Sunday, March 09, 2014

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.