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Can I fight city hall over rezoning request?

July 13, 2018
By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Mr. Feichthaler:

I have lived in my home near Skyline Boulevard for the past 12 years. It has always been a quiet neighborhood with little traffic. My house sits one street behind Skyline. I recently received a notice from the city that the owners of the lots across the street are seeking a rezoning to allow a large condominium complex. They say you can't fight city hall, is that the case here?

- Karen H.

Dear Karen:

Since the beginning of Cape Coral, there has been friction between homeowners and potential developments. Cape Coral has the added impediment of lacking large parcels for commercial and multi-family developments, requiring many parcels to be assembled to allow for anything larger than a single-family home or duplex. Along Skyline, most parcels have single-family homes or duplexes. In this case, it is likely that the land use allows for a condominium, but the older single-family zoning remains on the property. Generally, the city supports zoning to match land use. Currently, there is a large demand for both multi-family and commercial parcels, which has led the owner to make this request for change.

As for your question, the mayor and council do listen to the concerns of residents when it comes to rezoning. For instance, if the entire block is already developed with single-family homes, there is a strong argument against putting a condominium complex in the middle. Conversely, if the block is completely vacant and sits on a road with public transportation available like Skyline, the application will likely be looked upon favorably. You can always send an email to the mayor and council, or meet with them in their offices in person to present your concerns. Depending on the situation, an attorney or consultant can be engaged to represent your position. Finally, when the vote occurs at the City Council meeting, the public is invited to speak on every zoning case. I hope your home remains in a peaceful location, whatever the outcome is.

Eric P. Feichthaler has lived in Cape Coral for 28 years and graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral. After completing law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he returned to Southwest Florida to practice law and raise a family. He served as mayor of Cape Coral from 2005-2008, and continued his service to the community through his chairmanship of the Harney Point Kiwanis Club KidsFest from 2011-2015, which provides a free day of fun and learning to thousands of Cape Coral families, and funds numerous scholarships. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for 14 years, and they have four children together. Recently, he earned his board certification in Real Estate Law from the Florida Bar. He is also a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.



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