CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A small victory for people defending their neighborhood from commercial development. The city of Cape Coral shot down a request to rezone land next to the future site of a 7-Eleven gas station on Cape Coral Parkway and Skyline Boulevard.
But we're learning the battle is not over yet. The landowner's attorney says he will take this matter before city council.
"A small victory today. What do they say? We've won the battle but not the war?" Peter Stavrou is relieved the Planning and Zoning Commission is keeping a section of area across from his house. zoned professional, or P1.
He also says he hired a lawyer and wants to fight the incoming gas station. "The war is coming. I can guarantee you the war is coming!" he said.
But attorney Bill McFarland who represents the landowner, says the P1 restrictions on this property are hurting the growth of a project. That could be fixed, he says, if the zoning would change to "pedestrian commercial."
"You would have an increase in jobs, you would have an increase in construction activity within the market which is something we rely on heavily. And it would increase the tax base and provide more money for the city," McFarland said.
Residents argue that a commercial label would pave the way for a fast food restaurant, or a strip mall, which they say would lead to congestion.
"Overall these residents of the area, they call themselves Skyline Waterways are very supportive of trying to keep the area as beautiful and serene as possible," said resident Larry Toth.
"Many of the arguments that were made, in an effort against the rezoning, really didn't apply. We didn't feel really applied, as much as they were arguments against development in general or development across the board," said McFarland.
At this point we don't know when the attorney will appeal this before city council, or when this battle over the gas station will go to court.
But according to the city, a gas station could be up and running in four and a half months.