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Planning Commission deadlocked on controversial shipping development

Posted at 8:49 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 20:49:35-04

CHARLOTTE COUNTY — Planning Commissioners in Charlotte County were deadlocked Monday afternoon on a controversial development proposal.

Commissioners voted in a two-to-two tie on whether a property should be rezoned for industrial use, right next to a neighborhood. Speaker after speaker voiced their outrage about the proposed development at the meeting Monday.

“This is an impossible dream. It’s a sales job," said Joseph Lowe, who lives near the proposed development.

The plan is to build what’s known as an intermodal, or a shipping yard, right next to the train tracks off of Riverside Dr. in Charlotte County. People who live nearby are worried about noise, traffic, environmental pollution, and damage to their property values.

“Florida is exploding with people, and we need to protect anything we can for our environment, and this is not a good spot to put this thing whatsoever," said Alan Williams who lives near the proposed development.

But when the a representative for the developer spoke, people got a shock.

“I don’t think the public realized that P.D. was approved," said Jason Green, the representative for Seventeen And Seventy-Five, LLC.

Green says the land was approved in 2008 to be used for industrial use, and the developer is only asking for a change in zoning to make it easier to deal with storm water runoff. That led to people proposing new ideas for the property.

“They could put a nice park back there, hotels, something a little bit better than what a truck thing is," said Michael Griffin, who lives near the proposed development.

But Green told the board, as of right now, the developer has no intentions of changing its plans.

“Feel that the application is consistent with your land development codes, your comprehensive plan, and that’s both applications, and consistent with the previously approved PD zoning and conditions of approval that were there before," said Green.

With the planning commission deadlocked at 2 to 2, that means the County Commissioners will have to make the final approval on the zoning decision. That will be taken up at their meeting on October 13th.