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