Punta Gorda mulls allowing taller buildings downtown


PUNTA GORDA, Fla. The look of downtown could soon change.

City Council on Wednesday decided to move forward on discussion of a proposal to relax height restrictions on new buildings.

The city is thinking about letting developers go up to 80 feet, or eight stories, with some conditions. The existing cap is at 50 feet.

No formal decision has been made, but the proposal sparked mixed reactions.

“I think most everybody that comes to Punta Gorda loves the city the way it is,” Punta Gorda resident Gary Skillicorn said.

Patti Allen, general manager of Fishermen’s Village, doesn’t think the move would erode the city’s aesthetic character.

“I really don’t think it’s going to affect our city’s charm,” Allen said. “In fact, I think it’s going to enhance it.”

Developers would be required to take a staggered “step-back” approach, giving the top of the buildings a stairstep appearance. They’d also have to include a courtyard and awnings for sun and rain protection.

“We’re really talking very little height that’s going to be added here,” Allen said. “It is not going to be skyscrapers.”


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