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Island Civic Association approves Coconut Inlet subdivision

Development will have 14 single-family homesites

October 10, 2012
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

A developing order for a single-family subdivision was presented at the Greater Pine Island Civic Association meeting Tuesday night.

Jay Matey with Avalon Engineering Inc. said Coconut Inlet will be located on the southern part of the island in St. James City, just off of Stringfellow Road. The property, which is comprised of 13.45 acres, is currently vacant and is located near St. Jude Boulevard.

"The property is zoned as commercial," Matey said. "It really could have been developed in any number of ways."

Matey said the previous developer could not financially afford the project, so it went into foreclosure. The original development of order was approved in 2005 and expired in 2010, due to it only being good for five years.

"Essentially it approves the same type of configuration," he said about the development of order.

The order includes 14 single-family lots that occupy 29,000 square feet per lot. Each lot will also have canal access on the east side of the property.

"We think this is a good project," he said.

Matey said according to the new Lee Plan rules, the development could have up to 27 lots, but they decided to keep the development at the 14 lots because they thought the larger lots would be a better fit.

"The larger lots will work out better," Matey said.

Due to county requirements, Matey said there will be two access points on Stringfellow Road for the development since there are more than 10 lots.

As of Tuesday night, there were not any specific ideas of what the homes will look like.

"At some point this subdivision will be marketed to a developer to build the entire thing at once," Matey said. "We expect an architecture that suites the style of the island the old-Florida style homes."

Right now, Matey said there are Australian pines on the property that have to be eliminated and replaced with good native vegetation. He said there will be a buffer between the subdivision and Stringfellow Road that will include plants that fit the area.

In addition, Matey said there is a very old seawall that is abutting lots 13 and 14 that has to be removed.

"There will be no concrete seawall," he said.

It will remain during the infrastructure development and removed during the construction lots of 13 and 14.

Currently there is no timetable set for when the development will begin. Matey said once the construction of homes is determined and generated, they will have a better timetable.

After some questions were asked ,the Greater Pine Island Civic Association made a motion to approve Coconut Inlet as presented under the condition that it will solely be single-family homes. The motion passed unanimously with a 16-0 vote.

During the meeting, Phil Buchanan also shared a recap of what happened over the summer.

The first topic he addressed dealt with the golf cart ordinance proposal that was approved on April 3 by the association's members. He said nothing of great substance has happened so far.

"The county has absolutely assured me that they are reviewing our work and they are getting back to us soon," Buchanan said. "I hope to hear from them pretty soon it looks like it is going well."

Another topic discussed was the proposed shopping center across from the Bank of America. Buchanan said they approved the basic layout of the development, but not the landscaping and signage during numerous meetings that were held last spring and early summer.

Unfortunately the application was denied because of a 50-foot buffer that has to be put in place between wetlands and the development.

"We don't like the idea of destroying mangroves on Pine Island," Buchanan said.

The county commissioners modified the Pine Island Plan, he said, to include that no mangroves or salt flats can be built upon.

Buchanan said the developer has to start the process all over again because he did not conform to the rules.

The two issues that will still be discussed include the signage and the landscaping for the development. Buchanan said he was going to talk to the Pine Island Garden Club to get them involved in the landscaping portion of the development.

"This is going to be the entrance of Pine Island," he said. "The first thing you will see."



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