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‘Four Corners’ rezoning proposal pulled from overhaul ordinance

By Staff | Feb 12, 2019

Cape Coral property owners protesting a proposed rezoning of a major intersection near their homes received a reprieve Monday.

Cape Coral City Council removed the intersection know as the “Four Corners,” from a citywide zoning ordinance with the understanding that its rezoning would be brought forth in the future as a separate ordinance.

“Upon reflection from the meeting last week we gained a new appreciation of the complexity of the issues surrounding Four Corners,” said city Planning Manager Robert Pederson.

Residents who live nearby the intersection of Agualinda Boulevard and Beach Parkway filled council chambers last week to protest the proposed land use changes for the area that could have allowed for more than 500 multi-family units.

In the end, it was decided that the land use would be for light-density multi-family housing. But the outcry convinced Pederson and city staff that a new way of looking at it was in order.

Those affected by any rezoning would receive full notice through sign postings, newspaper ads and direct notice for those who live within 500 feet. It would be presented as a quasi-judicial hearing, with the first hearing coming before the hearing examiner, who would make a ruling and bring it to Council.

After the drama of last week, the city presented its rezoning plan, a companion ordinance to the land-use measure transmitted to the state.

Following a near 10-minute reading of the ordinance, City Planner Wyatt Daltry went through the 9,819-acre plan, which is designed to create consistency with the land-use, comprehensive and land development codes.

Among the greatest changes is the elimination of the Residential Development, R-3 zoning by splitting it into RML and RMM which are light and medium density multi-family designations, Marketplace Residential, Residential Receiving and Village.

Eight districts are proposed to be removed as a way to streamline things and make development easier and more consistent. However, about two-thirds of them represent “like-for-like” changes, with another 14 percent unzoned.

Councilmember Jessica Cosden said she wanted a comprehensive list of the properties that aren’t unzoned or “like-for-like”

Councilmember John Gunter said that he would like to see more in the way of commercial so the tax base can grow. He wanted a list of the properties on the main thoroughfares where there is a change to multi-family.

“Some of these lots scream out commercial because of their location. I want to see if there is a possibility of that,” Gunter said. “With a 92-8 tax base here, we would all like to see the commercial tax base increase. This is a golden opportunity.”

The ordinance is expected to receive further discussion at the Feb. 25 Council workshop meeting. A second and final public hearing is set for March 18.

In other business, Cosden led a discussion on replacing the office manager who just left, leaving two people on staff to assist Council members.

Among the options discussed were to hire a third person either full-time or part-time or perhaps share a full-time person with another department.

Mayor Joe Coviello suggested possibly an intern, but Councilmember Rick Williams was concerned with an intern’s dependability.

In the end, with council members David Stokes and Jennifer Nelson in Tallahassee and excused from the meeting, it was decided to table the idea until everyone was present.

Also, Carl Veaux and the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife presented the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation a check for $14,324.78 for an environmental Center at Serenia Vista Park. The donation was raised at a recent gala at the Cape Coral Yacht Club.

The city also named David Jiminez to fill a vacancy with the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.