Friday, February 07, 2014

February 5th City of Cape Coral Committee of the Whole

Among the items discussed by Council at the COW (Committee of the Whole) on Feb. 5 was the Golf Course Parcel as requested by Councilmember Burch.  As might be expected, there was a wide variety of opinions and attitudes with Councilmember Burch firmly in support of the City acquiring the property from the present owner and maintaining the future land use of Parks and Recreation.  The sense of the Committee was that the best plan was to leave all negotiation with the owner's representative to the City Manager.  The fact does remain that any policy action will be by Council and the individual members need to have done due diligence with regard to the following items.

1.   As the City Manager has pointed out, this matter is a series of crossing bridges one at a time.  The first bridge is a clear expression of interest in acquiring the property.  This ties into the needs of the City to be in accord with the Future Land Use Element and the Recreation and Open Space Element of the Comprehensive Plan.

2.   In considering the various possibilities of financing the members of Council need to be fully informed as to the possibility of utilizing the services of The Trust for Public Lands.  In the discussion the possibility was even mentioned that the owner might be able to donate the land to the City for a tax advantage.  Such "out of the box" thinking is how some creative deals originate and should not be ignored.

3.   Before the City Council assumed the duties of the Board of Commissioners of the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency), the previous CRA Staff investigated the possibilities of out-sourcing the operation of a golf course coupled with a business venture for this property.  Those records should now be available through the office of the current Executive Director/City Manager.

4.   As long as the property remains for sale, the City should maintain active in trying to acquire it.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Cape Coral to explore purchase of old golf course. by Jeff Koehn of

Written by Jeff Koehn

Cape Coral's city council cautiously took a step to open discussions with the owners of the old golf course property located in Southeast Cape Coral.
However, council members cautioned, it is a far cry from the city actually purchasing the property.
At a meeting Wednesday night, the council directed City Manager John Szerlag to find out from the Ryan Companies, owners of the property, what is the current asking price for the 175-acre property.
Recently, the Ryan Companies have reached out to Szerlag to gauge the city’s interest in possibly buying the property. In an email sent to Szerlag this past Monday, Ryan Companies’ Bill McHale stated the company has three offers for the property. He also asked Szerlag if the city had made a decision whether it was interested in purchasing the property, and if so, what was its timeline.......

For more of this story CLICK HERE

Mary Neilson

Cape Coral council discusses buying golf course

News Press  
Written by Cristela Guerra

The land has become known for its possibilities. Residents want to see the old golf course in southeast Cape Coral become the “Central Park” of the city. Others would prefer to see it return to a pristine state of rolling greens. While still others have development on their minds. But years changing hands, discussion, some litigation and some contention has paused progress.
And the land has sat, slowly returning to its original wild state. At a Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday night, Cape Coral City Council agreed that the majority was at least open to talk about the possibility of purchasing the abandoned 175-acre 18-hole golf course. It was appraised at almost $9 million as of last November. These meetings are meant solely for discussion, not voting.
Mary Neilson had been fighting to save the property for years.
I’m elated,” said Neilson, a resident since 2004. “I’m just happy the end result was to allow the city manager and staff to speak to the owner.”
Bill McHale of Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies US sent City Manager John Szerlag an email Monday asking..........Click below for entire article.