Commission amended approval of major subdivision
The Planning Commission approved a development permit and preliminary plat for Wulfert Pointe Estates, which reduces the total acreage for the development.
According to a staff report the 68.1 acre parcel is adjacent to the southern most extension of Wulfert Road. The land is known as the third phase of the Sanibel Bayous Subdivision-North of Sanibel-Captiva Road.
The staff report also stated that on March 28, the Lee County Board of Commissioners entered into a contract with the developer to purchase 8.1 acres within the 76.2 acre parcel.
Planning Director Jim Jordan said the purpose of the plat revision is to accommodate a pending real estate sale and closing on the 8.1 acre triangular shaped parcel, which is on the north side of Wulfert Road situated around conservation land.
On Aug. 12, 2014, the Planning Commission approved the preliminary plat for Wulfert Pointe Estates Subdivision.
“The original parcel was 76.2 acres of land with a total of 34 single family residence. The 8.1 acre, if removed from the preliminary plan approval, will reduce the total number of dwelling units to 29 from 34,” Jordan said. “The parcel itself is adjacent to land owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. The land itself is seen as a critical area for wildlife corridor. The land itself, when purchased, will be managed as part of the refuge of land on the north side of Wulfert Road.”
The closing date of the property, May 24, is subject to the 8.1 acres of land no longer being encumbered by the preliminary planned approval, as well as the owner not wanting to forfeit any development rights should the property not close.
“Basically they want to be able to have this opportunity for this land to be purchased for wildlife and conservation use. But, should the county for whatever reason fail to close on the property, if something does happen, or occur, then they would still be able to utilize the development rights they already have in their approval ,” Jordan said.
The initial approval for the land in its entirety is to expire in 2020. He said they had a four year valid approval on the preliminary plat from the Planning Commission for phase one and City Council, last year, approved an additional two years.
Another issue was the dedication of the right of way. Jordan said the applicant initially committed to dedicating a portion of the parcel for a public park. He said the city would relinquish any interest with that public park, so the only thing they would want to retain if the parcel was sold was the dedication of the right of way along Wulfert Road.
Commissioner Dirk deWerff said he saw it as a positive change with the property because it reduces the impact once they do start to develop the area.
Commissioner Karen Storjohann asked hypothetically if the purchase does not go through what would happen to the reburial of the Indian remains on the triangle portion of the property.
Attorney Howard Freidin said the people who will do the reburial will be paid from the closing funds and will move ahead with the reburial of the skull as soon as the closing takes place. He said the reason it will happen then is because under the conditions of the State of Florida if the property was going to be developed, they would have to put a barrier around where the site is going to be located.
“If it’s not going to be developed, which we hope is going to happen because the county is going to purchase it as part of the 20/20 program, and ‘Ding’ Darling are the purchasers, then we don’t need the buffer,” Freidin said. “There is no need to do a buffer because the whole property will remain in its natural state and no one will be encroaching upon where the burial will take place.”