Density is valuable: Come show commissioners how much

To the Editor:

While there is no new date for the next County Commission hearing on the Fishery project itself, in the meantime an important thing is happening about the transfer of density (TDU) regulations which will apply to the Fishery.

The County is attempting to change the TDU regulations. The first hearing was held before Planning and Zoning on March 12, and P & Z recommended approval. The next hearing is before the County Commissioners on March 27 at 2.

Friends of Cape Haze, Inc. has filed comments on the proposed changes. One big one is a change that would move the RAPID/Incentive Density provisions into the TDU regs. Incentive Density used to be called RAPID density. The County can give it away free to a developer it wants to incentivize.

At the P & Z hearing the Friends commented that the TDU amendments needed to preserve a 2011 settlement with the County which ordered that RAPID/Incentive density could not be used in the Placida Revitalizing Area (the area of the Fishery). P & Z refused to do that, and Rob Berntsson, lawyer for the Fishery, argued that the 2011 settlement did NOT prevent the use of RAPID/Incentive density at the Fishery.

Density is very valuable. Free density makes the Fishery project much more viable. It is a gift from the County to the developer. This rule change will directly impact the viability of the project.

We urge people to come to the hearing, wear red, and tell the Commissioners to respect the 2011 settlement with the Friends of Cape Haze and prevent the use of Incentive density in the Placida Revitalizing Area.

Written comments can go to the Commissioners at assistant@charlottecountyfl.gov, Re: TDU Amendments, but being there in person makes all the difference – as was clear at the first Fishery hearing, where more than 200 attended and the P & Z Board recommended against the project.

Thanks to everyone who has helped in this effort.

Percy Angelo

Cape Haze