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Council OKs placing District 5 seat on primary ballot

By Staff | Jun 13, 2017

City Council voted Monday night to place the District 5 council seat on the primary election ballot when Rana Erbrick’s expected resignation officially is filed.

Erbrick is required to resign her position by June 23 in order to run for mayor. The resignation deadline comes just two weeks before the candidate qualifying period in July and because council is going on its summer hiatus, the board wanted to have its intentions stated for the city clerk.

By law Erbrick can remain in place until the November general election, but if she chooses to vacate the seat before that, council’s only alternative is to advertise for candidates for a temporary appointment to finish out the term that runs until 2019.

All council members, including Erbrick, favored letting the voters determine who fills the District 5 seat.

“There are deadlines for a reason,” said Erbrick. “I always wanted the seat filled through the election. I’m fine putting it on the primary ballot. Anyone out there thinking of running can still do it in time for the qualifying period. They already should have put out feelers in the community to gauge the interest.”

Council approved two ordinance amendments during the meeting. One concerning the existing Bella Vida development at Entrada brought many citizens opposing the amendment to council chambers. The group did not favor changing the zoning from multi-family residential to pedestrian commercial.

Owners wanted to subdivide the 10.5-acre property into three parcels with a special exception on one parcel to develop a convenience store with gas pumps. Before the city’s presentation it was announced that the applicant, Casto Cape Coral LLC, had withdrawn its request for the special exception after hammering out a compromise with representatives of the homeowners’ association at the meeting.

Delighted the gas station request was dropped, citizens still spoke up against the commercial zoning, but being a pre-platted city in desperate need for commercial development, council approved the revised amendment to the ordinance. Some on council, however, remain concerned that no specific details were available on what type of commercial development is being planned.

Council also approved a development request to replat 10.2 acres on Pine Island Road at Skyline Boulevard called Shops at Cape Crossing into five parcels for future commercial development.

Council also approved financial incentives for Nor-Tech High Performance Boats to expand its manufacturing operations by constructing a 45,000-square-foot facility in the North Cape Industrial Park.

Economic Development Director Dana Brunett said the expansion will create about 150 new high paying jobs, for which the company will receive $1,500 in the form of rebates for each job created over the next three years.

The meeting was the last regular session for council until it returns from hiatus on July 24.