Little Gasparilla Island Community Plan
In a group exercise, attendees brainstormed and identified community strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). Finally, the attendees ranked the SWOT elements to determine the main issues of the community (Table 1, Appendix D).
Strengths No bridge = No cars (53)
Weaknesses [Lack of] mainland parking (44)
Peaceful old Florida environment
Lack of value for taxes paid (40)
Access to the island (marina) (32)
Low residential density (26) No commercial development (24)
No north/south access (14) Few public docks (11)
Safe environment for kids (16) No paved roads (13)
Lack of island EMS (10)
Opportunities Control future growth and development on island (46) Create additional marinas/parking on mainland (38) Island ownership of marina (25) Explore Little Gasparilla Island residential ferry (22) Resolve North-South corridor (17) Maintain green areas/island ecology (12)*
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Threats Sale of marinas (mainland) (50) Taxes (36) Overdevelopment (32) MSBU/MSTU (26) Paved roads (23) Bridge to island (22)
*The discussion relative to green space was to encourage lot owners to consider density reduction through the Transfer Density Units process to provide more green space on the island, but also to pursue acquisition of a common area to construct a public use facility.
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Table 1 Highest-Ranked Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (number of votes in parenthesis)
The consultant summarized the results of the SWOT analysis in a statement provided to the County via email on November 17, 2005:
“The Little Gasparilla Island community relishes its geographic autonomy and the quiet, natural, safe environment it provides. Yet, they want more support from the mainland, such as larger return on taxes paid, provision of EMS services, and securing a permanent mainland site for parking/boat launching. They see this juncture as an opportunity to control future growth and strengthen the connection with the mainland. They are leery of increasing taxes, uncontrolled development, and losing a parking/boat launching facility on the mainland. They also want to address the island-side issue of a north/south corridor."
Workshop 2 – December 9, 2005
The second workshop was held on December 9, 2005 at County facilities in Port Charlotte, with the participation of 17 community members. In the workshop, the consultant facilitated a discussion that yielded the community vision and the main goals to be incorporated into the Little Gasparilla Island Community Plan.
Citizens of Little Gasparilla Island
LGI Advisory Committee