The county is near the end of an extremely lengthy process of obtaining permits to install the channel markers for the access channel to the middle and north of LGI approved by the FWC in February of 2004. Installation of those channel markers should follow promptly after the last permit is obtained.
The need for 25 mph access to the south end of LGI was referred to the FWC at its April 2004 meeting where the FWC directed the FWC staff to initiate rule change proceedings to change the existing rule to allow the addition of a south fork to the already authorized channel. The FWC staff is about to begin work on the proposed rule change. The first step in this lengthy rule change process will be a letter to the county informing the county of the initiation of the rule change process and requesting that the county establish a local committee of boat users and environmentalists to review the proposed rule change.
Every effort should be made to maintain and preserve the current low- density entirely residential character of LGI so as to place minimum stress on the surrounding natural environment and to preserve the ambiance of “early” coastal Florida before the advent of intense residential and commercial development.
1. Zoning. The single highest priority for the Community Plan is to change the county’s zoning for LGI to allow only free-standing single family residences on a minimum lot of one acre or on a previously platted lot. This change will bring the zoning into conformity with the requirements of the county’s Comprehensive Plan and the legal settlement between the county and the state Department of Community Affairs. This change also will bring the controlling zoning into conformity with the nature of existing development on the island and with the character of the established community on the island.
Certain activities such as the existing golf cart repair business should continue to be permitted after the zoning change as a “grandfathered” use established prior to the zoning change. Some provision should be made for a procedure to seek special limited exceptions to the zoning in order to establish small commercial units that are necessary to provide essential services to island residents ie: the golf cart repair facility. Such special exceptions should be made only upon a showing of real need and the support of a substantial majority of island homeowners.