In the past and current week, the Lani Kai has been before the LPA board and the Town Council seeking an approval for a “special exception” to construct a temporary structure in the EC zone. While I have no preference concerning the Lani Kai receiving the recommendation from the LPA and consequent approval from the Town Council, I would like to make a few points for the public to be aware. The Town’s “special exception” to construct in the EC zone, has five specific requirements that have to be met in order to receive the “special exception”. When an applicant goes before the LPA board, the board members review material submitted in the application and listen to the presentation. Then the LPA members decide and vote whether the applicant “has” or “has not” met these five specific requirements. If an applicant meets all five requirements of the “special exception”, then the LPA’s recommendation to approve should also be approved by Council. If the applicant’s application is denied by Council after the LPA’s recommendation to approve, it is counter intuitive to the process. Why have the LPA? The proposed walkover at the south end of the beach met all five specific requirements of the “special exception”. The applicant should not have been subjected to Council members emotional responses after the LPA had recommended the walkover, such as one council person crying, another council person’s referring to a “gut feeling”, and another simply not knowing the definition of “public interest”. It is meant to be a clear process and emotion and opinion should not be a part of the process. Everyone should be held to the same requirements, whether it is a project that benefits charity, or if it is a project that benefits a neighborhood.
Fort Myers Beach