Burnt Store Corridor Coalition Response to 3/19/24

Commissioners’ Planning Workshop

We are encouraged that the County Commissioners are working to update the Burnt Store Area Plan and making efforts to address many of the concerns of our communities’ residents. These concerns include how the unprecedented residential development will affect road safety, the use of BSR as a major evacuation corridor, the endangerment of our wildlife, the disturbance of natural watershed boundaries and the lack of access to urgent care and basic neighborhood level commercial services.

In the 3/19 workshop, the County Zoning and Planning Official, Shaun Cullinan, made a comprehensive presentation of the area’s new developments, all of which were approved under the 2005 plan. When they are completed, they will add 10,559 homes to the current approximately 2,000 existing homes and 739 multi-family units within this Charlotte County area. The BSR Corridor in Charlotte County currently has a base population of 5,540. New developments will add 21,235 more residents as these homes come online (equating to 2.03 residents per new unit for 10,559 new units).

Shaun Cullinan indicated our current population of 5,540 did not warrant additional commercial development. This number does not consider the 2,000 residents in Burnt Store Marina, those staying at the Tranquility RV Park or NW Cape Coral residents within a few miles of the Lee/Charlotte County Line. Thousands of cars also commute daily along our corridor, and we feel, our area is ripe for commercial development now, not five or ten years in the future. The new developments will make the need for local shopping and services even more critical.

The Commissioners agreed that the County Department of Planning’s presentation was comprehensive and could form the base of the new Burnt Store Area Plan.

The traffic study for a west – east connector between BSR and Tuckers Grade is largely done, and the Hydrology Study will go out for bid shortly. While placing warning signs along Burnt Store Road at the key wildlife crossings is much appreciated, other actions will be needed to ensure the protection of our wildlife population.

As part of the efforts to redo the Plan, a public hearing for community members will be scheduled for early April. Commissioners ask that community members come and voice their questions and concerns as the process to develop a new Area Plan continues to unfold.

John Fleming, Chair, BSCC       3/21/24