Was this morning’s walk on the old Golf Club in the South Cape between Palm Tree and Country Club Boulevards my last? Tomorrow, the billion dollar Minneapolis-based construction company, James Henry Ryan’s Ryan Companies and its subsidiary Gulf Venture, will post No Trespassing signs around the perimeter. It is their right to do so.
I don’t like it. I feel violated. And as I walked, I thought about when I have purchased property it was always incumbent on me to know everything there was to know about what I was buying. Surely, when Ryan purchased the Golf Club he knew that he was buying property that the City of Cape Coral had a long-standing Land Use designation of “parks and recreation.”
But now Ryan wants to change that. Despite the rhetoric on his website to partner with communities, this to me is like asking to change our Constitution. The framers wrote that document to protect citizens of the United States just as years ago Cape Coral’s City Council designated how the land here is best used to benefit us citizens. It’s the law. And just like the Constitution, you don’t change it when it doesn’t suit you. As I see it, the same is true for our Land Use in Cape Coral.
Ryan has an opportunity to sell the Golf Club property to D.R. Horton, a developer who wants to build 500 track houses on one of the last green spaces in the South Cape, an area where, ironically, recent Parks Master Plan consultants advised the City Council that citizens in this area are underserved for parkland.
There’s one thing standing in Ryan and Horton’s way, that bothersome designation that the land is to be used as “parks and recreation” for all the citizens of Cape Coral not just the buyers of 500 houses.I’ve never been a “tree hugger,” but James Henry Ryan and Horton have turned me into one. Who are they to come into my town and try to change an historic Land Use designation? We’re open for business but not for invasion. If you share my view, check out www.Save OurRecreation.us, a nonprofit organized to protect Cape Coral’s citizens.