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Cape to consider Seven Islands’ concepts

By Staff | Aug 18, 2016

Six concept plans associated with the Seven Islands vision plan may be pared down to one or two preferred plans when City Council meets on Monday at City Hall.

City Manager John Szerlag and Community Development Director Vince Cautero sent a memo to council members this week requesting a discussion in order to select one or mor) plan concepts so that staff can go about developing land use and zoning changes to accommodate the preferred plan or plans.

Council has been briefed on the concepts before, the most recent being at a special workshop meeting on Aug. 3 when Javier Omana of the consultant firm CPH, Inc. presented all six concepts labeled B, C and D.

The Seven Islands area consists of 48 acres, including 46 parcels adjoining the ‘islands’ west of Old Burnt Store Road between Southwest 2nd Street and the St. Michel Canal. It was part of the city’s 652-acre, $13.1 million land purchase in 2012 that now looks like a bargain.

CPH has been leading the visioning project planning through many months of studying, gathering ideas from citizens participating in a number of public workshop sessions in addition to voting and comments collected online at the city’s website.

A common thread among all six concepts is Old Burnt Store Road being redesigned as a “complete street.” All concepts also include a 40,000-square-foot community center, green space and commercial/residential features.

The consultant team has produced a number of drawings of the proposed development elements of varying density to include townhouses, multi-family units, a hotel, a city park and marinas.

Building height ranges from two to 10 stories. Some plans include a public marina with from 140 to 210 boat slips, others have no marina.

Another element of the concepts are open, green or plaza areas, a waterfront boardwalk and ground level commercial/office space with residential units above. Commercial development plans range from 45,000 to 65,000 square feet.

One concept blends uses along Old Burnt Store Road with such things as fish houses, a resort, mixed use village, multi-family, marina and an enhanced Tropicana Park.

Another consideration is whether or not to “cut and fill” between the islands.

Two concepts contain higher intensity and density layouts that features a large resort/village complex and a large boat basin. They also call for multi-family units/condos ranging from three to 10 stories high with surface parking to service the complex.

The concepts vary in the number of residential units from 490 to 1,300 units. Hotel designs propose between 90 and 320 rooms.

Some area residents have voiced opposition to the taller structure plans along with some on council also objecting to the concept.

Cape Council meetings begin at 4:30 p.m.