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P&Z gives nod to Tarpon Point development changes

By Staff | Dec 7, 2011

The Cape Coral Planning and Zoning Commission gave a lifeline to one of the city’s largest developments, while giving thumbs down to a proposed gas station on Cape Coral Parkway at its monthly meeting Wednesday at City Hall.

Tarpon Point, which has been in development since 1973 but was foreclosed on last year, was granted numerous amendments to the original ordinance which could allow expansion of the project onto submerged land and allow the hotel to be turned into a “compound-use” building, which will allow for the sale of the rooms as dwellings.

It also got an extension for the buildout date from the end of 2013 to 2021, from the commission.

Representatives from Tarpon Point, which is now under new ownership, said the ordinance doesn’t change the plan immensely and it gives the ability for the hotel to become condo units and therefore allow the hotel and the development to stay viable.

“This space has had more deviations and spec exemptions in the 29 years I’ve been here,” said P&Z member Eugene Wolfe, who returned for his first meeting in months after a lengthy illness. “But it’s wonderful. I think you’ve done a wonderful job.”

“It’s a jewel of Cape Coral. I’d like to see Tarpon Point advance,” board member Steve Cristaldi added.

“It’s a perfect example of why we have exemptions and exceptions that we wish we had more discretion over,” chairperson Patti Martin remarked before the board unanimously passed the motion.

The changes will now go before the Cape Coral City Council for its consideration. The public hearing date has been set for Monday, Dec. 12.

The P&Z was not in quite the holiday mood when considering an ordinance to rezone a parcel on the corner of Cape Coral Parkway and Country Club Boulevard to allow the proposed development of 24-hour gas station/ convenience store.

Sam Marshall, who represented the developers, said he wanted to be a good neighbor, but the neighbors weren’t buying.

“The public needs to know about this. I’m not sure neighbors want another 24-hour gas station when we have two others in the area,” said Paul Barnes, who lives nearby on 51st Terrace.

“I built real estate offices across the street. A gas station is just too intense for the area,” Wolfe said. “It should be professional, not commercial.”

Cristaldi was more open to the idea, but more terse in his description of Cape Coral Parkway.

“We’ve seen what multi-family units have done to Cape Coral Parkway. It’s an eyesore. If you haven’t seen it, drive it,” Cristaldi said.

The motion was defeated 6-2, with Cristaldi and Frank Triscari casting the lone “yeahs.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission also approved:

* A resolution providing for a vacation of plat for a street right-of way between 5360 and 5366 Cortez Court.

* a special exemption to operate a boat repair and service shop with limited sales at 1036 Pine Island Road.

* exemptions for the operation of two “used merchandise” stores on 1515 Del Prado Boulevard and 1524 Hancock Bridge Parkway.

* an exemption to operate an automotive repair shop on 1929 Del Prado Blvd.

* A dimensional variance of 5.5 feet from the minimum lot width of 80 feet for a single-family home on 5355 Majestic Court. The vote was 5-2.

* A dimensional variance for the construction of a fence at 921 SW 51st Terrace.

* a dimensional variance of 10 feet from the requirement that any fencing within 20 feet of the rear property line on waterfront sites be open mesh at 1918 SE 40th Street.

* a deviation of 11 feet from the maximum allowance of 30 feet to permit a dock at 5107 SW 3rd Ave.

* a deviation of 190 square feet from the maximum square footage of dock area allowance at 2019 SE 39th Street.

* an ordinance to amend the city land use regulations to delete automotive and equipment dealers as a special exemption use.

A motion for a dimensional variance for a patio deck and gazebo was continued to next month.