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Development will cause big problems on the island

By Staff | Jul 7, 2021

To the editor:

There was a fairly large turnout for the meeting on development approval for signage, square foot deviations and the proposed package stores along with the 94 townhouse units they want approval for on Pine Island.

What perplexes me the most is that the pre-approval was in 1981 for this parcel. However, that is a far cry from what our environment has endured and become in 2021.

A majority present were passionate about our island environment and compassionate about the toll adding these units will take on our infrastructure and wetlands; along with the animals that call this home.

Asking for development approval, before sewer capacity studies and traffic impact studies have even been broached, seems to put the cart before the horse.

And nothing seemed to remain of the original Pine Island Plan we all fought to put in place for the real time evacuation of our island as its population stands. Noting that this meeting took place in the summer when a large portion of residents are not here to give a voice.

It was recommended to start a petition voicing our concerns about adding these units to the existing parcel. The GPICA will step in and write to our Lee County commissioner’s with these concerns as well.

It should also be noted that the school board had no issue with the package store 319 feet from school grounds and that the water department had no one representing them at this meeting.

2020 may have made us all wear masks; but 2021 does not mean we are wearing blinders to the problems this development will present. So I urge all islanders to write a ton of letters to get our concerns/voices heard.

Sandi Brandt,

St. James City