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Hearing for land use amendment continued

By Staff | May 24, 2016

Even though the public hearing was continued until July 18, enough people showed up to voice their strong opinions that City Council allowed them to speak Monday night.

The hearing, on a land use amendment request for two parcels located on Chiquita Boulevard south of Cape Coral Parkway, was continued at the request of Councilmember Richard Leon, who has been delving into the background for more information before making a decision. The landowner wants to change the use from single-family residential to multi-family residential in order to possibly construct a 39-unit condo complex.

Neighboring residents are concerned about increased traffic and safety hazards as well as a significant decrease in the value of the surrounding homes on Southwest 16th Place and Southwest 51st Street.

“The zoning is there for a reason,” they pleaded. “Leave it like it is. The risk for the community outweighs the reward for a single landowner.”

“I’m sorry it has taken so long, but please allow me more time to research this to get more information,” responded Leon, who made the motion to continue the hearing until after council’s summer hiatus.

Council sided with Leon and approved the continuance.

Funds for Art Studio

Given the option to apply for a matching state grant to benefit Sirenia Vista Park or renovate the Cape Coral Art Studio, council decided to approve going forward with the latter in the amount of $200,000. The city would match the grant with Parks & Recreation funds in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

“I would love to see this (Sirenia Vista Park) because it’s in my district, but I’m not willing to commit the city to the $2.3 million down the road,” said Councilmember Rick Williams. “The $200,000 for the arts studio seems a better investment than $500,000 for the park.”

Funds for Sirenia Vista Park were vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Rick Scott, but council members and staff believe funds for improvements could be forthcoming from the state in the next year or two.

Festival Park in Northwest Cape continues to be assembled as council approved the purchase of three more parcels at Monday’s meeting. Each parcel will cost the city $9,400 from the capital projects fund.

Other council items

Purchase of a fourth parcel was terminated because the landowner wanted more from the sale. The city needs a total of 517 lots to go forward with the park project.

Council also approved an ordinance amendment to the land use map, changing the designation from commercial activity center to commercial professional for property located at 1906 Skyline Blvd.

The almost 5-acre parcel is on the west side of Skyline in a commercial corridor south of Trafalgar Parkway.

The property once was the site for a church expansion.

Council has scheduled a special workshop meeting for June 1, at 4:30 p.m., at the Nicholas Annex building before its next regular meeting on June 6 at City Hall.

There is no council meeting next Monday in observance of Memorial Day.