Sanibel Passage Receives Zoning Approval
The Lee County Board of Commissioners approved the Sanibel Passage zoning deviation request on Oct. 6 at its planning and zoning meeting. The zoning approval was for a deviation in the number of entrances/exits required on the development site. The general development zoning request had been approved in 2006. Since the development will impact the surrounding wetlands, SCCF, the City of Sanibel, and others spoke in opposition to the project and stressed the importance of coastal wetlands for improving water quality and wildlife habitat, and the fact that they are our first line of defense against sea level rise and storm surge.
“The fact that the applicant is requesting a waiver to the Land Development Code for the secondary ingress/egress to avoid additional wetland impacts indicates that this is an inappropriate amount of development in an ecologically sensitive location,” SCCF Environmental Policy Director James Evans explained to the commissioners. Evans also pointed out that the project is being proposed in a coastal high hazard zone, which is subject to flooding that will be exacerbated by sea level rise. “We believe that this project should be scaled back to better fit with the ecology of the area or eliminated altogether,” said Evans.
The Sanibel Passage development still awaits approval of state and federal permits. SCCF is closely monitoring the progress of those permits and participating in the process when possible. SCCF will post updates for potential future public input on the state and federal permit applications.
Thank you, SCCF members, for your comments and continued support in promoting sustainable development.