Charlotte County has approved a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to protect the endangered Florida Scrub Jay and streamline the permitting process for building lots that are effected by Scrub Jay habitat zones.
Working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Interior, county officials approved the HCP. The plan allows standard building lots up to 1/2 acre to be approved for a building permit with a one time fee of $2,200. The plan received backing from the Peace River Audubon Society and other environmental groups. It is the first of it’s kind in Florida and could be a model for other counties to follow.
In an interview on the subject with WINK News, Suncoasteam Realty broker, Jim Mulligan was optimistic that the plan would result in improved property value in the effected areas. Much of Deep Creek and Harbor Heights in Punta Gorda have been effected by the restrictions as well as areas in Rotonda, Gulf Cove, South Gulf Cove and Englewood.