Punta Gorda residents fighting city’s proposal to increase building height limit - 96.9 WINK FM

Punta Gorda residents fighting city’s proposal to increase building height limit


People in Punta Gorda have concerns over taller buildings and the new development coming to the area.

Dozens are worried their city’s small-town feel will change if Punta Gorda City Council raises the maximum height of buildings to 80 feet downtown. Right now, most buildings stand between 35 and 50 feet tall.

Neighbors showed up in numbers on Wednesday to let the city council know they don’t want the Punta Gorda they know and love to change.

They made it clear; high rises are not welcome in this city.

Punta-gorgeous is how one woman describes her hometown. She and so many others think Punta Gorda is perfect the way it is, and they don’t want it to change.

“If we wanted Miami, we could’ve stayed in Miami,” said one person.

“Everyone here is very, very, very passionate about this. We don’t want this,” said another.

City council members believe the city must grow, and with growth comes change.

Punta Gorda City Council. (Credit: WINK News)

Right now, buildings can’t be taller than 50 feet, but the city council is talking about changing that limit to 80 feet.

Neighbors said the height increase would change the life they know and love.

“There’s almost no crime. There’s almost no traffic. It’s really nice people. It’s a little small community. You go downtown at night, you walk all over the place,” said one person who is against the changes proposed for the city.

Taxpayers fear developers see Punta Gorda as their next cash cow.

“What will this do to all future development, including developers tearing down our structures to build new 80-foot buildings? Does this mean all of us residents can build 80-foot buildings on our property?”

While there were a lot of people at Wednesday’s meeting who voiced their opposition to the change, it was a fraction of the more than 900 people who have signed a petition against allowing taller buildings.

The devil is in the details, though. The city council has agreed with developers to raise the height limit to 80 feet. Members have not voted to do it, and it’s unclear when the council will vote, but the people WINK News spoke with said they’re not going to stop fighting for their city.


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