too small to have a substantial regional impact.
Charlotte County officials sought state purchase of
Cole Island after approving an 84-unit condominium
development for the 17-acre island.
In July of 1982 the Southwest Florida Regional
Planning Council changed its designation of the
northern part of Gasparilla Island from “undeveloped”
to “developed” at a meeting a month earlier.
In October of 1982, Sunset Realty worked out a
deal with Charlotte County commissioners to allow
29 residential units to be developed at the north end.
The 78 acres Sunset Realty owned east of Gasparilla
Road had been zoned for one unit per acre, but the
land was deemed to be environmentally sensitive.
That meant there was supposed to be only one unit
per 10 acres allowed, but in 1981 a new zoning
category had come into being which would allow the
property to be considered in line with the county’s
comprehensive land use plan.
Boca Grande North
GICIA to obtain approval for 31 single-family lots
in exchange for submerged bottom land and
undeveloped land east of the railroad tracks.
GICIA board members agreed the proposal
was not acceptable to them. In a last-minute
decision they opposed the plan and brought
approximately 50 Gasparilla Island residents by
bus down to Fort Myers to attend the hearing in
opposition of Sunset’s plan.
GICIA Attorney Batsel said at the time, “Until
recently the GICIA and Sunset were negotiating.
But the two parties were unable to come to an
agreement because Sunset insisted on 30 units
in the area.”
Also, in early 1982 the state of Florida dropped
Cole Island, a former campground which lies
between Gasparilla Island and the inland was
dropped from the Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) list as it was considered to be
March/April 2018 GASPARILLA ISLAND 33