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Civic talks 7-Eleven proposal, incorporation

November 15, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Close to 100 people turned out at the Elks Club Tuesday night for the first meeting of the season of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association. Topics under discussion were the new 7-Eleven on Pine Island Road and the possibilities of incorporation.

The proposal is to build a 3,400-square-foot 7-Eleven store on the vacant property on the south side of Pine Island Road, east of the pizza shop. The property is an approximately 2 1/2 to 3-acre lot with access from the front on Pine Island Road and the rear via Nikki's Lane.

Ryan Faust, a principal architect with Bates Architects, the architectural firm hired by 7-Eleven to build the store, described the new building.

"We've done a lot with the standard 7-Eleven building to make it fit the community," Faust said. "This building will be similar to the 7-Eleven on Sanibel Island except this will have a mansard roof and horizontal siding. The mansard roof is capable of hiding all the electrical and air conditioning equipment."

The outer building will be a two-tone stucco - not the standard 7-Eleven colors - but more natural colors to match the local environment.

The store will be open 24/7.

"We tried to bring the scale down so it looks more like a residential building with shutters," Faust said. "The fuel canopies will be in the same style with a mansard-style roof. Although the plans don't show them, this building will include lots of planters in the front and the rear."

On the Pine Island side of the building there will be four islands with eight gas pumps and in the rear of the building two gas pumps for boats and landscapers.

"The entire facility will have 25 parking spaces and down-lighting," Faust said. "Construction for the facility is scheduled to begin in August 2018.

Faust and Bates Architects will return next month to make a 'final' presentation.

The vote regarding the 7-Eleven was 12 against, with 80-plus in favor of the plan.

Investigating the incorporation issue has been a Pine Island topic since the Cape Coral City Council voted to annex six lots on Matlacha in December 2016.

Long-time Pine Island resident and chairman of the Lee County Planning Commission Noel Andress has been involved with Phil Buchanan and the revisions to the Pine Island Plan. Andress delivered a PowerPoint presentation on incorporation.

"I've been a member of the Lee County Planning Commission for 17 years and we've seen major changes with the County Commissioners over the years," Andress said. "We need to take control of our land use as a defense against further annexations by Cape Coral and control our own destiny."

Andress is a strong believer that incorporating Pine Island / Matlacha is the only way island residents can defend the island against further annexations by Cape Coral and manage the quality of development. The fear is this would raise taxes. According to Andress, the feasibility study conducted by GPICA refutes that argument.

Roger Wood and the GPICA have proposed a "Government Lite' where there would be a council-manager form of government with five council members one from each section of Pine Island and Matlacha.

Towards the end of the meeting several residents of Matlacha raised their concerns whether they wanted to be included in the new town of "Village of Matlacha-Pine island."

Islanders should visit for additional information.



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