Important Meeting Reminder 2/3/16 5:30 at City Hall

City Council Meeting reminder:

Raptor Bay / Comprehensive Plan Changes / Zoning Changes

Where:           City Hall, 9101 Bonita Beach Road  (we encourage you to car pool)

When:              Wednesday February 3 @ 5:30 p.m.

Parking:           OK to park at Post Office after close at 4:30; or park in lot by Bealls Outlet

The more residents at City Hall on 2/3/16 = the stronger the message = Higher Success Rate

Your presence will help persuade the City Council to vote to keep our City from becoming a Cement Canyon.

Somehow WCI convinced the City to enter into an Annexation “agreement” that suggests rules will not apply to them … the Annexation Agreement pretends that our city has no height restrictions  … WCI pretends their corporation was granted vested rights to build another four (4) high-rise towers in the Raptor Bay portion of the DRI … and WCI pretends that zoning changes will be ignored just to accommodate their development plans with no regard for the future consequences.

Ask all of our Council persons and the Mayor to:  Just  Say  No!

Vote No to changes to the Comprehensive Plan: Stop  This  Now!

 

The reality  —

1.  Bonita Springs Comprehensive Plan:

Our City of Bonita Springs has a height restriction with a maximum height of 75 feet and that is why WCI applied for a change to the Comprehensive Plan.

WCI cannot build four (4) high-rise towers over 220 feet tall in Raptor Bay if the City Council votes NO to the requested changes the Comprehensive Plan.

If the City Council votes NO to the changes to the Comp Plan this application is stopped and it cannot go to the next steps:  WCI’s request to change the DRI as well as WCI’s request for zoning changes to turn this golf course and wetlands zoned land into a zoning classification that would allow high density building.

2. The Pelican Landing DRI (Development of Regional Impact)

The Pelican Landing DRI allows the building of 8 high-rise towers and one hotel.

WCI is requesting approval for an additional four (4) high-rise towers north of Coconut Road on the Raptor Bay Golf Course above and beyond the 8 the DRI allows south of Coconut Road. 

… this request, if approved, increases the total to twelve (12) high-rise towers plus the hotel

… AND this does not take into consideration the pending application before the City for YET another four (4) high-rise towers at the Weeks Fish Camp property

If the City Council votes NO to changes to the DRI, four (4) 20-story high-rise towers will not be built North of Coconut Road in Raptor Bay.

3.  Zoning Changes

Our City of Bonita Springs has Zoning Regulations!  In order to build these four (4) 20-story towers the zoning must be changed from Outlying Suburban and Wetlands to Moderate Density Mixed use / Planned Development.

The zoning issues are not simple.  While the state statutes allow concurrent approval of comprehensive plan changes along with zoning changes, suffice it to say that this is not a reasonable or logical way to make zoning decisions. Much of the land in this vicinity is in the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA) … (think evacuation during storms).  It is interesting to note that in their application, WCI was granted a number of waivers. For example, the developer was not required to perform soil tests to see if this land could support high-rise towers.

If the City Council votes NO to changes to the zoning on this property, four (4) 20-story high-rise towers will not be built in this environmentally sensitive area.

Ask all of our Council persons and the Mayor to:  Just  Say  No!

Vote No to changes to the Comprehensive Plan: Stop  This  Now!

If the City Council votes down the changes to the Comprehensive Plan the application stops there!   If not, the slope gets much more slippery and we may with the stroke of a pen lose the character of this City that the Comprehensive Plan is supposed to promote and protect.

Why is this important to all residents of Bonita?

Because this developer request, if approved, would change the Comprehensive Plan (the master plan) for our City from buildings restricted to a maximum height of 75 feet to allow building heights of over 200 feet … because this will open the door to other developers wanting to do the same particularly along beautiful Estero Bay, Bonita Beach Road, and the Hickory Blvd corridors … because if this passes, Coconut Road will need to handle the additional traffic of:

  • 400 ± residential units in four (4) towers at Raptor Bay
  • 360 residential units in four (4) more high-rise towers at the old Weeks Fish Camp property (application pending with the City of Bonita Springs)
  • 150± additional units to complete the timeshares

Because this is a coastal high hazard area (CHHA)

Because there are environmental concerns…

Because this does not pass the smell test for spot zoning …

Therefore:  Don’t let the City Council sell us out by compromising our City’s

Comprehensive Plan

 

What else makes this important to residents of Pelican Landing

For all of the above reasons!   AND because WCI is threatening to annex these properties into the Pelican Landing Community Association.  If WCI annexes these properties into the PLCA this will dramatically increase the number of owners who will use (and STRESS) our amenities.  Imagine another 400 ± homes in Raptor Bay and another 360 in Weeks Fish Camp and 150± additional units to complete the timeshares as well as the 200± not yet completed residences in the Colony … Just try to get on the boat shuttle to the beach park … this could also affect tennis, pickleball, bocce, etc. etc.

 

RBC (Residents for a Better Community) believes that WCI reached the 85% turnover threshold when Castella and Florencia were being sold (as set out in our documents, automatic turnover must occur when 85% of the total buildable properties within PLCA are completed, have certificates of occupancy, and are sold).   This claim is part of the legal challenge that RBC is preparing to file against WCI and it undercuts the position WCI takes that it can unilaterally amend our documents and annex property into our community in the future.

 

But, in the short term, if WCI does not receive approval to build these four (4) towers in Raptor Bay we will have won a major effort and at least postponed for now this potential threat.

 

Come to the February 3rd meeting at 5:30 pm.   In the meantime send emails to your City Council representative Steve McIntosh – if you can, then send the same email to each of the council members – they all get to vote and they need to hear from the you!

ben.nelson@cityofbonitasprings.org (Mayor)

stephen.mcintosh@cityofbonitasprings.org (District 1 Pelican Landing)

michael.gibson@cityofbonitasprings.org

peter.simmons@cityofbonitasprings.org

steven.slachta@cityofbonitasprings.org

janet.martin@cityofbonitasprings.org

bill.lonkart@cityofbonitasprings.org

 

Upcoming event:

Everyone is welcome at the Elks Club This Friday 1/29 from 5-7 for a “Meet and Greet” for Lee Co. Commissioner John Manning — he has a history of being very helpful and it is a great chance to make concerns about the Raptor Bay, Weeks Fish Camp projects and Coconut Road Issues known to him.

Food will be provided and there will be a cash bar for those who are so inclined. Please invite others … it would be great to have Lee County helping us as well.