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Land Use changes return to council

By Staff | Mar 28, 2019

Cape Coral City Council will once again consider a city-initiated large-scale land use map amendment that proved controversial when first presented.

Included on Monday’s City Council agenda is an amendment affecting 1,817 total acres the city considers to be a key element in a multi-part process to overhaul the city’s land development code.

Many of the proposed changes would affect residential land use for single- and multi-family homes. The rest would affect commercial/industrial, and a small portion to public land uses.

The objective of the ordinance to be considered Monday is to bring the city higher-quality multi-family and commercial land, as well as to find deficiencies in the land use map, officials said.

Changes have been made to reflect the existing development pattern.

“We’re moving forward with this. It’s how the process works. It’s lengthy, but it’s that way by design to make sure there’s opportunity to make changes,” said Wyatt Daltry, city planner. “There are large-scale changes and Council has the right to pull something out, they just can’t add on.”

The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended transmittal to the state at its Jan. 9 meeting by a 4-2 vote with the condition the D&D Boat Ramp be removed from the ordinance.

Staff then submitted the amendment to state and regional agencies after a public hearing on Feb. 4 at which Council approved the measure, 5-3 .

At that hearing, however, residents in the Four Corners area (the intersection of Agualinda and Beach) had plenty to say regarding impact to their neighborhood.

Council subsequently agreed that any zoning issues regarding the area would be brought up in separate ordinances to come.

The southwest corner was given a commercial/professional land use, while the other three were given multi-family residential.

“This ordinance sets the table for the rezone and that’s how Florida law treats these, with the land use first then the zoning because it’s a two-tier process,” Daltry said.

Daltry said there were no changes or comment made from the state or region.

If council adopts the plan, state and regional agencies will review it again. The ordinance would then take effect 60 days after adoption if there is no challenge.

In other business, City Council also will consider an ordinance to amend the City of Cape Coral Investment Policy and amending the Future Land Use Map from Single-Family Residential (SF) to Multi-Family Residential (MF) on property on Southeast 46th Street.

It also will consider a request from the developer of the Village Square Planned Development Project (PDP) for another extension to the condition in the PDP that requires building permits be issued by April 12, 2019.

The developer, Downtown Village Square LLC, wants the deadline moved to June 11 to enable city staff to bring forth an amendment to the ordinance that approved the PDP, according to a memo from City Manager John Szerlag to council.

This project was originally approved by City Council in 2010 and required that substantial construction commence within two years. This requirement has been extended several times.

If Council chooses to take no action, Szerlag said the project will become null and void.

“While this project has sat idle for nearly a decade, it can serve as a ‘potential catalyst,’ to attract more investment in the South Cape,” the memo states.

City staff recommends the Council approve the extension.

City Council also will request approval of a job description and position title for a new legislative clerk, and the Police Department will receive acknowledgement by the city manager for reducing the number of gas skimmer fraud cases.

Council meetings begin at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.