Planned Development Amendment Change
What does it mean? Development projects could have buildings as high as 65', up from the current ceiling of 35', within 1200' of the shoreline.
In order to receive additional height, a developer must provide the equivalent gross area as open space. Also, a developer must show measures have been taken to mitigate potential negative impacts and that the proposed development will be better than that required by existing and conventional zoning.
In my opinion, there are only a few properties in Charlotte County where this can work. I believe very few developers can afford to give up more space on their properties in order to go higher than 35'.
I also believe that the Cape Haze Peninsula may be the best hotel/resort opportunity in the state of Florida. If we promote our eco-tourism assets, we can bring quality "green" development to our County. These types of projects will, as the County now promotes, "Take Advantage of our Good Nature!"
A few quality hotel/resort projects (which will in turn bring some upscale commercial development along with) will allow younger people/families to discover how special our area truly is, and hopefully stop our youngest and brightest from having to leave!
Without this type of development, you will not have the necessary "energy" and "lifestyle" that the younger generations want in order to settle here. This type of development is absolutely necessary in order to bring the higher paying jobs and proper growth our County should be exploring. The Charlotte County Economic Development Office cannot compete with other counties without these amenities.
If "No Growth" is the mindset -- we will have a County made up of only older retirees and what few younger people are around, will find largely, lower paying, service-only jobs! We cannot have a County made up of only retirees ... it is a recipe for insolvency. Many of our retirees will welcome a little more "energy" and the "lifestyle" that should come with these types of projects.
I believe this Planned Development Amendment Change will send a message that "Charlotte County is Open for Business" and should allow for much needed economic progress.
Please try and understand why this type of change is necessary ... Did you know, for example, if Charlotte County does not approve a tax millage rate increase this year, then the consequence is our County will be broke the following year? No one wants higher taxes, therefore increasing revenues, along with fiscal belt tightening, is the imminent answer.
I commend Commissioner's Tricia Duffy, Tom D'Aprile, and Dick Loftus for making a very difficult decision for necessary and quality economic progress. Keep in mind there were five months of public input in helping make this decision. I was one of many citizens that spent numerous hours and several workshops reaching this compromise. These Commissioners' voted with the majority of citizen input to do something that could bring quality growth and business to Charlotte County.
Bob Melvin Properties, LLC
1861 Placida Road, Suite 203
Englewood, FL 34223
** Sent July 10, 2008 to the Herald Tribune & Sun-Herald Newspapers, in the Sarasota, FL area.