Thursday, March 27, 2014


Courtesy of Barbara Butler

Golfers at the Banyan Tree

Please email me your old pics for posting!

If you have paper photos, drop them at my office and I will scan  to a jpeg and return to you.

American Brokers Realty Group
2323 Del Prado Blvd S (next to JP Sports)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014



Good evening!

Recently a volunteer stopped by my homestead at 4602 Country Club Blvd. (South end of the golf course) for a signature on a petition, unfortunately I was not home at the time, however an informational flyer was left at my house. If a signature is still required for saving the Golf course please let me know via email and I will sign it.

After visiting the website it appeared I was not able to sign up for notifications as I am not affiliated with any of the servers (yahoo etc) if there is any way you can add my email address to the notification list I would appreciate it.

Incidentally, I also own the Hideaway Waterfront Resort at the intersection of SE 5th Ave. and Country Club Blvd. (formally the Fairway Motel back in the 70s as it was adjacent to the golf course). Even this last week we had several Guests that for many years going back to the 70s used to enjoy the use of the golf course and would like it to re-open. We are most likely one of a very few commercial properties near the golf course with a vested interest in its future.

Please accept my thanks in advance for your volunteer hours on this project as I have done this in the past with community groups and am aware of the hours in can entail. Please do not hesitate to call me directly if you need volunteer help (although it is quite busy until after Easter).


Mark & Linda Murnane

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Photographs compliments of Barbara Butler. 

Please email me your old pics for posting!

If you have paper photos, drop them at my office and I will scan  to a jpeg and return to you.

American Brokers Realty Group
2323 Del Prado Blvd S (next to JP Sports)


 These photos are compliments of Barbara Butler


Today, over 20 volunteers from the Banyan Trace community took to the streets to talk with our friends and neighbors around the Country Club/Wildwood/Palm Tree area.  Feedback has been marvelous.  We have added many new members to the Save The Golf Course group today.  If a volunteer missed you, please email me so I can add your email to our list.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014


Please continue to email me your photos of the course or event at the clubhouse.

The Golf Club 

Banyan Tree at The Golf Club



What: March Meeting

The Golf Club Property

Hampton Inn in Downtown Cape Coral
619 SE 47th Terrace

When: FRIDAY, 14, 2014

At last Monday’s (March 3rd) City Council meeting I made an offer to the Council to see if the CFP would be willing to entertain looking at a private/public partnership to see if the Golf Club property could be successfully redeveloped with the inclusion of an 18 hole golf course.  The Council voted unanimously to allow us time to consider our involvement in the project.
At our meeting this Friday we will be presented with possible development scenarios, possible partners, and possible funding sources.  Council Member Birch, Dana Brunett, City EDO Director and Joe Mazurkiewicz, CFP Executive Director will lead the discussion with input from other informed members and community stakeholders. Once all the possibilities are laid out the CFP members will vote to assist the city in saving this very unique parcel and making it the center piece of Southeast Cape Coral.  Please join us for this very important discussion. 
I believe this is a high risk, high reward proposition.  If we were to get involved and be successful it will give the CFP an immense amount of credibility. 

We will also have our monthly update on EDO activity from Dana Brunett.

Networking is from 7:00-7:30 and the meeting will begin promptly at 7:30am.

Free to Council for Progress members

$15.00 for Non-Members


Golf Course Update

1.      This is a historic piece of property in Cape Coral and it was one of the centerpieces of the Cape Coral from its inception.

2.      It is the last significant piece of green space in Southeast Cape Coral.

3.      The current property has a land use designation of parks and recreation which protects its current green space status if not changed. 

4.      The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) 2009 amendment when it added the golf course and surrounding property to the CRA stated a key purpose for the adding the golf course was to allow “redevelopment back to a viable course.”

5.      Restoring the golf course (or similar desirable green space development) will increase property values significantly.

6.      With the way the CRA works this increase in property values will lead to increased tax revenues for the City.

7.      It is vital to make any decision only after looking at all the alternatives, gathering data on all possible funding sources, and then finding a way to restore it in order to keep this a special part of Cape Coral that will be a destination for people to visit.

8.      On Friday March 14 the Council for Progress (CFP), with the support of the Cape Coral City Council, agreed to try to find an option to address the golf course that could lead to restoring it as a golf course.  They will be engaged in this process for 90 days.  The CFP is non-profit organization made up of community business leaders dedicated to the economic development of Cape Coral. The CFP assists the City under a Memorandum of Understanding entered into with the City in February 2014.

What can you do?

- Keep informed at, Banyan Blog ( or give us your email to forward updates

-Contact the city council – email: or P.O. Box 150027
Cape Coral, FL 33915 - 0027


Please email me at 

Blasts are used to notify those concerned about the future of the former Golf Club property with important news updates or  upcoming meetings.

Don't forget to ask your friends and neighbors as well.


The Council for Progress is a group of local business leaders and movers & shakers in Cape Coral.

The Council for Progress voted unanimously at their Friday monthly meeting to form a task force for a 90 day period to look into possible options and funding sources to help preserve the former golf course property.

I have pasted an article about the Council for Progress below.

It was heralded as an agreement 15 years in the making.

“This is a very historic day,” announced Council for Progress Executive Director Joe Mazurkiewicz. “We officially become the thing we set out to be.”

The “thing” Mazurkiewicz referenced was an organization involved in a true partnership between some of the brightest business minds in the city and Cape Coral’s Economic Development Office.

Early this past Friday morning in a conference room at the Hampton Inn in South Cape Coral, Council for Progress chairperson David Owen put his name on a Memorandum of Understanding between the organization and the city effectively beginning a partnership between the two groups for the next two years.

The goal of the agreement is to recruit new businesses to the city and create a long-term positive economic impact for Cape Coral. They hope to attain that goal by utilizing some of the brightest business minds in the city, “I see a lot of opportunities that we have not been able to use before,” said MerriBeth Farnham, owner of HDPR Group, the local agency tasked with marketing the city’s Economic Development Office.

The basic framework of the agreement will work much in the same way the Horizon Council has worked with Lee County in promoting the area and recruiting new businesses.

The Council for Progress, for its part, will contribute a minimum of $34,000 per year to the city. All of the money contributed will be used for business recruitment and marketing. The organization will also play a major role in meeting with companies targeted by the Economic Development Office for possible relocation to Cape Coral, “It will be extremely beneficial for us to have like businesses meeting with those we are trying to recruit to our city,” explained Cape Coral Economic Development Director Dana Brunett.

In addition, Council for Progress members will also assist the city in developing marketing strategies to promote Cape Coral as a destination for companies worldwide.

In return for the group’s efforts, the city will contribute $17,000 which will be used along with the Council for Progress’ contribution to market the city and recruit new businesses.
With a current annual budget of less than $500,000, the additional funds coming from the organization will certainly help the city in recruiting new business. However, it is the resources the Council for Progress members provide to the process that has Brunett excited, “We have amazing talent right here in our own backyard. This agreement allows us to better tap those resources for the benefit of not just those involved but the entire city.”
Mazurkiewicz, has been the Executive Director of the organization since 1998, and says with the added exposure and influence the agreement brings he expects to see an increase in membership, which is currently around 100, “Our members now have a unique opportunity to have a direct impact on the direction of our city’s economic growth. I can see a number of local business people wanting to be part of that.”

According to Brunett, having those who have successfully created and maintained businesses in Cape Coral, is a tool in the toolbox that will go a long way in finally moving the needle in the city’s quest to lighten the tax burden of its residents.

“We want to position ourselves to be leaders in the community working together to bring new businesses to the city. If we are able to accomplish that, it will be a benefit to the entire city. This agreement is a major step toward that goal.”

Sunday, March 09, 2014


 If you have any photos of the golf course, an event or the clubhouse to share...
Email them to me at
I will post them on this site. 
Don't forget to include a caption!

Leave property wild

By Helen Dorothy, Cape Coral

News Press Cape Mailbag

The Cape Coral City Council meeting last week once more ended in a stalemate. No decision but the decision to gather more information before making a decision. Definitely, for those of us in attendance regarding the issue, we once more breathed a sigh of relief. The least savory option presented by the city manager was the public/ private partnership. Who amongst us believes that the owners of the golf course, who have been unable to keep the grass mowed four times a year, would be able to treat the city of Cape Coral with fairness and respect? Furthermore, considering all the people in Cape Coral who have lost their property due to the downturn in the market, loss of a job, etc., why should the city buy the property priced at 15 times assessed value?

The news that there are other offers on the table is interesting, but they are still talking to the city manager. I believe the majority of us would prefer that nothing be done. Many of the City Council members seem to have dollar signs from tax revenues uppermost in their agenda, tax dollars from new housing and light commercial construction.

But for every dollar in taxes the City Council generates, they will spend two trying to retrofit the property. There are no roads but one single lane accessing the property, which means it will be necessary to make other access roads where none exist now. There is no infrastructure on the land so it will mean adding brand new water, waste pipes to existing old water/ waste pipes, which will stress the entire system.

The new upgraded building sites are a minimum of four to six feet higher, according to code, than existing structures so what emerges from new construction will look like a city on a hill. I have several new houses in my neighborhood and they look like they are sitting on their own private hills. All the water runoff will travel to properties that are lower causing possible flood damage.

A linear park circling the property is a trite offer from the owners of the property. All you can do with it is walk, run, ride a bike. No opportunity to picnic, play ball, enjoy the birds and the small wildlife that would live there.

One more thing, the budget director’s comments about what the department of Land for Public Trust said in the past may not be relevant to what they would say today. Why not ask for a new proposal in writing so you can share it with the community? I trust the City Council will do their homework and come up with the best decision they can make, and if that proves impossible, like I said, we would rather see the property stay like it is.

City to explore golf course options

By Cristela Guerra    The News Press

Residents advocate preserving the 175-acre site in south Cape Coral as green space.

 Councilman Jim Burch pleaded with council Monday night to consider a way to save the historic 175-acre old golf course in the south Cape. Many want to see this green space become the “Central Park of Cape Coral.”

He said, depending on what the city decides to do, it could be “the most damaging decisions it may ever make in respect to the future of the city.”

“It’s not just a golf course,” Burch said. “It’s so far beyond that.”

Some residents advocated for the golf course in public comment. Others held fliers that read, “Protect Cape Coral’s jewel for future generations.” Councilman John Carioscia agreed that all options should be on the table though not all seem financially feasible.

In a unanimous vote, council gave City Manager John Szerlag direction to explore all options, specifically reaching out to the Council for Progress as well as the Trust for Public Land. Councilman Richard Leon noted several times that the money is just not there. He also
made another request that received applause from the audience.

“Please just cut the grass,” Leon asked of one of the property owners present in council chambers.

Helen Dorothy, 73, has lived near the property since 2003.

“I think they should buy the golf course,” Dorothy said. “We don’t have a lot of green space.”

Burch advocated especially for delving into the Trust for Public Lands though Finance Director Victoria Bateman said that option could require a major investment between $2 million and $4 million. A main complaint is while the land remains in limbo it continues blighted, overgrown and unused.

“I hear the passion and love for this,” said Mayor Marni Sawicki. “I just can’t see how we do this with the budget that we have.”

During past meetings, a multitude of suggestions have been considered including developing the land, converting it back into a pristine golf course or a public-private partnership with the owners.

Also on last night’s agenda, an issue of contention was momentarily resolved. Cape Coral
City Council voted unanimously to begin billing on the fire services assessment and put the money collected in escrow.   Other council items Continued....