Friday, June 26, 2009

CRA asks public for ideas on revamping golf course

Negotiations ongoing of sale of land


The Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency is looking for ideas from residents on how best to refurbish the golf course and surrounding area that was incorporated into its boundaries earlier this month.

A public workshop held Thursday encouraged residents to provide input on remodeling efforts for the 175-acre area formerly known as The Golf Course.

Shut down two years ago for its apparent lack of economic viability, restoring the course has been a high priority for nearby residents.

Besides typical golf course amenities like a clubhouse, hotel, convention center and restaurant, an environmental park and other uses of open spaces to use in tandem with the course were also discussed during the workshop.

"I want to hear some of the out-of-the-box ideas," Councilmember Dolores Bertolini said.

Another meeting will be held July 15 to help the CRA craft a redevelopment plan, which CRA board members will vote on July 21.

The plan will then go before the Planning and Zoning Board in August, before coming before the Cape Coral City Council for a vote in September.

CRA executive director John Jacobsen acknowledged that the new lands will mean more work for the CRA with less money. CRA board members passed a tentative budget of $4.7 million Thursday before the workshop. This year's CRA budget is $5.1 million.

"We have a lot more work to do now," Jacobsen said.

Before the CRA can help remake the golf course, current owners Florida Gulf Ventures must sell the land to the Trust for Public Land, an intermediary buyer for the CRA.

Negotiations are ongoing and appraisals for both sides are still being conducted.

"That's the first key issue when you find out what you first base cost is going to be," Bertolini said.