Residents disappointed with Commission’s TDU decision

March 30, 2018
By Marcy Shortuse

To the Editor:
Thanks to all those who wrote letters, attended and spoke at the Charlotte County Commission hearing on the Transfer of Density regulations on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Commission adopted the staff’s proposal without the changes we requested.
A key issue was the Commission’s adoption of language for so-called Incentive Density which it can award for free. Friends of Cape Haze, Inc. has a 2011 settlement with the County which bars the use of Incentive Density in the Placida area, and we believe that prohibition should have been included in the County’s rules for density transfer.
Density is valuable, and the County should not incentivize development in Placida, in the Coastal High Hazard Area, by giving it away for free. That was the whole purpose of the 2011 settlement which was expressly adopted into the County’s Comprehensive Plan.
At this point there is still no word on the next step in the actual application for approval of the Fishery development project. The Planning and Zoning Board recommended against the developer’s proposal in February, and the developer continued the next hearing on the matter which would have been before the County Commission. We are still waiting to hear what will happen with that proposal, and when.
Support for the efforts of the Friends, both on and off the island, has been phenomenal. The hearing in February had over 200 people.
There were dozens at the hearing earlier this week, an amazing turnout for what many may see as an esoteric issue, even though it is so important for the Fishery development.
While this was a disappointing development, to paraphrase John Belushi, it’s not over ’til it’s over.
Percy Angelo
with the Friends of Cape Haze, Inc.