, spirits and wine produced off their premises in tasting rooms associated with their own brewery, distillery or winery product. The change comes nearly a year after council voted to change the land use regulations to allow those business uses and restrict them to their own product.

“I don’t see this as a big deal or a problem,” said Councilmember Jim Burch. “We put this thing together eight months ago or so and already we are asked to change it. We have to be careful of that. It looks like we are not upholding our promises to the residents around these establishments.”

One brewer attending the meeting told the panel that he is in business to sell his product, but not everyone drinks beer. He should be allowed to sell beer, wine and soft drinks to his customers and especially at large party gatherings in his establishment. It helps his business to have other product available to supplement his own stock.

Council agreed and voted unanimously to approve the change.

Council was not as sympathetic to the other two applicants.

Dr. Ferrell Tyson, owner of Cape Coral Eye Center, requested a land use map amendment on a property assigned single-family residential status to change to commercial/professional. The property is located at 1532 S.E. 42nd St., the first residential lots adjacent to and behind commercial property fronting on Del Prado Boulevard.

Dr. Tyson told council he wanted to move some IT equipment and administrative services to the building to make room at his practice to expand patient services. Employees only would be occupying the building with no pedestrian or vehicular traffic impact.

Staff said it could recommend a Professional (P1) designation, but not commercial. Nearby residents objected to the use and change in the designation.

Again, citing promises to protect residents not being kept by changing the use designation, council shot down the request by a split vote. Mayor Marni Sawicki and Councilmembers Burch, John Carioscia and Derrick Donnell all cast dissenting votes.

An amendment request to rezone Professional (P1) property at 821 Cape Coral Parkway, West, to Commercial (C1) was unanimously denied.

Over the past two years a development project passed through planning, zoning and council as a P1 project. The difference this time is the building has now been built and the owner wants to change the zoning after the fact to provide more flexibility in the types of businesses that can be attracted to the center.

“You’ve built a round peg to put in a square hole,” Burch told the owner representatives. “We approved this as a P1 project and made promises to the residents around there as to how the building was to be used, and here you come to change it now that it’s built.”

Councilmember Richard Leon chimed in, “You built this as a P1 and I want to keep it P1. You can help small businesses by going to zoning with a PDP and ask for certain (use) exceptions that you think will go there.”

There was no motion to approve the request forthcoming. Only a motion to deny the request was made and approved.