Little Gasparilla Island Community Plan
Charlotte County’s Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1997, but due to protracted challenges by the State of Florida, the plan entered into effect in 2000. The Comprehensive Plan contains the County’s goals, objectives and policies for implementation of the state mandated growth management actions through the year 2010. The Comprehensive Plan applies throughout the County and is implemented based upon the local community conditions.
1.2 Community Planning in Charlotte County
The Charlotte County Community Development Department instituted a “Community Planning” program to assist neighborhoods and communities in coordinating their planning efforts. The Community Planning process provides a vision, core values and policy guidance to balance the needs of a community while enhancing the quality of life of its residents. Typically, a neighborhood or stakeholders group will form and begin to discuss areas of concern or improvement. Once a community identifies the desire to initiate the community planning process, the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners approves funding assistance for the neighborhood and formally designates the area for community planning. The County also assigns a County staff member who serves as a neighborhood liaison to the community planning area.
The County then hires a consultant who assists the community in identifying a vision for the area and establishing goals, objectives and policies for the community. These goals, objectives and policies preserve and maintain the existing amenities and aim at addressing the community’s specific needs. There are nine community planning areas in Charlotte County: Manasota Key, Grove City, Placida, South Gulf Cove, Harbour Heights, Burnt Store, Boca Grande, Don Pedro/Knights/Bocilla Islands/Thornton Key and Little Gasparilla Island. Of these, Manasota Key, South Gulf Cove, Placida, Burnt Store and Boca Grande have completed a community plan. Harbour Heights and Grove City are in the process of completing their community plans.
The community plan provides specific policy direction and actions to meet community needs related to land use, the natural environment, economic development, infrastructure, community character, public facilities and services. Preserving and building community character, while ensuring an efficient and predictable development approval process, is a central theme of the plan. Each community plan is tailored to the specific community planning area. For example, the Community Plan for South Gulf Cove emphasized density reduction, while the Community Plan for Harbour Heights focuses on quality commercial development. In turn, the Community Plan for Little Gasparilla Island focuses on preserving island character while improving mainland services and support.
1.3 The Little Gasparilla Island Advisory Committee
In November 2002, the Little Gasparilla Island Steering Committee was established to formulate a vision for Little Gasparilla Island and to begin addressing concerns of the residents. The Committee members included island residents and property association
Citizens of Little Gasparilla Island
LGI Advisory Committee