Charlotte County commissioners are ignoring our environment

The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Daily Sun on Mar 13, 2022.

Our county commissioners voted unanimously to rezone preserved and environmentally sensitive lands along Bayshore Road for commercial and planned development so Harpoon Harry’s, owned by Smugglers, Inc., can develop waterfront shopping and dining down the street from Sunseeker Resort. Both developers promise jobs and tax dollars.

Yes, more promises. Both developers promise to be good stewards of these lands after they’ve paved paradise, put up parking lots, with big hotels, boutiques, and swinging hot spots.

Not only are they paving paradise, but one is also asking the taxpayers to fund some of that paving. Commissioners Doherty and Deutsch are actually leaning toward Sunseeker’s request that we hand over part of our beautiful Live Oak Park to pave a parking lot for the resort.

It’s not only promises about our land and waters that commissioners fall for. It’s moderating noise levels in our airs. When quizzed about how they’d handle noise complaints from their neighbors with no county ordinance in place to regulate decibel levels, Harry’s answered they “may have a single guitarist” for their 700-seat restaurant, not a promise exactly, but worth about as much. Sunseeker who hasn’t bothered with those kinds of promises now seeks approval to land seaplanes further churning up not only our harbor but also our airwaves after having already blocked our line of sight.

Commissioners, please replace the dollar signs dancing in your heads with the preservation of environmentally precious, irreplaceable lands and waters that should belong to us, our children and grandchildren, not developers.

Penelope Mayer, Punta Gorda