Church overflow parking lot project delayed again

Ann Hall

Construction that began several months ago on the Isles of Capri for two residential lots rezoned for commercial use as overflow church parking has once again been delayed.

Capri Christian Church’s lots are not paved, but made of fill, rock and topped with crushed shell. They will be landscaped in keeping with an island motif.

There have been so many delays that church officials have had to find other ways to accommodate the increased need for parking in the interim. Locals who own golf carts have been offering to shuttle people who have to park a fair distance away on the business isles.

The mandatory sidewalk planned to run in front of the parking lots was laid out with no consideration given to the utilities that would end up in the middle of the walkway. Mike Cox, a neighbor whose house is located across the street from the lot, noticed the way in which the cut was made. It caused him enough concern to notify the Coconuttele with questions about the safety of the walkway.

The Coconuttele asked Cox to verify the original construction plans, obtain photos of what he was concerned about and to forward them for consideration by the appropriate authorities.

Safety questions

“Ann, Permit number PRROW20150619255 with drawings and descriptions shows plans that clearly show a straight sidewalk. They plan to pour the concrete in this next week. We are a neighborhood without street lights, and if we put a curve in this sidewalk, I fear that someone walking or riding a bike will hurt themselves on the water meter housing/backflow preventer as well as the power pole and cable/telephone box. All of these need to be moved back, and the sidewalk needs to go straight per the plans. I am not suggesting that the church spend any more money on this project, but felt it was the responsibility of the utility companies to move their services to allow for the sidewalk. John (John Cowden, a church elder assigned to the parking lot project) was told the water meter would be moved, but no one knows if it will be next week before they pour the concrete. If they pour around the cable pedestal, the cable guy will have to rent a jack hammer to service our cable TV and telephone lines. Please pass this along to your connections with the County, and see if we can’t get this done right. Thanks,” wrote Mike Cox.

The Coconuttele notified the appropriate county officials who immediately took action. An examination of the situation was commissioned and after examination by county staff, work on the walkway was halted once again to allow time for the two major utility obstacles to be relocated.

Although church officials were not happy about the delay, they are grateful that the neighbor, who is also a member of the church, noticed the error and prevented what would have been another delay, and a very expensive one at that, had the walkway been poured with the utilities in the middle of it, and then removed.

The two major obstacles – the water meter and the backflow valves were removed last week.

“They do not plan on moving the cable box at the end of the walkway,” said Barbara Cowden, one of the church’s parking project committee members. “The county has allowed them to work around it because they don’t believe it will be a problem.”

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