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Rezoning for Sparrow Court approved

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Dec 30, 2020

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has approved the rezoning for Sparrow Court, to be located on the corner of Business 41 and Pine Island Road, the last of the four corners to be developed.

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Development at the fourth corner of one of North Fort Myers’ biggest intersections has been approved.

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners followed the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation and approved the rezoning for Sparrow Court, to be located on the corner of Business 41 and Pine Island Road, the last of the four corners to be developed.

The 7.2-acre parcel, owned by Mariana Heights Trust, was rezoned to Commercial C-2, which allows for residential and commercial uses. The future land uses are considered Intense Development and Central Urban, which allow for intense, high density development.

Residential densities are usually right to 14 units per acre, but can be as high as 22 to 30 units under certain circumstances.

Melanie Greenwood, vice president of development for Birdsong Housing Partners, the builders on the project, said a multi-family affordable housing development is planned for the parcel.

Commissioner Brian Hamman had concerns regarding buffering that area from the single-family residential properties adjacent to the proposed development.

“We don’t intend to build on top of people and put a five-story building in their backyard. We can put the building closer to Pine Island and still have some trees in the backyards for better privacy for everyone,” Greenwood said. “We will keep some of the natural area.”

There was not an exact proposal presented regarding the number of units.

Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass praised the proposal for using a less dense zoning while placing it in a transportation area before voting to approve in the 4-0 vote.

Hamman said the development will bring much-needed affordable housing to the area, which should bring in better businesses.

“It will be great for that development to come through. There will be more quality rooftops and houses, which will bring about more retail and more business. We’ve seen so many businesses close because they didn’t have the support. If more people are willing to bring their dollars into North Fort Myers, it can only help,” Hamman said.

Not included in the development is the corner parcel, which is expected to be a gas station.