Friday, March 24, 2017

Proposed land swap and $13.2 million land purchase, Cape Coral Breeze Letter to the Editor

To the editor:
The proposed land swap would go a long way to substantiate the city's claim that it spent $13.2 million dollars on land, in 2012, to trade and use for future city projects.
The City of Cape Coral owns 1500+ parcels of land. Of those parcels, over 1100 are vacant. The city of Cape Coral cannot legally hold or purchase property for investment purposes. That fact is not subjective; it is part of our Constitution. The city is beginning to appear as though they are real estate speculators.
We need to be reminded that we are not collecting property taxes, fire assessments, storm water, mowing or utility fees on those 1100+ properties. That equates to a tremendous amount of lost revenue annually for the city. In fact, millions of dollars, in potential revenue, has been lost on the 491 parcels that the city acquired in 2012 alone.
Mr. Szerlag has an opportunity to substantiate the city's claims regarding the $13.2 million land purchase, by trading some of the city's property for green space. No one disputes that the city needs green space and that the Old Golf Course would make a great addition to the city's resources. It is a rare occurrence when the city staff, city manager, city council and mayor all agree on a topic. It would be refreshing to see all parties involved move in unison to do something positive for the future of Cape Coral, while honoring the city's past. Please remember that Cape Coral "wasn't born yesterday."
I understand the historic relevance of the Old Country Club and Golf Course property because I was here when the city was being formed. My family moved to Cape Coral in 1970 when I was a young child. To put that into perspective, there were no traffic lights in Cape Coral when my family arrived 47 years ago. It wasn't necessarily "better" back then, it was just "different." Cape Coral is my home town and I am proud of her progress and willingness to welcome new residents from all over the country. It was what the founders, of this city, intended from the very beginning. Every new resident that finds their way to Cape Coral comes from their own "home town." Most of those people have sentimental attachments to their roots. Towns and cities all across America have places of significance or sacred landmarks that define their existence. That is what the old Country Club and Golf Course Property means to Cape Coral. It's where the city founders played, prayed and plotted. It's where they breathed life into this city. In many respects, Cape Coral was born on that property. It deserves our respect and preservation. It's not about walking trails, traffic or zoning. It's about remembering where we came from and acknowledging that some things can't be factored into an "appraisal."
I implore D.R. Horton to take the high road and to demonstrate that Cape Coral is more than just a modern day "Pottersville." I beg of both new and old residents to encourage our leaders to respect the foundation of our beautiful city and to honor her past.
Wendy Blake

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Save Our Recreation *RALLY* Tuesday, March 21st 3:45 Do NOT park in the medians!!!!!!!

Hello fellow volunteers.  Believers.  Are you ready to Rally?

Inviting you to join our Citizens' Rally 
this Tuesday from 4:30 to 5:30 pm 
to “walk the talk” to Save Our Recreation.
Date; March 21.
Check-in time: 3:45 pm.  
Location: Lot near Century Link at 4001 Palm Tree Blvd.  
DO NOT park in the medians.. (For the safety of pets, please leave them at home.) 

Walkers with signs will walk on the sidewalk south on Palm Tree from 4:30 to 5:30 pm..     
Rally signs will be available.  Or, you may use your yard sign. 
Signs will show support for preserving the Golf Club property as a Parks and Recreation amenity for all of Cape Coral – just like the Yacht Club.  

As you know, SOR is a not-for-profit corporation organized to preserve and protect from housing development the only large remaining green space in Cape Coral - 175 acres - for generations to come.

Can you make it?  Would love to see you.

With thanks,
"Our generation plants the trees, another gets the shade."  
Anne Carney, volunteer
708-363-5413 (text friendly)
4005 Palm Tree Blvd., 402
Cape Coral 33904
Save Our Recreation (501c3 org) Our Recreation Cape Coral History

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

SATURDAY MARCH 11th 1:00-4:00

Public Welcome! Spread The Word!
Saturday, March 11th 1:00-4:00
5785 Cape Harbour Dr. Cape Coral 
Music and Dancing by The Memory Makers
50/50 Raffle * Silent Auctions * Basket Raffle Auctions

Our Host - Fathoms Restaurant & Bar
~The Donors~
Diamonds by Dianne
The Beach Dog
Dr Mel's Wellness Spa
Neilson Law
Lobster Lady
Massage Envy
4 Seasons Realty
Cape Cleaners
Bubba's Roadhouse & Saloon
Morgan Stanley Jeff Hedberg
Magnolia Landing
Ford's Garage
The Run Shoppe
Vogue Hair Studio
RE/MAX Realty Partners
Fort Myers Country Club
Golf & Casual Shop
Diamond Dave's Creative Jewelry
Barbara B Mann
Broadway Palm
Bonefish Grill
Golf World
Hollywood Bicycle
Hair FX Studio & Spa
Paradise Bicycles
Go Girl Cycling
Golf Tec
Ceno Grill
Artist,  Ann McCarty Sickels
Sunstream Hotels & Resorts
Shell Gas Cards
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village

 Please support our generous donors who are supporting our cause.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Urge Council to vote ‘No’ on land use change

Letter to the editor Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Cape Coral residents: We are about to be robbed! Why should you care?
The city council is deciding whether to change the land use for the 175-acre Golf Course so D.R. Horton can build hundreds of houses and make lots of money.
We can't get back what we are about to lose if the city council changes the land use for the golf course to make D.R. Horton happy.
City council members should have vision and foresight. They should fight to retain green spaces, parks and recreational areas because they are vital for healthy communities. City growth isn't good unless it's healthy growth.
Importance of green space, parks and recreational areas has been extensively researched. Factual data proves it promotes healthier lifestyles, increases family and community social interactions, decreases crime, reduces juvenile delinquency, reduces mental illnesses and depression, promotes interaction among diverse cultures, enhances the environment, increases property values, encourages tourism and home ownership, provides social opportunities for all ages, and ranks as a major retention factor for professionals in the labor force.
National surveys conclude 8 of 10 people rate green spaces, parks, and recreation areas as "very important" or "extremely important". With these statistics, it's difficult to understand why changing the land use is even a consideration.
Recently "no trespassing" signs were placed on the golf course. Dozens of people are now walking and biking on the streets (without sidewalks). Since Cape Coral/Lee County has an extremely high rate of pedestrian accidents in comparison to many cities, this factor alone should alarm everyone.
Green space, parks and recreational areas are a tangible reflection of the quality of life within a community. The Trust for Public Land shows over the past decade voter approval rates for bond measures to acquire parks and conserve open space exceeds 75 percent. Clearly, the majority of the public views this as an essential priority.
Please take the time to act. Don't allow the city council to rob us of our rights as a community. Please urge them to vote NO to changing the land use designation for the 175 acre golf course. Encourage them to have a pro-active approach and do their homework, if they haven't yet grasped an understanding that the value of green space, parks and recreational areas transcends way beyond the tax base benefit of more houses.
Carol Wilkinson Former (Community planner/ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Cape Coral
Dave Shapiro, current/owner (On Time Construction) Cape Coral
Mike and Wendy Erion, former (business owners/Tiki Hut) Cape Coral

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Save Our Recreation Update

Good morning,

Not much news lately.  We give a big “thank you” to all who have been helping staff our tables and getting petitions signed. 

The biggest news is our fundraiser at Fathoms Restaurant & Bar on Saturday, March 11th from 1:00 to 4:00.   Please go to for a list of our local businesses who have very generously donated auction items to support our cause.  See attached Flyer for more details. Please spread the word and feel free to post the Flyer to Facebook.   Hope to see many of you there.

No hearings or public meetings have yet been set for any of the Florida Gulf Ventures or DR Horton applications.  We did get a communication from the Cape Coral Police Chief about their patrolling of the golf course.  I said I would share it with this group and it is below.

Thank you, 

Mary, Barth and Anne

Mr. Wolf,

Florida Gulf Venture, the recorded owner of the closed golf course, recently put up no trespassing signs and, according to the company, also sent out letters to all the residents surrounding the property, advising residents to refrain from going onto the property since it is private property. 

Like any other businesses and/or organizations in the City of Cape Coral, Florida Gulf Venture can hire an off-duty detail, which is predicated on the actual or potential use of law enforcement powers.  The Cape Coral Police Department authorizes many details like this.  The entity contracting the detail pays a standard hourly rate to the City.  That rate pays for the officer, equipment, and insurance, as well as various administrative costs. The cost of the detail is borne by the entity contracting with the City for the detail, not the taxpayer.  This is standard practice across the state of Florida, and indeed, across most police departments around the country, with some variation in how the programs are administered.

Off-duty details, such as this, not only benefit the entity contracting the detail, but they serve a public good through the deterrence and prevention of criminal acts, and to educate and provide information to the public.  The use of off-duty police officers allows for additional police presence in a specific area, for a specific time, without further taxing the on-duty resources of the department.  Officers working such details are exercising their constitutional authority as police officers only.  Cape Coral Police officers do not enforce the policies or procedures of any private entity at any off-duty detail.  The concept of off-duty details, provides a presence that decreases criminal opportunity and makes the public feel safe.

In this case, Florida Gulf Venture has contracted with the City of Cape Coral to hire off-duty officers, for a specific time frame, through the established off-duty detail process.  The officers working this off-duty detail are providing additional police presence on this multi-acre site, a derelict golf course.  The focus of this off-duty detail is to educate and provide information to the residents in the area of this recent change of “no trespassing” on the property.  In order to carry out that function, the officers are authorized to use the equipment issued to them by the Cape Coral Police Department, which includes the use of uniforms, personal equipment, and a police vehicle (just as they would if they were patrolling this multi-acre site while on duty).  

Officers have been notifying citizens, with whom they come in contact, that the site is private property, that “no trespassing” signs have now been posted, and are asking them to leave the property.  The citizens we have encountered have been very understanding.

I understand that this situation has not evolved in the way that many citizens would have preferred.  That said, the owner, Florida Gulf Venture, has taken all reasonable and necessary steps to notify residents in the area. 

Please feel free to contact me if you need further information.


David Newlan, Chief
Cape Coral Police Department