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Second session on ‘Seven Islands’ plans set

By Staff | Feb 12, 2016

The city of Cape Coral, and consultants for the project will hold a second town hall meeting to discuss the Northwest Cape and Seven Islands vision plan Wednesday at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Vince Cautero, director of the Department of Community Development, said the meeting will entail CPH Engineers bringing in their design plans and hearing public comment on those plans.

“We’re toward the end of the process and the meeting will be the unveiling of the concept plans lifted from the charrette and meetings with stakeholders and community leaders,” Cautero said.

The process began in June when CPH Engineers was contracted to perform the study, vision and plan. The first town hall meeting in October featured a presentation of the data the consultants collected.

This was followed in November by a three-day visioning “charrette” at city hall in council chambers. There, residents gave their input on what they wanted and didn’t want in those areas.

Most people wanted an area that utilized the water and Old Florida architecture while keeping the natural beauty of the area intact.

They didn’t want an urban area with high rise condos or cabanas, office buildings or factories.

As for high rises, city council wasn’t sure it would wholly agree with residents’ assessment, since it is seeking more “bang for their buck” and high rises might provide that.

“We’ll wait and see what they produce Wednesday night. They’re trying to give us their professional opinion. Two of the concepts will be from the charrettes, with the others their recommendations,” Cautero said.

Seven Islands, located on the western boundary of the city off Old Burnt Store Road, includes seven waterfront parcels purchased by the city in the $13.3 million land deal in 2012, totals 48 acres and 46 adjoining properties.

The purchase, heavily criticized when it happened, looks like a bargain now, with a current value of more than $22.1 million.

After the meeting and public input, the city council will be appraised on the issue, followed by a formal public hearing, where the city council will consider the plans, Cautero said.