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....