Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Letter from Robert & Helen Norton

For the record, I am not opposed to having the city of Cape Coral
purchase the Cape Coral Golf Course, IF they intend to retain it as a
golf course or convert it to a park and recreation area that would
continue to benefit those in the Southeast and elsewhere.

Having held public office as both a borough Clerk and a Member of a
School Board, one of the things that those government organizations were
especially cognizant of was the negative community impact of replacing a
perceived asset with a perceived negative; and the proposal to convert
the golf course to a school complex does exactly that. Shame on those
who propose it; and I ask you to work to defeat the proposal.

The golf course property represents an important "Green Area" for the
rather densely populated Southeast area, and if acquired should either
remain a public course or developed as a recreation area primarily for
retired, and vacationing adults. The city is doing a good job of
building ball parks and other recreation areas for children and young
adults; however, it is seriously lacking areas that are suitable for its
major population demographic: pre and post retirement adults. Land
value is escalating rapidly in the area and older home purchases for
extensive remodelling and/or replacement continues to enhance this
beautiful and desirable canal and river access area. Putting a school
complex in such an area is flying in the face of usage and would cause
the area to deteriorate and important segments the population to move
from the area. The end result would be the halting of desirable growth,
devaluation of prime property area and a reduction in ratables as the
values lessened which they most surly would do.

I Own a home and walk and cycle extensively in the Southeast areas, and
the area under discussion does not have a high percentage of families
with school age children. In fact, they are frequently served by
compact school busses rather than full sized. I see the property
improvements, the relatively few children waiting for busses, and I also
see the increased amount of traffic on both Country Club and Palm Tree,
and none are compatible with a school complex.

The city residents would be far better served, by continuing to have
schools built in the Northeast and Northwest where fewer canals exist,
land is more reasonable and where a number of schools presently exist.
All of these factors speak to more efficient child transport and a
better extended campus network. Also the development in these areas
lends itself to families with school age children, and indeed, that is
what can be found there now. property is more affordable there for
obvious reasons.

Putting a school complex in the center of one of the most positively
growing, desirable, empty nester, residential areas that was developed
expressly for the use of retirees, fishermen, boaters, and others who
wish to live on or near the water, not ony changes the long established
character of the area, and it is not only ill-advised; it is also
fiscally imprudent, and lacks the kind of vision and foresight that will
continue to make Cape Coral a wonderful planned community. Don't do it.
It makes no sense whatsoever.


Robert W. Norton
Helen P. Norton
1109 SE 40th Street
Cape Coral, FL 33904