702 SE 36th Street
Cape Coral, Florida 33904
239-542-2111 – Cell 239-560-3252
DATE: June 28, 2005
FROM: Patricia Foote
SUBJECT: Proposed Sale of Golf Course Property – Lee County School Project
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Even though my property does not abut the golf course, I am adamantly opposed to the proposed sale of the golf course properties to the Lee County Schools. I, too, purchased my home in this area after much research into potential road expansion, zoning and designated uses.
The current proposal would require changes in zoning to accommodate the school project which has the potential to expand the downtown area up across the current golf course and into the neighborhoods. The rezoning and building of a large school campus would not enhance property values. This project is not a small neighborhood school, but a large county school facility generating noise, traffic, pollution and the destruction of environmentally-sensitive land.
Additionally, Mr. Stewart's actions in having a meeting with individuals representing the golf course owners and then alleging he knew not with whom he was meeting and thought they were representing the Lee County School Board is farfetched at best. Can Mr. Stewart be so naive to think that the citizens of this community would believe he did not know with whom he was meeting. Standard business practices dictate establishing the identify of an individual or group and their intent in asking for a meeting. Mr. Stewart is a seasoned professional from whom I would expect a code of behavior fitting his office. This was not demonstrated by a March meeting with this group, lack of notification of the council and what appear to be some in-depth discussions of his support for the project, as well as in-depth discussions of how the City of Cape Coral would entertain involvement in the project. The expectations and process would be the same even if the meeting had taken place with individuals directly representing the Lee County School Board. The alleged discussions would have triggered concerns of lack of notification and potential support by the City of the proposed project without community involvement.
YOU ARE NOW IN THE LOOP – During the most recent elections you received the support of the voters. It is now your turn to support those very people who went to the polls on your behalf.
The proposed golf course sale and development is surrounded by early behind-the-scenes maneuvers and lack of communication with the Council and the citizens of the City of Cape Coral. It is paramount that the Council step up and address, not only the proposed sale of the property, but the questions and concerns surrounding the proposal. I urge you to consider the historic nature of the area, the designated downtown development areas, the impact of the change-in-use zoning, and the major investments of the property owners not only directly abutting the golf course property, but those properties in close proximity to the golf course. The potential loss to the City of Cape Coral far outweighs the benefits of siting a large Lee County School facility on the property.
Responsible development is important in the City of Cape Coral. Please don’t demonstrate a lack of responsibility to the current citizens of Cape Coral and the potential buyers who do their research before investing in the community. I, too, did my research before selecting Cape Coral and the specific area best suited to my lifestyle, economics and a sound investment. Changing zoning and use in an established area that is the historical center of the founders and original community does not send a message of responsible development. I urge you to retain the present zoning and golf course designations.