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Land use criteria changed for Seven Islands area

By Staff | Jul 25, 2017

Paving the way for developing the Seven Islands area in Northwest Cape, City Council unanimously approved an ordinance amending the land use criteria at Monday’s meeting.

City planners recommended changing the designation from single- and multi-family uses to the mixed use designation on the roughly 51 acres of city-owned property. It was part of a 491-parcel purchase transaction in 2012 at a cost to the city of $13 million.

Council has dangled the Seven Islands portion of the purchase before private developers hoping for a possible destination development consisting of waterfront single- and multi-family residential, hotel, retail commercial, marina and park components.

The mixed use designation establishes the flexibility necessary to accommodate a more diverse use of the property through a public/private partnership. Zoning and proper Planned Development Project applications will come from project planners in the future.

Utilities are being provided to the area in the North 2 Utilities Extension Project scheduled to break ground in August. Old Burnt Store Road serving the property will be widened to four lanes in association with the UEP.

Short-term rentals

Scheduled public hearings associated with the city’s effort to define and regulate short-term residential vacation rentals were formally continued until the Sept. 11 council meeting at city staff’s request. Once the two hearings were opened, Councilmember Richard Leon made the motion to put off the discussion for seven weeks.

“I’m in favor of voting on this right now,” said Leon.

One hearing deals with an ordinance amendment setting the definition and terms of the rentals while the second is the city’s resolution to establish its administrative fees, charges and penalties.

The city maintains regulation is needed to keep visitors safe during their visit and to protect the surrounding neighborhood.

City Manager John Szerlag said the reason for the continuance request is to give staff and the stakeholders more time to refine solutions.

Both Leon and Councilmember Rana Erbrick dissented in the 6-2 votes on the continuance.

Council’s next meeting is on Monday, July 31, in Council Chambers.