Please Plan to attend this Meeting
Monday September 21 at 4:30
Council chamber at city hall
On September 21, the Cape Coral City Council will be addressing two ordinances relating to the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) ability to purchase the golf course property. The Council has already approved the CRA boundary expansion, and now pursuant to State Statute has before it the Redevelopment Plan Amendment and the modification of the CRA Trust Fund. These two proposed ordinances must be passed to give the CRA the ability to move forward with negotiations to purchase the golf course property. If they are not passed, it effectively terminates the ability of the CRA to continue efforts to acquire the golf course property. The Council vote on September 21 is therefore critical to the future of Cape Coral, as it is in reality a yes or no vote on the preservation of the golf course.
One ordinance before the Council is to approve the Redevelopment Plan Amendment that includes the acquisition of the golf course and its operation as a golf course. The other ordinance is the amendment of the Tax Increment Trust Fund to allow the collection of the increase in real estate taxes from the boundary expansion area, funds that will support the debt service payments on the financing needed to purchase the golf course property.
It is critical that you contact each Council Member and let them know of your support for their passage of the two ordinances to allow the CRA the ability to continue negotiations to purchase the golf course.
Last year, as the golf course property owners were preparing to seek a land use and zoning change for the golf course property, the City sought the CRA assistance to preserve the golf course in a golf course use. The CRA was willing to help, and has diligently worked to fulfill the City’s desires regarding the golf course property.
The critical issue, however, is that the Florida law governing CRAs prohibits a CRA from spending money outside its boundaries, and the boundaries of the Cape Coral CRA did not include the golf course property.
In order to give the CRA the ability to negotiate and purchase the property, the City Council hired a consultant to undertake a “Finding of Necessity” study to examine the conditions in the area surrounding the golf course as well as other areas surrounding the CRA boundary that were already being considered for inclusion within the CRA. The State legislative mandate for any CRA is to alleviate blight, and the Finding of Necessity Study done for the City Council identified the statutorily required blight conditions that allowed the City Council to expand the boundary of the CRA to include the golf course property.
Now the CRA can move forward with the negotiations, but Florida law also mandates that a CRA cannot act on a major project unless the project is in their Redevelopment Plan. The first ordinance being considered by the Council is the amendment to the Cape Coral Redevelopment Plan that includes the golf course purchase and operation as a golf course as a project of the CRA. The second ordinance, also required by Florida law, provides the CRA with the financial ability to purchase the golf course. The second proposed ordinance is the amendment to the Cape Coral CRA Trust Fund that allows the collection of the property tax increase from the boundary expansion area so that these funds collected from the properties most affected by the use of the golf course property can be used to pay for the acquisition of the property.
Again, the Council meeting on September 21 is critical to the future of Cape Coral. It is the yes or no decision on allowing the CRA to continue on the path to golf course property acquisition.
Please contact each and every Council Member to let them know of your support for the passage of these two ordinances. You may reach the Mayor and all council members by sending your message to email@example.com.
If you have any questions concerning this request, please contact CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen at 239-549-5615.