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City Council decision splits multi-family proposal

August 21, 2018
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Residents along one Cape Coral roadway said that they don't mind if a multi-family development is built on a nearby major city street, but if it encroaches on their way of life, there will be problems.

That is what residents from Southwest 8th Place told the Cape Coral City Council during the board's regular meeting Monday at City Hall.

The comments and discussion resulted in an unusual council decision to pass essentially half of a proposed ordinance that would approve the rezoning of a property on 2944 Skyline Blvd., but deny the rezoning on 2947 S.W. 8th Place, a move that developers said could jeopardize the plan.

A rezoning was requested for the 1.26-acre undeveloped parcels located between the two city streets from Residential Development to Multi-Family Residential for a development with as many as 20 multi-family units.

City staff said the rezoning could increase property values, would have adequate size, not have a negative effect on the area and would fill a need for affordable, multi-family housing in the city.

Residents begged to differ. Attorney and former mayor Eric Feichthaler told the council that residents weren't the NIMBY (not in my backyard) types but that while they supported the need for multi-family housing on Skyline, Southwest 8th Street is all single-family housing and would not be compatible.

The council got a tearful plea from Margaret Dorin, whose husband died in 2014. She said she loved her neighborhood and house, and at 81 she didn't know how long she was going to be there.

Others said there were many children who live there and the potential increase in traffic would make for a noisier neighborhood, though they liked the idea for multi-family housing on Skyline.

Councilmember Rick Williams agreed to approve the rezoning on Skyline, but not on Southwest 8th Place, a sentiment shared by the rest of council.

"I'm in favor of the Skyline parcel, but not 8th Place. It's 90 percent single-family residential and it would be a detriment to have multi-family housing there," Councilmember John Gunter said.

Andres Burrell of Burrell Engineering & Design argued the property on Southwest 8th Place is not zoned single-family and would only have eight units if approved. He also said the nearby daycare would generate more traffic than the new homes.

"The city has determined that 1,500 multi-family units are needed. This project would not be feasible if only the Skyline property is approved for rezoning," Burrell said. "The budget is based on 20 units being developed."

Council voted 7-0 to approve the Skyline parcel and deny the Southwest 8th Place.

"I was really pleased for that because my house is right in front of it. Mr. Feichthaler did a great job. My son-in-law found him and when we learned he was the former mayor, we knew we got a good one," Dorin said.

City Council also approved a planned development project called "Meta at Cape Harbour" by replatting a 2.57-acre tract and eliminating a provision that requires compound use buildings on Pedestrian Commercial tracts, which staff said would allow flexibility on how the land can be developed.

That vote was also 7-0, with Marilyn Stout absent.

 
 

 

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