Project Description:

The Buckley’s Pass project is an additional navigational access channel connecting the Punta Gorda Isles canal system to Charlotte Harbor through a shorter, more convenient, and direct route than is currently available through the existing Ponce de Leon Inlet harbor access point. The access channel, approximately 1,446 feet long and 60 feet wide, will be cut through an existing mixed wetland and upland area to connecting the city’s canal system to Alligator Creek, which then connects directly to Charlotte Harbor about 1 mile down the creek.

This additional harbor access has been contemplated for more than 10 years and is envisioned in the Punta Gorda Waterfront Development Master Plan and the TEAM Punta Gorda Citizens Master Plan. Various boards and committees have discussed this potential project and possible means of implementation, including the Waterfront Development Advisory Committee, the Revitalization Committee, the Punta Gorda Isles Canal Advisory Committee, the Burnt Store Isles Canal Advisory Committee, and the 1% Local Option Sales Tax Committee. Spearheaded by Punta Gorda Boater's Alliance and the late Captain John “Jay” Buckley, City Council officially named the new access channel “Buckley’s Pass.”

Image of Aerial View Buckley's Pass

Project Updates: 

July 3, 2019 - City Council held a public hearing on amended Final Assessment Resolution related to Water Garden and Admiral's Point condominiums. Pre-construction meeting held with contractor.

July 1, 2019 - Purchased Order/Notice to Proceed issued to contractor.  Construction anticipated to start July 16.

June 19, 2019 - City Council approved construction contract. 

June 18, 2019 -  Charlotte County mailed out public hearing notices relating to the Alligator Creek Waterway Unit (MSBU). On July 23, the Board of County Commissioners will consider reestablishing the MSBU to include newly benefitting properties accessing Alligator Creek via Buckley's Pass. This rate will support maintenance of Alligator Creek.

June 12, 2019 -  Public Hearing notices were mailed to property owners of the Water Gardens Condominiums and Admiral’s Point Condominiums. On July 3, City Council will consider a proposal to reapportion the water access units assigned to certain tax parcels in these developments and approve an amended assessment roll relating thereto.

June 3, 2019 -Bid solicitation closed; 3 responses received.

May 29, 2019 - Bid solicitation extended,.

May 21 & 29 2019 - Staff attended County MSBU Workshop  and BOCC Public Hearing on Final Assessment Resolution.

May 15, 2019 - City approved Interlocal Agreement with Charlotte County relating to the Alligator Creek MSBU.  

April 29, 2019 - Bid solicitation for project construction was issued; responses due back within 30 days.  

April 19-26, 2019 - City mailed notices of Initial Prepayment Option (view sample) to property owners.

April 3, 2019 - City Council held a public hearing on the proposed assessments and adopted the Final Assessment Resolution.

March 12, 2019 - Charlotte County Commissioners approved the Interlocal Agreement and adopted a Initial Assessment Resolution setting their public hearing for benefitted county parcels for May 28.

March 11, 2019 - The notice of hearing to impose and provide for collection of special assessments in the Buckley's Pass Dredging Assessment Area was published and individual notices of proposed assessments (view sample) were mailed to affected property owners.

February 6, 2019  - City Council adopted the Initial Assessment Resolution (IAR) and approved Interlocal Agreement (ILA) with Charlotte County.

January 15, 2019 - City closed on the real estate transaction acquiring the 5.86 acres needed for the project.

December 21, 2018 - City submitted grant application package to Charlotte County for the FY 2019/2020 Boater Revolving Fund Grant. Application Processing Schedule:

  • Dec 10 – Jan 31. Application Period.
  • Feb 14 – Mar 14. Marine Advisory Committee (MAC) review and prioritization of applications for formal recommendation to Board of County Commissioners (BCC).
  • April 23. BCC reviews MAC recommendation and votes on applications. 
  • July. WCIND board votes on district applications for funding. 
  • July – September. Grant contracts developed and signed
  • October 1. Grant term begins. 

December 5, 2018 - City Council approved the Resolution of Intent to utilize the Uniform Method of Collection (placement on the property tax bill) for the non-ad valorem assessments to fund the project.

November 7, 2018 - City Council awarded Special Authorization #3 to Master Agreement with Hans Wilson & Associates for construction engineering services.  

October 31, 2018 - City provided County MSBU (Municipal Service Benefit Units ) Coordinator with Water Access Units assignment information for benefitted parcels

October 22, 2018 - Executed amendments to vacant land contract, rescheduled closings to January 15, 2019

September  24, 2018 - Issued purchase order for land survey

August 22, 2018 - City approved land purchase

August 7, 2018 - Army Corp Permit No: SAJ-2016-02715 (SP-KRD) approved

November 15, 2017 - Economic Analysis accepted & proposed Special Assessment Methodology approved by City Council

June 21, 2017 - Award of Agreement for Economic Analysis to PMG Associates May 5, 2017 - FDEP issued state water quality certification (permit)

May 3, 2017 - Legal Counsel presents apportionment methodology for special assessment

May 4, 2016 - Award of Agreement to Nabors Giblin & Nickerson for establishment of an assessment program

February 3, 2016 Engineer presented preliminary channel location assessment matrix and Council selection made

September 2, 2015 -  Approval to Negotiate Master Engineering Agreement with Hans Wilson

June 17, 2015 - Council adopts staff’s plan of action for moving project forward

April 6, 2015 - Public Input Workshop held


Water Access Units:

 A “Water Access Unit” or “WAU” is defined as a dock, lift, slip or other structure for receiving water craft that is allowable under existing code regulations and will be the standard unit for assessment calculation of each parcel. Assessments will be apportioned to each platted lot within the assessment area based on the maximum number WAUs which are existing or allowable, whichever is greater, under Chapter 6 of the Punta Gorda Code. The total number of WAUs assigned to condominiums will be divided among all unit owners.   

Zoning Designation

Entitlement per Code

WAUs Assigned

Single Family

Platted parcels with 84.99' or less are permitted to have a dock and one boat lift or up to 3 outpilings


Single Family

Platted parcels with more than 85' are permitted to have a dock and two boat lifts, one boat lift and 3 outpilings, or 6 outpilings



 Boat slips, with or without boat lifts, provided the number of boat slips (and boat lifts) shall not exceed the number of units being constructed. If the number of units being constructed is an odd number, the number of boat slips and boat lifts may exceed the number of units by one slip.


(apportioned among all upland units)